Don’t Be That Guy – Rock Concert Edition
Monday night, I attended a rock concert in Minneapolis with my friends, Josh and Scott. The line-up was Sick Puppies, Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, and Nickelback. Being a big fan of Breaking Benjamin, they were the real reason I wanted to go to this show. Scott and I had seen them twice before. Josh, on the other hand, had never attended a concert.
Now, I could talk about how Breaking Benjamin was awesome – as always. Or, I could talk about how Shinedown was the disappointment of the evening. Or, I could talk about how I went to the concert not caring about the headlining band and left completely blown away by the monster show they put on. Or I could talk about how Nickelback’s amazing pyrotechnics entertained me while simultaneously causing me to wonder how long Dawn would wait to remarry after my untimely, fiery death.
But we have far more pressing issues to discuss, my friends. Queue inspirational public service announcement music.
If you’ve ever been to a concert, you probably know that they are a people watcher’s utopia. Scott and I often entertain ourselves between bands by creating back-stories for our fellow music lovers. There are your concert staples: Spoiled Emo Kid, who thinks he/she is being non-conformist by dressing for their own funeral; Hippie Burnout, who isn’t quite sure where they are and shouts random, nonsensical words of encouragement to the bands; Mom-In-Denial, who embarrasses her children by wearing completely inappropriate clothing and chatting up everyone around her about musicians who haven’t been popular since before her clothes were actually in style; and, of course, I’m-Glad-That’s-Not-My-Daughter Chick, who brings great pride to her parents by wearing even more inappropriate clothing than Mom-In-Denial and treating the concert like a spring break trip to Cancun. Many of these usual suspects were in attendance on Monday. But there were a few new additions to the rogue’s gallery that I found somewhat disturbing.
The first thing I noticed was that several parents brought their preteen children to the show. Perhaps they weren’t familiar with the typical concert environment. I can tell you, however, that as a father, I would thoroughly research any event before bringing along the family. But maybe I’m giving these parents too much credit. Maybe their child’s introduction to decadence was intentional. I imagine the following conversation:
“I think it’s time we had ‘The Talk’ with little Johnny.”
“Ooh. Yeah. How about you go ahead and handle that?”
“I was really hoping you would. I’d be too uncomfortable.”
“I don’t want to do it, either!”
“Hmm… well… we could just take him to a Nickelback concert. Save us the trouble.”
“Excellent idea, Hon. Man, we’re awesome parents.”
Trust me, little Johnny came away from the concert with waaaay more questions than he had before it started.
One mom, who brought her young son along, was showing him what I can only describe as dirty dancing. I fully expected the ghost of Patrick Swayze to appear and inform the crowd that, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
Bad parenting is pretty common, so I can’t say I was too surprised by the lack of judgment shown. However, I was fairly baffled by the guy sitting across the aisle from me, wearing ear plugs. Who wears ear plugs to a concert?!? As Scott so wisely put it, “That makes about as much sense as wearing sunglasses to the movie theater because the screen is too bright.” Common sense tells us that if you’re attending a rock concert, with multiple speakers the size of a bus, there’s a good possibility it might get a bit loud. If this guy wanted to hear the music at a reasonable volume, he could have saved himself eighty bucks by just buying the CD and listening to it in his Prius.
Strange bedfellows aside, the show was a good time. I mentioned earlier that this was Josh’s first concert. It was also probably his last. Josh is a pretty reserved guy and not really into the concert scene. In fact, although he denies it, I’m 99% sure he actually dozed off a couple of times during the performance. And he wasn’t even wearing ear plugs. I don’t think he had a completely terrible time, though. To quote Ferris Bueller, “I caught Cameron digging the ride. It’s good for him. It teaches him to deal with his fear.”
In closing, I’d just like to say, “Thank you, Minneapolis! Good night!”