The audience at a typical concert is an accurate microcosm of modern American society. Every stereotype you can imagine is probably true, and people watching can be almost as entertaining as the band’s performance itself. Here are the groups of people that you will invariably run into at a show:
1. The rich showoff
This person usually has no knowledge of the group at the show, except for the fact that they are popular, and therefore this concert must be an important place for them to be seen. They probably got their ticket from their boss, who in turn has a Ticketmaster account paid for from their company’s slush fund. This person will usually buy the most ridiculous high-priced merch (i.e. Rolling Stones fur-lined jackets, an authentic replica of Beyonce’s hair extensions, an autographed piece of “artwork” from Lars Ulrich, etc), and if it is clothing they will immediately put it on to show off to you and everybody else there.
Which, of course, breaks Concert Rule #1: NEVER wear merch from the band that is performing. Wearing merch from a band SIMILAR to the band playing is acceptable. Wearing merch from a band not similar to the band performing, for ironic hipster reasons, is occasionally acceptable.
This person will be the first to complain when someone fires up a joint in the crowd nearby (although they will usually be in a suite safely away from you working-class plebes), but will also be holding a high-priced and low-alcohol-volume-containing drink, and might even be in the venue bathroom stall railing up some blow. These people are white-collar douchebags in real life, and are usually the main douchebags at a show. If you get friendly with them, however, they will pay for drinks, so keep that in mind.
2. The over-40 groupie
These classy broads love their alcohol, and usually show up to the venue in a state of drunkenness. Rum and cokes, or whiskey and cokes, are their usual drink of choice. They usually have the most non-musical knowledge of the band playing (i.e. the preferred sexual position that the drummer or bass tech likes their groupies), and always makes the most noise whenever the band plays their most well-known hits. After the show, they will try to get backstage, and they have no limits to their sexual depravity. They will do whatever it takes to get a picture with someone affiliated with the band, and will take a picture of themselves on their obsolete smartphone every 5 minutes and upload it to their Facebook account. These women can be annoying, but if your standards are low enough, they will buy you drinks as well (along with doing other things).
3. The nerdy musician
This person looks like he/she’s never gotten laid in their lives, and they don’t even care. They LIVE for music, dude! They will be the one with the most planning in their outfit at the show, ironically enough, since they usually wear sweatpants and stain-filled T-shirts otherwise. They will shout for the band to play their most obscure songs (even though the band hasn’t played it in years, let alone remember the goddamn lyrics to it!), and will have the most knowledge about the band in general. They probably won’t drink, but they might partake in the passing of the joint. These people can be fun to hang out with, and if you are in a band, these people are usually musicians themselves so it works out well from a networking standpoint.
4. The tough guy
This person can be spotted by looking for their tell-tale marks: tribal tattoos on their upper arms, Ed Hardy clothing, and shitty cologne. They are usually fairly short, but are built like a brick shithouse. If there is a mosh pit during the performance, he will be in it demonstrating his physical superiority (and mental inferiority). These people love to GET FUCKING WASTED, and will usually do any drug offered to them, no matter how sketchy the source or appearance. They can be entertaining to watch from a distance, but it is better just to leave them be, since they are usually the idiots who get thrown out by security or the morons who get a DUI a half-mile from the venue after the show while driving their ridiculously jacked up truck with a “No Fear” sticker on it.
5. The straight-edge person
These people are known for being the most boring ones at a show. Since they don’t drink or use drugs, they usually just stand their with a scowl or dazed look on their pasty faces. They will even mean mug you for lighting up a cigarette next to them. They have an aura of condescension, and also of bad hygiene. They can most likely be found at straight-edge hardcore shows, Christian rock concerts, and local festivals with 20 bands and 10 dollar tickets.
Which one am I, you ask? Well, I have no personality in real life, so I’m just as easily overlooked at a show. Nice try though, devoted reader!