By Melody Bishop
Elm Staff Writer

Whether it’s at a private venue or a music festival, concerts are often a welcome break from the day-to-day grind, a near-religious experience even. They give us something to look forward to and later, something to talk about. To ensure the story you later relate to your friends is that of a good concert experience, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Don’t: Dress up like you would for a Saturday night out
Maybe there are some concerts where this type of attire isn’t entirely inappropriate, but for the ones I’ve gone to, it just looks silly. The artist isn’t going to look down from the stage, notice you all dolled up, and fall madly in love or something, so scrap that delusion right now. Keep it simple. Often a t-shirt and jeans will suffice. If you’re constantly tugging and pulling on a too-tight, too-short dress or fretting over how much your eyeliner might be running, you aren’t enjoying the show. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice; I would even encourage you to do so. But remember that you are there to see a show, not necessarily to be seen yourself.

Do: Dress appropriately for the weather and venue
Keep in mind the type of crowd for the show you’re going to. Will they be moshing, or will they be calmly listening? Choose footwear appropriate to the type of crowd you anticipate, and wear enough clothing to cover the parts of you that you wouldn’t want other people bumping into. Also, for outside venues and festivals, you really have to be prepared for unpredictable weather, even if the forecast is clear. If there is any chance of rain, wear something you don’t mind getting wet.

Don’t: Be a pushy jerk
This one is pretty simple; no one likes that guy/girl shoving his/her way through everyone to get a spot at the front, so don’t be that person. Some people have either paid more or waited at the venue a longer time to get the as close as they have, and they’ve earned it. Don’t be the jerk who takes that away from them.

Do: Get there early for a good spot
This mainly applies to concerts that have general admission or general seating within sections. To avoid being the aforementioned pushy jerk but still get a place closer to the stage, show up before or right when doors open. You don’t need to be the overly devoted person who camps out by the door all night, but how long you’re willing to wait before a show correlates pretty directly with how close to the stage you’ll end up.

Don’t: Be stuck behind your camera/phone the whole time
Not only does this bother the people right behind you who can’t see around your screen, but this also distracts you from enjoying the show in the moment. The show won’t sound anywhere near as good on playback as it did live, and neither will your thousands of pictures capture the full impact of the show as much as taking it all in while you’re there will.

Do: Take a few pictures as souvenirs
While you don’t want to have a screen between you and the stage for the whole show, it isn’t a bad idea to take a few pictures just to remember the experience later. More importantly, take a picture with the friends you go to the show with; you never know where life will take you afterward or who you might not see again.

The most important thing to remember about going to concerts is that you should have fun. So keep these tips in mind, but it comes down to doing what you feel will allow you to have the best experience possible.

The Elm

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