A disclaimer: live music is a wonderful thing. Gigs are, to borrow a phrase, the most fun you can have without laughing, and in many cases – if there’s a veritable wit onstage – you’ll be laughing too. But it’s not all singalongs and ‘face-melting’ solos. NME presents the 12 annoying things you see at every single gig ever.
1.) Bands playing the same encore every night
Guys, guys, there’s this thing called setlist.fm now. We know you gifted last night’s crowd with that little-known album track from your first record (too kind), and we suspect you’ll do the same tonight. Oh yes, we’re onto you.
2.) Encores in general
Actually, let’s condemn encores in general to Room 101. Why? The comedian Dylan Moran put it best on the DVD version of his 2004 stand-up show Monster: “It’s rubbish, isn’t it, all that pretending to go away thing. It’s like I’m back there on my knees going, ‘PLEASE JUSTIFY MY CHILDHOOD!’ How pathetic.”
3) Insanely expensive drinks
Unless you’ve had the misfortune of visiting London, you will find it very troubling indeed to pay north of fiver for flat, warm lager that you queued 20 minutes for. Still, Peace will probably be worth it.
4.) People throwing beige liquids
Hey you! You throwing the pint of piss to the front of the stage! You, my friend, are welcome only in Hell’s Portaloo, and you must lap from it forever and ever until the tears you weep back into the bowl are 90% piss. If you chuck a pint of lager you’re getting at least a dirty look.
5.) Idiots wearing massive backpacks
You staying at The 02 Academy for the weekend or something mate?
6.) Bands that don’t play the hits
Look, here’s a trade: I’ll pay 20 quid into your gig, drop the same amount on a few shit beers, dodge a dickhead with a backpack and endure your obscure-B-side-packed encore, and in return you can do a couple of the hits. Deal?
7.) Couples that snog in public when there really isn’t too much space for snogging
Love is a beautiful thing. Your horrifying tongue-mouth mash-up, like a snail trying to crawl back into its shell, is not a beautiful thing.
8.) Idiots who spill your drink
Oh thanks, Mr. Bean, I just paid north of a fiver for this flat, warm beer.
9.) Idiots who get annoyed when you spill their drink
It is very crowded in here, there are a lot of people and not much space and some of these people are actually quite rowdy. GIVE ME A BREAK.
10.) Tall people who block your view
Pros of being tall: a general sense of authority; the ability to pick low-hanging fruit; basketball is a genuine source of fun; you always get a good view at gigs. Cons of being tall: everyone behind you wants something terrible to happen to you.
11.) Filming shoddy footage on phones and – worse – tablets
Are you the kind of person who films gigs on an iPhone? Like, what do you do with the footage? Stick it on YouTube? Serious question: Why? There’s no Oscar for Best Shaky Footage Of The Backs of People’s Heads and it’s probably not gonna become a break-out indie hit. It’s so weird when you look at people’s photos of gigs and it’s just other people holding their cameras aloft like some nightmarish musical hall of mirrors. And if you’re filming on your iPad, do yourself a favour and make it a selfie, then scribble yourself out like that bit in The Talented Mr. Ripley.
The worst kinds of hecklers are the ones who think they’re being funny or chummy with the band. Pipe down, dickhead.