Rock It: 5 Things you should never do at a rock concert

Posted on November 13, 2013


Rock It: 5 Things you should never do at a rock concert

(Graphic by Thomas Maxfield/Journal & Courier)

(Graphic by Thomas Maxfield/Journal & Courier)

By Rachael Mattice

Is “rule breaker” one of your nicknames? Even if you enjoy bending the obligations of society and rock out to songs about freedom, anarchy and fighting the law, there are still rules to follow in the most common stick-it-to-the-man atmosphere – rock concerts.

Being conscientious about each rock genre’s rules is not mandatory, but paying attention to the behavior of the communities will save you embarrassment and will enhance some of the best nights of your life.

Here are a few codes of conduct:

* Don’t use sign language for “love” instead of the rock fist/devil horns

Correct usage of the rock fist is a necessity to avoid being laughed at or elbowed. This means pulling your thumb in and turning your fist outward toward the stage. Not only does the rock fist fuel the band’s energy, thereby pumping more of their luscious sound into your ears, it’s the signature to a society. Atmosphere also should be considered: Put up the rock fist at a dubstep, country or even Fall Out Boy show, and you will be violating the creed.

* Don’t wear sandals

Normally, boots or Converse are flaunted at rock shows, because metal shows are rowdy. You will fall, slip or get stomped on, causing enormous pain that nobody will notice because of the congestion and deafening noise.

In most cases, you will be standing for hours, so being comfortable is vital. Don’t wear your new kicks, either, unless you enjoy beer-splattered leather.

Most rock concerts will have women standing on the side or in the back by the bar in high heels, but everyone knows they aren’t there for the music, so their excuses for footwear can be dismissed.

* Don’t push your way to the front

Even though it may seem acceptable to push and shove at a rock concert, there are still guidelines. If it is general admission, the people at the front near the gates have earned that hard-to-hold spot. They claimed that small space by squatting all day in front of the doors.

If you try to push your way up, most people will swear, shove you back and throw whatever liquid they have at you. If you are late, you will have to stand in the back. On the bright side, you’re closer to the bar.

* Don’t complain loudly about one of the bands

Maybe you heard a band is horrible live, or perhaps they skipped your favorite song. People paid money, some may have traveled hours, taken off of work, could be on an anniversary or have been wanting to see an artist for more than a decade. If you openly complain about a band, you will be an extreme Negative Nancy with tattooed rockers glaring at you for ruining their planned entertainment.

* Don’t be on your phone the entire time

. If you try to take a million pictures you are taking a risk of shattering your expensive smartphone, because there will be moshing. You won’t always see when people are sneaking up from crowd surfing behind you, making it a hazard to your head and your phone.

It’s pretty exciting to post an update to social media before the show with your friends, but the people who check Facebook and Twitter are looked down upon in every day life, it’s 10 times worse when you are trying to experience thunderous music.

What are other “don’ts” you would add to the list?

Mattice is a producer and music journalist for the Journal & Courier. She can be reached at or on Twitter @RachaelM_JC.

Posted in: "Rock It" Column