Opinion

How Hardcore Stans Can Ruin A Concert Experience

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You’ve been waiting to check this artist out all week. You stay at work an extra hour, then catch the L train to Brooklyn before wandering around aimlessly for an hour so you’re not the only person waiting for the doors to open. You vibe out to the opening acts before the headliner strolls on stage and blows everybody’s mind – and then that asshole shows up.

You know the one I’m talking about; they can’t help but draw attention to themselves by thrashing around in a mosh pit that doesn’t exist and constantly screaming out song requests. You just came out here to hear “Angels With Dirty Faces” and connect with the crowd, not fight off dudes who have no sense of personal space. Half way through the set, a huge hand from the back crowd clamps onto your head and you wonder how you got here while you’re driving your elbow into their gut.

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Homeboy Sandman’s set at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn last night (September 3) was a jovial experience that I’ll never forget, especially being intercut with periodic shoulder checks from a nameless diehard. Sandman couldn’t even get halfway through an impassioned speech without Homeboy Stanman next to me shouting “NO ONE’S BETTER THAN YOU” or “ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES.” Around the 18th time he shouted that song title, a perturbed Sandman cut his diatribe on respecting hip-hop short and ripped the mic *a cappella* while we clapped along; dude takes this as his cue to be a hero and hop on the edge of the stage and play crowd composer. Once the song ends, Sandman daps the guy up and firmly shoves him off the stage, face-planting right next to me while laughs raced out of my throat.

What is it about the concert experience that causes people to unleash their inner douchebag? We all need to vent and decompress somehow, and more often than not, jamming out to your favorite artist or a DJ surrounded by dozens or even hundreds of your fellow music heads is the way to go; wilding out to your favorite song can be a euphoric experience, given the circumstances. However, if you’re a superfan who can shout an artist’s production history at them while they’re trying to make their way through your favorite song, maybe you should draw the line at harassing them to play that B-side and let them rock the stage that you and many others *paid* to see them on.

Save that boldness for the circle pit (which I just started).

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