5 Ways to Show Absolutely No Class at a Gig

There are a lot of ways to be a jerk at a gig: spit on the crowd, get drunk and punch somebody, steal gear, but those are the obvious ones. If you’re partaking in such behavior then you’re likely proud of your jerkdom. You probably have a badge or some shit to make it official.

But you know what’s worse? Folk who have no idea that every other band at the show is giving them dirty looks. The mindless, the inconsiderate; those rockstars who bend the rules just enough to make life difficult for everyone else on the bill, yet don’t even realize it. So here’s a couple schmuck moves that, if they’re your modus operandi, please just stop right now before we have to have a more serious sit-down.

Packing up Your Cymbals on Stage

Look, here’s the thing about cymbals: they’re not particularly heavy. Those thin discs of bronze alloy do not add significant weight to the stands or rack that they’re resting on. So just lift that shit as is and haul it right off. You can meticulously unscrew your wing nuts afterwards and save the rest of the musicians on the bill what feels like years of their lives.

Packing up Your Drums on Stage

This is so, so much worse that taking your cymbals off of the stands while you’re still occupying the riser like an entrenched, losing army. When a drummer lugs their drum gig bags/cases or hardware coffin in front of the riser, the collective eye roll from every other band performing is likely to sprain optic nerves. I don’t care if your shells are oil-stained exotic bubinga: there’s 10-20 minutes allotted for a changeover and that time cannot be spent twiddling our thumbs and growing our beards as you baby your vintage Rogers snare into its protective womb.

Hogging the Merch Table

Yes, all of the artwork on your black sea of t-shirts is mad sick. Oh, you have a head hooker on this one because your lyrics totally get into the headspace of a sociopath. That’s… great. You know who the real sociopath is: you, for spreading out your 12 designs over the two small-ass tables that three bands are supposed to be sharing.

Borrowing a Speaker Cable and Forgetting to Give it Back

Dude, what the fuck? Did you think the sound travels from my head to my cabinet by way of magic?

Planing a 33 Minute Set When You’ve Been Allotted 30 Minutes, and Then Stretching It to 37, and Then Playing an Encore

First of all, you kind of guessed at your song lengths, and your guesses were all too short. And then your rounded the seconds down. And then you forgot to account for the 2 minutes where you’re thanking the crowd for supporting you all of those years and introducing your 5th new bassist, or the 3 minutes when you announced the release date of your new album and rambled about the hard work and dedication it took to put it together. And you really didn’t want to play that one last song but that Devildriver cover is so wicked (“people always told me I sound just like Dez”) and the five people in front of the crowd kind of pretty much were calling out for it. Besides, I heard the next band kind of sucks, some art metal bullshit.

Written by

Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.