Concert Characters

May 21, 2008
By Averi Israel, Charlotte, NC

Music. It relaxes, clarifies, refreshes, excites, relieves, and makes “the world go round.” Music lovers around the world anticipate certain special nights throughout the year with great joy, concert dates. Concerts draw a wide spectrum of personalities into arenas, theatres, amphitheaters, warehouses, parks, and basements, all of whom venture to perceive the blasting of sweet melodies for their own unique reason. However the spectrum of these concert-going personalities best falls into four distinct categories: the namedroppers, the diehards, the tagalongs, and the grateful.
The Namedroppers

“Yeah, I put up a $250 dollar bid to get front row tickets to the Beirut concert last night and Nicholas Petree gave me one of his drumsticks after the show and it was AMAZING!” You’ve seen them, the namedroppers. This group flocks to concert halls for the sole purpose of bragging about how they witnessed a live performance of band-X. Oblivious to the names of the band members and even the song titles of the band hosting the concert, the namedroppers care only about what their peers think of their “expensive” taste in music, constricted to mainstream pop, rock, or rap.
Fellow concertgoers easily pinpoint the name-droppers from within the concert crowd; they arrive at the venue decked out in their finest, sparkling, designer apparel, regardless of the music genre or size of the concert. For example, a girl in a hot pink track suit obnoxiously smacking on a wad of gum and holding up the security line at a Foo Fighters concert with her teacup Chihuahua and expensive box tickets, screams namedropper.
While at the concert, the namedroppers plaster on a fake smile, clap their hands, and mouth the words with such bravado that the offended diehards shake with fury.
The Diehards

Polar opposite the name-droppers and tagalongs lay the diehards. These dedicated fans obsess over music. Concerts dates equal holy days on their calendars. They humor all other spectators with their zeal for the performing band. They follow the band from venue to venue and wait in the parking lot after each show to take pictures with the band members. To those unfamiliar with their ways, the diehards often come across as intimidating and at times even mentally disturbed.
The diehards visit concert halls in small clusters of friends, all sporting identical homemade “I LOVE BAND-X” t-shirts. During the show, they belt every lyric at the top of their lungs, hand in hand with those sitting next to them, crying tears of joy by the climax of the band’s performance. The band consumes their lives, more so than the actual musicians in the band.
The Tagalongs

The tagalongs slink to concerts in order to uphold their reputations of “people pleasers.” Tagalongs loath concerts yet they allow their friends to drag them against their wills to concert venues.

Inside concert arenas, tagalongs jam their hands inside their pockets and trudge like shadows behind their friends through mazes of eager fans to their seats. When the band begins to perform, the tagalongs stand and sway awkwardly to the music, trying to disguise the fact that they despise attending concerts.
Every now and then, the tagalongs receive glances from their friends, inquiring with their eyes the tagalong’s approval of the band. In this instance, the tagalong routinely pauses from its methodical swaying to present a pretentious thumbs up to its posse.

If one spots a lone figure in sitting an arena lobby, hunched half awake in a chair, with headphones blaring classical music, they have most likely stumbled upon a tagalong, taking a break from the show that they have no desire to attend.
The Grateful

Separated from the name-droppers, diehards, and tagalongs are the grateful. The grateful account for the majority of concertgoers; they represent the “normal” people.
They flock to concert halls in small groups of friends in order to simply enjoy music together. During the show, they sing their favorite songs out loud, not with the adoration of the diehards, but with genuine respect and appreciation. When the show ends, they buy the CD of the opening band and souvenir t-shirts, but then the gratefuls move on.
They find new bands that they like, start listening to them, attend some of their concerts, and go home as the cycle repeats. They simply enjoy and are thankful for good music.

Everyone posses a unique concert quirk, whether extreme passionate singing or bragging about attending. What’s yours?

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