Heavy metal is often said to be an outlet for aggression and frustration. That’s spot on, especially if you’re talking about going to live shows. Cause the main thing you need to know about live gigs is that it’s the law of the jungle – survival of the fittest.
And metalheads have definitely embraced the idea of gender equality too – because they don’t give a fuck if you’re a girl, they will gladly punch you, kick you, try to climb on you – whatever it takes to get you to move. Don’t expect being treated like a lady at a rock concert, you’re gonna get the same shit as any guy, if not worse. Take it or leave it.
But having been a rocker all my life, it’s not like I haven’t learned how to deal with these things. Bring it on.
A friend of mine told me about her experience at a Pretty Maids concert in Copenhagen the other night.
[Axl Rose gets pissed at random crowd-assholes: “You’re fucking up other people’s show!”]
“Their fans seem to consist of giant six-foot guys who haven’t been taught by their mothers to behave nicely. I tried to stay upright but the stage was just two inches high and the dude was hanging with his entire weight on me. I know he was aiming for the “little blonde slender lady” at the front cause he thought it would be a piece of cake to get her to move. Well – wrong bitch!
He tried every trick in the book to get me to move and when I fought back he gave me the kind of look that said “if you can’t take the pressure, get the fuck out”. So at some point while he was hung over me, I took the opportunity to lean on the monitor for support, then I reached back, streched and grabbed his family jewels – and TWISTED for all I was worth!
When I turned around his cocky face had vanished and he was staring at me with astonishment and probably pain – and what do you know. He left to find somebody else to bother!
I can accept those who are there to jump, scream and have a good time, but these assholes who are consciously trying to hurt others to give up their spot – THAT I will NOT accept!”
I know the feeling. Things that you would never do in any other situation, you will find yourself doing at a rock concert. And it feels good, because you don’t have to feel bad about it – those assholes are asking for it. I’m sure we’ve all been there. There’s always one or a few of those airheads at every show. To quote Dave Mustaine at a Megadeth concert at the Hard Rock Caf’e in Las Vegas, who pointed at a fan and said: “There is an asshole in every crowd. Guess you just volonteered!”
[Another yell-at-fashole fan incident: Megadeth-Mustaine vs The Laser Kid]
Brings me back to a W.A.S.P concert a few years ago when me and my friend Henny were standing in the front and some drunken tool decided that we had taken “his” spot. He was doing everything to get us to move and he just wouldn’t stop. Henny got pissed off and stomped on his toes with her high heel boots for all she was worth (man, it hurt just to SEE it, I can only imagine how it felt when that this pierced the dude’s toes!).
But he was too high on something to let that stop him, so I found myself doing something I’d never done before (and probably won’t try again) – I thrusted back my head, full force and hit him right in the face. Nice headbutt, it even ached in MY head, I honestly didn’t dare to turn around to see what that did to the dude. Must have broken his nose or kicked out a few teeth, I don’t know. All I know is that after that – the torture stopped!
[Dave Grohl: Hey, you motherfucker in the striped shirt! Get the fuck out of my show right now!]
It’s not like you would EVER do anything like that in ANY other situation. But sometimes it just feels like you have the right to do it.
Some bands have asshole crowds, more than others. Motley Crue is one of those bands. Their audience isn’t exactly the civilized kind – and by that I mean that eventhough there is always pressure in every front-row situation, some people are easier to deal with than others.
Even the Slayer-fans were nicer. It was HELL standing in the Slayer-crowd at Graspop, but two guys actually let me come between them so I could lean on the barricade. Would NEVER happen with any Nikki Sixx-fanatic, that’s for sure.
[Henry Rollins beats up a fan who’s being a pain in the ass]
Whitesnake-fans are great, mostly people who are there to have a good time, sing along, jump or headbang to their favorite songs, whatever, but basically, it’s a cool crowd. You don’t have to worry about being beaten up. The worst assholes don’t listen to Whitesnake. Thank god.
It can be annoying, cause fans who are in the front row have been standing somewhere for hours just to be first in line to secure that front row spot. So when some smelly idiot, who just got in (cause he was busy getting drunk somewhere), starts making trouble, it’s simply not something you are willing to put up with.
I don’t have a problem with fans going wild and crazy at a concert because they love the music. That goes with the territory, go ahead, go nuts, it’s what we’re all here for! But THOSE types whose mission in life is to create trouble, deserve whatever they get!
And just cause I’m a girl doesn’t mean that I don’t have a few tricks up my sleeve. Just TRY to move me..:! In the 27 years I’ve been going to gigs, that has never happened. And believe me – it never will. I don’t care if you’re 6 foot tall and weigh a ton. I ain’t moving.
When I got back from the W.A.S.P shows on the Helldorado tour, I had bruises all over my body. I was green, yellow, purple, black, blue….. At every show there was “one of those” types trying to get me to move. Over my dead body! And well, it wasn’t far from it! :)
[Carries on playing, like a boss…]
Another annoying thing, while I’m at it, is people who are trying to tell you what rock’n’roll is. I’m sorry, but I feel that at this point in my life, I certainly don’t need some little dweeb telling ME what rock’n’roll is!
Like pretty recently, when H.E.A.T played in Malmo, I was in the front taking pics, filming a bit, minding my own business. Suddenly somebody behind me started pulling my hair (wtf?!?!).
When I turned around, there was some chick with a bad “trendy” haircut, glasses and a ruffled blouse (!) yelling: “Come on! Dance! It’s rock’n’roll”.
Oh please. That wasn’t even worth a response. Some chick who is at her first concert this year, is trying to educate me in what to do at a concert?! I overheard her yelling to her friend with her screechy annoying voice “why are they in the front?”. BECAUSE WE GOT HERE BEFORE YOU, bitch!
Nobody was stopping miss Ruffle to get in the front row, stop whining.
[“You just fuckin’ pushed my grump-button!”]
Besides, what people do at a show is nobody’s business, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else. I was a bit surprised at Bruce Dickinson’s reaction to some fan in the crowd who was texting throughout the whole gig. I mean, yeah okay, might not be overly “rock’n’roll” but the dude paid for his ticket!
Even if he wants to go in there and take a fucking NAP it’s still his business. Paying for a concert ticket doesn’t mean that you are obliged to act a certain way. Again – do whatever you want as long as you’re not bothering somebody else. Pretty much the same rules that apply outside a concert arena.
[“Oh, for fuck’s sake, the man the white shirt, you’ve been texting for the last fucking three songs! You’re a wanker!”]
I’ve been asked a few times how I can experience a show “properly” if I’m standing with a camera in my hands. Well, first of all, I see the show even BETTER through the camera because I can zoom up close with it – kind of like using binoculars at the opera.
Secondly, if I like a band, I want good footage of them as it’s a PR-thing for the band as well to have good quality videos on YouTube as opposed to the awful, crappy cellphone versions with bad audio. Thirdly, I can always go back and re-live my memories anytime I want by watching those videos.
Also, it depends what kind of band it is. If it’s AC/DC it’s just a party and I might want to jump and go wild for a few songs and THEN do the photo-thing. Other bands are more the kind where I’m STUDYING and listening carefully. It’s nedy but after thousands of shows, you just get a little less nuts at gigs, as you’ve seen so much already.
It’s harder to get the same kind of kicks that you did back when you were a teen. I experience live gigs differently. Firewind for instance, that I’ve seen a million times now – I still find little bits and pieces in their music that I haven’t noticed before and it’s just a cool feeling to “suddenly” discover that eventhough you’ve heard the songs so many times before.
Live and let live. Go to shows, get wild, have a good time, sing along, do your headbanging or your jumping, whatever makes you feel good – or be a nerd and be just a spectator (even if you want to text people or update your Twitter or Facebook-status during the show) go the fuck ahead! It’s 2013 and the rules for how to behave at a rock concert have changed. And if you’re one of those “complimentary assholes”, you’re only going to get what you deserve….!