I’m going to start this off by saying I’m not generalizing the female population. As a woman, I’ve met all types of amazing ladies who do some of the coolest stuff, be it extreme sports, watching sports, or going to concerts. With that being said, there are a lot of posers out there. Ladies, it’s ok if you aren’t into those kinds of things. Just be yourself. I can’t stress that enough. For this particular instance, I’m going to talk about a concert that I recently attended.
It was the Extreme Thing in Vegas which had bands such as: Killswitch Engage, Emmure, Of Mice and Men etc. They also had some pop punk bands like The Used and Taking Back Sunday. I’ve been going to metal concerts for a little over a decade now and I LOVE THEM. Just being in the front, with all the smelly people, listening to the music that has meant so much to you for whatever reason; it’s amazing. Words can’t describe what it’s like, but you get a bit of a high just being there. It is like a surreal existence where you can actually feel a connection with the people who listen to the same music as you and a connection with the actual band itself; absolutely wonderful. Metal shows are great, but you do run the risk of potentially getting hurt when you’re up in the mix.
As a girl, I am fully aware that I’m not as physically capable as most of the males I’m around in the pit, so it is expected that I take a bit more precaution so that I don’t get swept in and stumbled on. I typically take a slight squat stance to center my weight so that I’m firmly planted on the ground. It’s quite the workout, but I’m stable. You also have to be aware of crowd surfers otherwise they will dropkick you in the face. Trust me from experience, this does happen. So you’re probably thinking, how in the hell do you enjoy the show if you’re having to do as this extra stuff. The answer is simply, I just love the music. Once the band starts playing, all of that stuff seems to melt away like second nature, and you just focus your attention on the music that takes you back to wherever you were when you first heard it.
Extreme Thing was exceptional because two of my favorite bands that I listened to growing up (Killswitch Engage and The Used) made a point to play their earliest songs. It was literally a homage to all the old school listeners. I’m talking about the stuff that first put them both on the map. My inner 12 year old died happy multiple times. It was pretty funny to see some of the younger kids look so confused, particularly at the The Used show. They’ve (The Used) changed so much over the years that their fan base now probably isn’t aware that they originally started out as a punk/alternative band. So when “The Taste of Ink” started playing, I almost crapped my pants. I’d first heard that song when I was 12 and I’ve been in love with it ever since. Ok, so here’s where I get to the nitty gritty.
The cool thing about these shows is that you can either A., get up close and personal knowing that you could be putting yourself in a sketchy situation; or B., be on the outskirts just enjoying the vibes. Either option is totally cool. No one is better than the other. For myself, personally, I like to be up in the front, so when I invite people to a show, I’m always full disclosure about how I’d like the show to go down. Since festivals are all day, I like to go from start to finish. My friend Mandy and I have been to our fair share of festivals so we decided to go together. We had invited a couple of other girls from our Meetup group to join us. Since we were honest about our intentions they decided to come separately. No harm no foul. But once we met up with them, it was clear that our definitions of “going to a show” were 180 degrees different. So here are some signs that this event may not be for you.
1. You’re not concert-wear ready
Extreme Thing (Like most festivals) lasted over 10 hours, so it’s important that you dress accordingly. Since this was a metal show, EDC clothing does not cut it. You’re going to want to wear some comfortable shoes, t-shirt, and jeans as you will be standing for a long time. I can’t tell you how many girls I saw in heels, sandals, or flats it was ridiculous. If you are in the pit with sandals on you will fall down and get swept in very quickly. Also, you will lose your sandals. Guaranteed. Every concert I’ve ever been to, there has been at least one girl wearing sandals who has to go home barefoot. Those same girls were also wearing sports bras, tube tops, and corsets. During the Killswitch set, I saw way too many nip slips for my taste. Seriously it was like a boob festival. If you want to be at the front you have to dress like it. One of the girls whose boobs were exposed was complaining about her tube top falling down. I’m not unsympathetic, but seriously? What did you think was going to happen?
2. You Can’t Hang For the Full Set and Expect Me to Sit it Out With You
Again, I like to be in the front, so if you decide to go up with me, the expectation is that we see this thing through.This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. Not only does it take some time and energy to push to the front, but I plan to stay there for the whole set. I will not leave halfway just because you got in over your head (actually, I probably will, but I will be hella pissed about it).Secondly, I can’t take care of you as I am not a steroid abuser. As a chick, I already have to make sure I’m good, so it’s way too much extra work to help you stay on your feet as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll give you a heads up for a crowd surfer or flying debris, but I cannot hold you up and myself while we’re being thrashed around by grown ass men. So if any of this applies to you, you’re better off on the outskirts. It’s better for everyone and you’ll enjoy yourself more.
3. You Get Upset When Your Group Continues Without You
I get a kick out of watching girls tell their boyfriends or guy friends that they want to sit down and then drag everyone with them. The looks on the guys’ faces is the equivalent of telling a child that Christmas has been canceled. That is incredibly selfish as I’m sure they came to enjoy the festivities, not babysit you. Be gracious enough to bow out and let them have their fun. No one put a gun to your head and said you absolutely had to come, so be a good sport about it. Too many times I’ve had friends get rubbed the wrong way when they were left behind on their own volition because they expected the rest of us to sit it out with them. Your friends aren’t being mean by letting you do yourthing, they simply just want to enjoy themselves.
So to wrap this up, ladies stop claiming you love moshing/concerts if you don’t. You will get found out quickly and it makes you look dumb. Dress appropriately and know that it’s going to be a very physical day. Enjoy the show at your own pace, if being in the front is not for you, make sure your buddies know that, and if you want company in the back, go with someone who wants the same thing. It’s not right to put a damper the festivities just because you sold a bill of goods you couldn’t produce. If you’re honest about your intentions, everyone will have a good time. It does take practice to be able to hang. When I first started attending shows, I had trouble keeping up, but in time I learned how to hack it, and so can you. I love it when I see different types of people at shows, it’s awesome, but don’t kill the vibe by trying to “impress” people. Just be you. 🙂