A few weeks ago, I invited my family out to a battle of the bands. The winners of these competitions are usually based off of ticket sales and crowed response, so I corralled the biggest mouths I know: My big, fat Irish family! They are so cool, I got my own mother and most of my siblings to come out and support my husband. This local band business is not their conventional scene. The dark, dirty bars are not where they usually flock, so you can imagine how out of their elements they were (let alone the time it took them to recover from the loud, late night out). I thought it would be fun to get their help for this week’s blog, and I asked them to compile a list of things they wish they would have known going in or what they learned from their first local rock show experience.
The first tip comes from my sister in law: remember gum because you are going to be drunk face talking all night. It is so loud at these shows and with the drinks flowing and good vibes with loved ones you have so much to say, you have to yell your heavy, beer breath right in their faces to be heard. Sure, you try to turn your head to the ear so you aren’t being too violating but it doesn’t always work, a stick of gum or two will conveniently fit in your back pocket and save you loads of offensiveness.
Speaking of slipping things in your back pockets: our second tip, do not take what you cannot fit in your pockets. I take my phone, ID, and cash, that is all. Do you really want to carry around a purse all night? It gets annoying, these places aren’t sit at a table all night places, you will be up and around. Do yourself a favor and pack light.
Our third tip goes right along with packing light: The last show was on a brisk Michigan winter evening, I mean wind chills in the negatives. Errbody was wearing a coat and these venues are usually right under the level of class that would have a coat check. Being the friendly merch bitch I was I let everyone load and unload their coats behind my table. Never again! By the end of the night I had about thirty coats stuffed under my feet, digging through them to get to the merch. Nope! If you are not brave enough to bear the cold, carry your own coat all night (ok, I might be a little lenient on this one, but only for my favorite people).
Next topic: foot wear. I see so many girls hiking up flights of stairs, and down city blocks in their stilettos and dresses. They all look good, but dang, we got rockin’ to get to, and there ain’t no time for that. Maybe when I was younger I would have been able to work it but now there is more important business to attend to.
Then there is the matter of Cashola rolla: bring your dollar bills. There will be shirts and CD’s and hats and all kinds of goodies you will want to purchase from your favorite bands you see that night. I know there is a lot of new technology that helps us use our cards everywhere but it is simpler and there are no processing fees. Also, do you really want to trust the bar to keep your tab?
There was some other tips thrown out there, ear plugs, throat lozenges for screaming all night… maybe some Geritol, just in case, but that is only for the old, lame people. In all seriousness, though, I couldn’t ask for a more cooperative and fun family. They all had a blast and I think I may have created a few new followers (until I talk them into going to back to back shows with me). So when you go to a show, make sure you are prepared for an amazing time, get ready for some rockin’ and enjoy yourselves because that is the greatest expectation of any show you attend.