5 Dos and Don’ts of Summer Concerts from an Angry Veteran

2022 is looking like a banner year for concerts in America. After two summers of uncertainty and empty venues, it looks like I can go back to spending $100 on a small beer and stale french fries. It’s almost like the world is normal again… of course I’m kidding. That ship sailed a long time ago. However, at least we can all get sweaty in the blistering sun while standing unnaturally close to people we don’t know and don’t especially like while listening to longer and often less cohesive versions of our favorite songs. 

    I have a feeling that shit is going to be especially crowded this summer. It’s not hard to see why. Since March of 2020 medical professionals have been telling us to stay inside. And those of us blessed with the instinct of self-preservation did just that. That time spurred a lot of introspection in people. We witnessed people taking up new hobbies, the mass exodus of workers sick of being treated like garbage, and life and death of Quibi which was a surprise to no one.

    Now that a window of freedom has shown itself, I suspect a lot of people who rarely went to concerts, will suddenly be going to concerts. As someone who sees something like 12 shows a year, I’ve learned a few things. I think it’s incumbent upon me to share some advice to the tens of people who will read this. Don’t think I am doing this because I think I’m better than you. I am simply doing this because I don’t want to see you to get beat up by a shirtless drunk with faded tribal tattoos who’s been pounding Bud heavies in the parking lot since the sun came up. Think of this as a helpful collection of Dos and Don’ts to keep you safe from a guy whose love for Budweiser is only eclipsed by his love for racking up felony convictions.

The Dos

  1. Wear sunscreen. Unless you want to look like a fleshy lobster, protect yourself. Even in cloudy weather, I’ve seen people turn redder than Kid Rock’s neck.
  1. Drink water. It get’s hot outside… in the sun… in the summer. Look, I know it may seem like common sense but if we’ve learned anything from the last two years, common sense isn’t common.
  2. And while we’re on the topic of common sense, wear deodorant. I don’t want to harsh your buzz, but standing in the hot sun has an effect on people. That effect often manifests itself as an odor that can peel the paint off a battleship.
  3. Leave your tools at home. We get it, Suburban Commando, you never leave home without your multitool. Who knows when an emergency will pop up that requires your needle nose pliers/knife combo but hear me out, if there’s an emergency, they’re not looking for the slightly drunk guy wearing watermelon red shorts and a Phish tee shirt. Stand down hero, the metal detector is going to dime you out and if you hold up the line, Professor Bud Heavies is going to take your lunch money.
  4. Clean up after yourself. If you’re lucky enough to be able to afford paying $4 an ounce for beer don’t leave a sea of empty cups all over the place. No one wants to trudge through a wasteland of crushed plastic and puddles of flat White Claw.

The Don’ts

  1. Don’t take your clothes off. It’s hot, I get it, but as I mentioned above, people get sweaty. Let’s keep a thin layer of fabric between me, you, and your damp skin. 
  2. Don’t try to start a chant between sets. I’m sure your beliefs are super important to you. Unfortunately, they’re probably not that important to anyone else. So, whether you’re a “Let’s go Brandon” guy or a “Yankee’s Suck”, guy if you’re trying to start a chant everyone in the crowd thinks you’re an idiot.
  3. Don’t drink too much. I was at a show years ago and some donkey threw up on the guy next to him. In a flash, the sick guy was on the ground in a stew of his own vomit, blood, and likely a couple of teeth. Now, I am not a violent guy but if you throw up on me because you can’t hold your drink, it may not end well for you.
  1. Don’t bring a football to the tailgate. I don’t care how good a football player you were in high school, you’ve been crushing Session IPAs in the sun all day. There’s a 50% chance that you are going to blow that long bomb and 100% chance that everyone around you is going to think you’re a bumbling jackass with hands made of stone.
  2. Don’t sit in a seat that isn’t your seat. There’s nothing more annoying that showing up to the venue, making your way to the seat, only to find some donkey who snuck down from the nosebleeds keeping your seat warm. And while we’re at it, don’t play that game where you pretend you read your ticket wrong. You bought the tickets. You had to look at them when you arrived at the show. No one is dumb enough to believe that you briefly forgot how numbers work. If you’ve got the balls to pretend you bought front row seats, have the balls to admit that you gambled and lost.

Okay, this isn’t an all-encompassing list but it’s a start. I might have been a little heavy handed but you know I’m not entirely serious. The bottom line is, the most important thing to remember is that people at shows come from all over. They have different backgrounds and different stories. You don’t know if the person next to you is doing well or struggling. The cool part is, just by being there, you all have something in common. For those few hours, you’re a little community so be good to each other and who knows, maybe I’ll see you there… unless you’re at an Imagine Dragons shows. I wouldn’t be caught dead.

Cover image source:Source: https://www.billboard.com/business/touring/2022-concerts-canceled-festivals-covid-19-1235017924/

[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]


C.W. “Sarge” Kennedy is a weird, portly war veteran living in southeastern Massachusetts. He has some kind of degree from an accredited university but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his gaping maw as he tries to operate simple technological devices. Room temperature IQ aside, Sarge is a cohost of The Citizen’s Guide to the Supernormal podcast, collaborator on the YouTube Channel Sarge the Destroyer, obnoxious Tweeter known as @bastardprophet, and part-time Instagram train-wreck. If you like short stories with questionable grammar, you can buy two of them at Amazon. He has no other valuable qualities according to people who know him.

Sarge’s contributions