Here’s a rundown of things to keep your eyes peeled for, so you can have a head-banging good time.
I hadn’t been to a heavy metal/rock/anything-with-people-rubbing-up-against-you concert in over a year, until I scored a couple tickets to see Trivium last Saturday.
Then the reality set in. In order to see one of the greatest American bands (in my honest opinion), there were a few things I had to keep in mind in order to live through this experience.
Here is a list of eight things to be wary of if you haven’t been to a concert in a while, or if you’re just about to head into your first gig.
#1 – Mosh pits
Oh yes. Just these two words give me shivers down my spine. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great fun! You just tend to “bump” into the not-so-nice people in there. Mind you, there will be a huge amount of really nice people who watch out for your safety and happily pass around some water the security guards have thrown into the crowd.
Apart from this, be prepared for hair pulling, feet stomping, clothes ripping, people trying to jump on top of you so they can high-five the singer, and lots of pushing and shoving. You get the odd random finger up your nose, or a poke in the eye from the person behind you who doesn’t care that you exist and is also trying to have a good time. Just be aware of flailing arms.
#2 – The “Wall of Death”
If you’ve been to Soundwave or know people who have, this would be the thing that petrifies everyone the most. I’ve never been in one, nor have I ever seen it in real life, and I don’t want to.
From my understanding, the “Wall of Death” begins when the mosh pit is instructed by the band to create a circle, or split in the middle. When the heaviest part of the song begins to play, or a countdown is shouted out, the two sides charge at each other, similar to a re-enactment of war.
Again, be aware. If you don’t want to be involved, move away as fast as you can. If you want to get involved, I salute you and pray for your return to the motherland.
#3 – Body piercings and jewellery in general
Back in 2011, I attended Good Charlotte’s Cardiology tour, during which others in the mosh pit shoved me into the fence at the front of the stage. At the time, I had double belly piercings, which got caught in the fence and were ripped out. My mistake was wearing a crop top and shorts. Please, DO NOT make this mistake.
Bandage and cover or entirely remove belly piercings, stomach dermals and anything that could get caught or ripped out. Avoid wearing rings, bracelets and large earrings. They will get caught and tugged upon. Necklaces should be worn with caution. Concert-goers have a tendency to grab and yank anything they can get their hands on in order to get closer to the stage.
#4 – Crowd surfers
One good thing about crowd surfing is it’s prohibited at most venues – but the trouble is, idiots tend to do it anyway. Regardless, be aware when someone is crowd surfing and in what direction they are going. If you get picked up by a person and don’t want to crowd surf, tell them and the people around you. Usually, people around the idiot who picks you up without permission will help you down. But then again, you will meet people who just don’t care. Try and avoid them altogether otherwise enjoy being touched by a couple hundred random people.
#5 – Drunks
Some venues allow over-18s to consume alcohol. If this is where you’re going, some people will get pretty rowdy and cause mayhem – they may become more violent with their moshing and cause fights. Be aware and keep your distance to avoid walking out with an injury.
#6 – Flying objects
People will smuggle all sorts of things inside; from glow sticks to lingerie and throw them onto the stage. More than likely, you well get something hitting you on the head. Some big venues tend to hand out (or rather throw) water bottles into the crowd so be cautious of flying objects.
#7 – Overly sweaty people
We all sweat but some people tend to sweat a little more than others. In this case, there isn’t much you can do but pass each others sweat along like a game of Chinese whispers. Sorry!
#8 – Caring about your appearance
This one is the most obvious. Forget straightening your hair and bring a couple of spare hair ties. The humidity from everyone’s body heat around you will make your hair frizzy and I guarantee, you will throw it up on a bun. DO NOT wear heels unless you want broken ankles. Make up is pointless because it’ll eventually melt off your face because, again, the humidity. Forget layers since you’ll sweat as if you’ve stepped out of the shower. Dress comfortably and enjoy the moment. No one will notice how you look because it’s the band they came for.
If you keep these eight points in mind during your big night out, you’ll have a great time. Heavy metal/rock concerts might sound like the worst thing on the planet, but they really aren’t. It just depends on your expectations: how you approach the situation, and whether you care about getting your feet stepped on, or make up running down your face from sweat, or having your hair pulled.
If you enjoy the band that you’re going to see, it’ll be all worth it. Right? – Bianca Busuttil
Top photo of man crowdsurfing by Peter Chiapperino via Wikimedia Commons.