Etiquette at a metal concert (feat. Michael May of ‘Values’)
December 3, 2014
Yes, you read the title right, there is indeed an etiquette to metal concerts. Knowing how to adapt to metal concert etiquette will save you the trouble of making common and avoidable mistakes. We’ve also enlisted the help of Michael May, the vocalist of the New England based hardcore band Values, to share thoughts from other avid concert -goers.
What should I wear?
Since the Northeast region can go from sunny and warm to cloudy and unbearably cold in the blink of an eye, it is always efficient to know the weather forecast prior to attending the concert venue. If you plan on being at the venue a couple hours before the doors open, then I suggest wearing a heavy sweatshirt to keep warm. From my experience, I once saw a Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage concert back in November 2013 at the Boston House of Blues. I wore a light sweatshirt with khaki shorts in freezing temperatures an hour before the doors opened. Needless to say, my legs and toes went completely numb. So if you decide to see a concert during the colder months, then wear jeans and an old sweatshirt over a band t-shirt.
Mosh pits aren’t for everyone.
Mosh pits are the most common activity you will see at a live metal show. There are different varieties of a mosh pit and can open up at any time and in any place on the floor. If you want to go into the mosh pit, then you need to first realize that there is a chance of getting hurt or getting knocked down to the ground. I am five feet and eight inches tall and weigh around 156 pounds, and compared to some of the larger people in the mosh pit, I get knocked down fairly easily.
Most importantly, do not fight or target anyone in the pit. If you are caught fighting, expect to be thrown out by security. If you feel annoyed by the constant pushing and shoving on the floor, then move to the back of the venue. Finally, know your limits in the pit. No need to injure yourself or suffer from dehydration to the point where you have to be whisked out of the venue for treatment.
Crowd surfing: Fun yet dangerous
I crowd surfed for the first time at the Monsters Mosh 2014 at the Palladium in Worcester, Mass. just to see what the experience was like. Initially, it was exhilarating and stress relieving, but I soon found out that it is fairly dangerous. Before being caught by security, I was close to nailing my head against the metal barrier that is close to the stage. Thankfully, I was caught just in time by several fellow concert-goers.
Personally, I don’t recommend crowd surfing at metal concerts. As one avid concert goer Patrick Plantier of Pittsfield, Mass. puts it, “from personal experience I don’t believe people should be crowd surfing at a metal show,” he said. “Metal shows can get pretty crazy and people end up hurt.” However, if you are the type that does enjoy crowd surfing, enjoy it at your own risk.
Assist crowd surfers respectfully
I have seen plenty of female concert lovers that love a good mosh pit. Remember, you aren’t at a metal show to find someone to hook up with. If someone is crowd surfing, it is almost inevitable that you will touch them. This, however, does not mean you have permission to inappropriately touch crowd surfers -otherwise known as copping a feel according to Michael May- when trying to move anyone along while crowd surfing. Remember, we are all here for the music.
Be sure to let us know in the comments on anything else we forgot to mention and share some of your experiences while at concerts!
Alex Lindsay can be reached at [email protected] and on twitter under @thatjournalist1