Published Feb 20, 2009Are you new to the music scene? Or more importantly, are you new to indie rock concert-going? If that was yes and yes, then do we ever have the perfect thing for you.
Over at eHow, the site's ever-knowledgeable contributors have assembled a step-by-step guide on how to attend an indie rock concert, covering everything from pre-show banter to wardrobe to looking like you could care less, even though you really do.
So check it out, indie rock greenhorns, and never feel out of place at a Death Cab show again!
How to Attend an Indie Rock Concert:
Step 1: Be knowledgeable about the band playing. Most every band have a MySpace music page; check out their profile before the show. Listen to the songs posted, and try to remember your favorite one. When (or if) they play it, you can turn to your friend/date/whomever and say, "this is my favorite song!" They'll be so impressed they'll think you've been doing this for years. Fun facts about the band never hurt either. For instance, while the band are setting up, you can make casual conversation by saying, "did you know the lead singer has been vegan for seven years?"
Step 2: Take your wardrobe into consideration. If you don't want to feel out of place, I'd skip the khakis and polo. Skinny legs and V-necks are musts at most shows. Bold colors work best (the more neon the better). Hair is usually dramatically swept to one side and disheveled. Flats and Chuck Taylors are the most acceptable footwear. As noted in the "Things You'll Need" section, accessories don't hurt. Scarves, chunky bracelets, facial piercings and sleeve tattoos are commonplace.
Step 3: Be organized and observant. Most concert-goers will have an "I don't care" feel to them but this is a lie, and a strategically practiced attitude. Have tickets (or money ready) well before the show and secure the location of the club or venue (it's always a good idea to call ahead and confirm when the band take the stage). Walk around the venue. Be sure to locate the bathroom, bar, merch table and band entrance (this may be the best place to catch a quick conversation). Avoid carrying a large bag/purse in with you, as you may not leave with it. Store all cell phones, cameras and cash in your pockets, and check them frequently.
Step 4: Show an appropriate amount of enthusiasm. As you will notice along the course of your indie rock concert adventure, the die-hards will push into front row and may form a mosh-pit. It is strongly advised to stay away from this area. The sides of the stage usually remain mellow, or the back of the venue may prove easier for conversation. Singing and dancing are encouraged to an extent, but this is not an NSync concert. Nod along and clap after songs; lighters and cell phones usually come out during slower numbers.
Step 5: Hang around after the show. The band will more than likely talk to fans afterwards. Walk around the venue outside; normally, word gets out where a band are greeting fans and a small dedicated group will already be gathered. This is your moment to observe and learn more about the scene, or even make new friends. Conversations with strangers prove easier when everyone is still on a post-concert high and anticipating meeting the band. If the band do come out, strike up an interesting conversation ("there's this great vegan restaurant downtown"). Some bands will hang out afterwards at bars, clubs or even house parties. Keep your ears and eyes open and you may be partying with the band that night. At that point: congratulations, you have successfully assimilated into the music scene.