You’re at a gig. Or maybe even a play. The lights go down, the performers come on and suddenly, things take a turn for the worst.
The people beside you start chatting. The bloke behind you won’t stop kicking your seat. There’s a girl in front who insists on taking selfies every five minutes. And so it begins. We all know what it’s like to have our heads well and truly wrecked at live events, and we’re all guilty of stepping on each other’s toes, too.
Some people can’t live in the moment. Some feel the need to record an entire concert. And then there are those who think it’s appropriate to bring a packed lunch to the theatre. Is there such a thing as perfect concert/theatre etiquette? Probably not. We don’t expect anyone to behave like robots and sit perfectly still for two hours, while the greatest live band in the world belts out their hits, but people can be annoying, right? Which is why we’ve taken the liberty of listing some of the most irritating personalities, habits and traits of the general concert-going public. Enjoy. Oh, come on, you’d be lying if you said you didn’t recognise at least a handful of these pet hates…
1. The reckless dance warriors: The over-enthusiastic fan seated next to you. They’ve been waiting all year for this, and you just know you’re going to get an elbow in the face. Stay safe, music fans.
2. Toilet-Goers: “Excuse me.” “Sorry about this”. “Whoops, coming through.” “Whoa, didn’t mean to fall on you.” Jesus, lads, make it quick…
3. Selfie sticks: No. No, I’m not having that. Crikey, I thought that was the T-1000 from the Terminator movies creeping over my shoulder.
4. Selfies: In general, like. Plus, do you realise how awkward it is for the rest of us not to look like weirdos in the background?
5. Incessant Chit-Chatters: The absolute worst. We’ve heard ‘em all. Conversations about mortgages, babies, other halves, holidays, horrible bosses, etc. Uh, have you not noticed that you’re at a gig? Here’s a question, why didn’t you just go to the pub for a catch-up instead?
6. Tall People: The scourge of the concert-going public. They should have a height limit at gigs.
7. Short People: They’re always giving out about us tall people.
8. Public Displays of Affection: Look, we know it’s ‘your song’ and everything, but don’t make us fetch a bucket of cold water.
9. Spontaneous Outbursts of Excitement: “I LOVE THIS SONG!” Right, good. A bit of hush then, please.
10. The Drunken Mess: There’s always one.
11. The iPad Carrier: There’s always one.
12. The Amateur Camera Man: You’ve already recorded half the concert, dude (and not very well, either). Give it a rest. Tenner bets you’ll never watch it back, anyway.
13. The Forgetful Twits: Theatre-goers will know what we’re talking about. How many times do you have to be told? If you’re at a play, switch off the phone. Oh, and to the people checking their gadgets for texts / Tweets / Facebook ‘likes’ at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre – you’re wasting your time. There’s no signal in the place. There’s a reason for that.
14. Wavers: You know, when a friend spots their mate from the balcony and whips out their phone? “Can you see me? I’m up on the balcony? I’m waving my hand! Blue, I’m wearing a blue top…over to the right…the right…a bit more to the right…AGGHHH! YOU SEE ME! HOW ARE YOU! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE HERE!”
15. Sandwich Eaters: It happens. Believe me, it happens.
16. Sweet Wrappers: Unwrap everything before you go in. Or, just make sure you eat your dinner beforehand.
17. Incessant Coughing: Come on, it’s really, really annoying.
18. Leaners / Armrest Thieves: Get off me. For the love of God, get off me.
19. Cup Holder Thieves: Right, so the left one is occupied. The right one, too. Hold on a second, folks – someone’s doing it wrong here.
20. Pushy Latecomers: “Sorry, man, can I just squeeze by you there?” No. No, you can’t. There’s a reason we’re standing up the front. We got here first. Back of the line, mate.
21. Noisy Bar Staff: It’s a folk gig, lads. A FOLK gig. Easy with the bottle-bin tossing.
22. Requests: As in, the people who call out for the hits after five minutes. Don’t you know how a setlist works? The big tunes are always at the end. THE END, GODDAMIT!
23. Clapping out of Time: Russell Crowe had a point, you know…
24. Singing / Shouting along Every Word out of Tune: This isn’t karaoke. And, if you don’t know all the words, you’d be well advised to keep your mouth shut.
25. Singing at Musicals: It’s against the rules. Or, at least, it should be. Ain’t it funny how some productions promise to have punters ‘singing and dancing in the aisles’? Go on, try it for yourself and see how long it is before you’re tossed out on your ear.
26. Question Askers: Another fine example of irritating behaviour at the theatre. What, you think we can’t hear your whispering? It’s Beckett, my friend. We’re all in the same boat here. We’re all a little confused as to what’s going on. Let’s leave the discussion until the end, shall we?
27. The Unreliable Drink Holder: Again, we’re usually seated next to this person. A bit of dancing and you just know that pint is going to end up all over…ah, for feck sake, me jeans!
28. Autograph Chasers: This is a gig, not a signing. Go back to your seat.
29. Hecklers: Oh, there’s always at least one smart-ass in the room. The fool who thinks they can get one up on a comedian. This isn’t a pantomime.
30. ‘YEOW’: You know exactly what we’re talking about.
31. ‘LEGEND’: You know exactly what we’re talking about.
32. Seat Kickers: A punishable offence.
33. Sneaky Space Robbers: Did you really just put your jacket on the back of my seat? Really? Oh, it’s going down…
34. Hair Flickers: I’ve lost count of the amount of times someone’s unruly barnet has ended up in my face
35. Umbrellas: At outdoor gigs, we mean. What, so you thought security always confiscate them at the gates? Nope, not always. Just bring a raincoat.
36. Chair Confusion: When a complete stranger swipes your seat and tries to tell you that you’re the one in the wrong row. Eejits.
37. Ole, Ole, Ole: Ah, stop.
38. Grumpy Punters: “It was good, but they didn’t play (insert obscure fan favourite here)”.
39. The Social Media Check-In: Because it’s not enough for people to enjoy a night out with their favourite band. They have to tell their online buddies about it while the band is still playing.
40. Reviewers: Ugh, don’t you just hate them?