Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: What happened to show etiquette? Navigating concerts as we return to pre-pandemic habits

Picture an artist playing their music for a crowd of phones. The young concertgoers learned about the artist online and thus must share their experience on social media. They leave the venue asking, “is that all it is? Was this even fun?” 

The world is still shaken up from a pandemic that started almost three years ago now. An unexpected effect of COVID-19 is that most young people haven’t learned the do’s and don'ts of the concert experience. Instead of calling those kids posers, I’d rather ask local bands what they think. 

The main conclusion boils down to respect and safety. 

“I’m personally cool with people doing whatever they want at shows as long as it’s respectful,” Caleb Russell, member of Yeti Gamble, said. “Just [do] whatever you personally want to do to enjoy the music the most.” 

The vast majority of shows end up with a mosh pit front and center, with participants throwing themselves around to the music. Usually, this is a fun, fast and feverish experience, but it can end up rather painfully if you enter uneducated. According to Arnold & Itkin Trial Lawyers, the four golden rules of the mosh pit are as follows: treat each other with respect, don’t pull unsuspecting people in, pick people up as soon as they fall down and make yourself aware of the exit points. 

Indy-based band Callejera have a lot to say about moshing. As their guitarist Jimmy Raymundo puts it, “Don’t target people away from the mosh.” Better yet, their other guitarist Tom Kitchel implores moshers to stop throwing elbows in the pit, as there are “too many sucker punches at shows.” As always, violence is never a good way to end a night, especially not at a show. 

Related: [COLUMN: Fresh finds: new music, TV and movies to ring in the new year]

Just like any event in college, shows are a great way to meet new people. Putting down the phone and picking up a conversation can be scary, but it’s worth it. Even if socializing isn’t your thing, standing in a corner and really listening to the music can put you in a whole new world. 

“For me, I like shows a lot because I go completely alone,” Russell said. “I’m not one for socializing as much as just staying in a spot, closing my eyes and just trying to feel the band’s vibrations in my body.” 

And boy, can you feel those vibrations.  

As the nights turn colder, more shows move inside. Earplugs will save anyone from horrible ringing the following days and will help decipher the music the bands are playing. It’s worth it to reiterate that safety comes first. 

The spirit of the shows is to have fun.  

“Everyone at our shows should have fun, whatever that looks like for you,” Tyler Eubanks, guitarist of Callejera, said. “[Do] not be afraid to go insane, as long as you’re respectful of [the] space you’re in.” 

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