Concert Stage Fright

I was a teenage mom, so I spent my high school years changing diapers and watching Sesame Street. As a result, I missed the whole “going to a concert” event that, I guess, is some rite of passage into adulthood. During these concerts, certain behaviors are taught that I never had the chance to learn.


(I might not have been cool, but I did know my ABCs.)

Now that I’m much older, those rock bands from my youth are touring again. Journey (to the rest home), Styx (slowly traveling to the underworld), Kiss (your youth good-bye) and (rusty) Metallica are all making their comebacks–and by “comebacks” I mean performing in concerts sponsored by Viagra.

I’ve had the chance to attend a couple of concerts, but because I never learned those concert behaviors, I feel out of sync with the rest of the crazed (and grayed) attendees. Granted, Richard Marx and Kenny Loggins aren’t exactly the type of rock star where I can throw my underwear on stage (because my granny panties would smother any person they landed on) but I can still rock with the best of them, as long as I take ibuprofen two hours before the event.


(Kenny Loggins concert. After a certain age, everything is a Danger Zone.)

So maybe you experienced concert goers can give me some answers to the following questions:

1. When it comes to clapping along to the beat, how long do I clap, and how do I gracefully stop clapping after I realize I’m the only one still clapping? Do I clap for the entire song? Just for the chorus? Or should I sit with my arms crossed and watch in disdain as others clap?

2. What’s the purpose for the encore? How arrogant do you have to be to run off the stage and wait for thunderous applause before finishing your concert? We  know you’re going to do more songs. You’re wasting our time.

3. Why do musicians take a perfectly good 4-minute song, and turn it into a 15-minute remix,  complete with extended guitar riffs, never-ending chorus repeats and breaks for applause? I get it. Footloose was your crowning glory, but c’mon–I can barely tolerate the original length–don’t torture me with the uncut version.

4. What is the point of seeing rock stars “up close and personal” when I’m too far away to see anything. For all I know, I just paid $60 to watch an impersonator doing a 45-minute show.

5. Why should I pay for tickets when, for the cost of admission, I could buy the musician’s complete album collection, and listen to the songs more than once? A free iTunes album download should come with each ticket purchase.

I guess I missed the boat when it comes to age-appropriate concert revelry. But it’s okay. I heard Herman’s Hermits is touring, and they’re just grateful people show up.

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