Concert Foul No. 61: Being The Guy Who Talks Endlessly About a Band's Gear During Their Set

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ou know this guy, but you don't usually know his name. Chances are good you've heard and seen him.

And, uh, it is always a guy. Never a female by my experience.

Anyway, right before a band he's about to see plays their set, he gets a close look at the band's equipment and his mind starts to race. 

Talking to his friend next to him, things get rolling. Shortly thereafter, you witness this Clark Kent transform into The Guy Who Talks Endlessly About a Band's Gear During Their Set. 

His super power is being able to ruin a concert experience.

Let's be careful here: It's not necessarily a concert foul when one guy says to the other in passing, "Hey, that's a nice Ibanez guitar!" or "Is that a Big Muff pedal?" 

No, things go afoul when this dude decides to prolong the conversation. Unfortunately for you and everyone around you, the conversation doesn't stop when the band starts playing. And it doesn't help that the guy sounds more and more like he's full of shit the longer he talks. 

Imagine trying to enjoy a band's set. You're taking everything in -- the band's performance, the audience reaction, the balance of sound and visuals, the general vibe in the room. And then you hear a one-sided, shouted conversation going on behind you that might sound like this: 

Guy: "Jesus, those tubes in his Marshall amp are humming like a motherfucker! He's just ripping on that Les Paul! And those Ernie Ball strings bend soooo fuckin' well! And listen to his processor! Digital tone gold!" 
Guy's Friend: "Yeah..." 

Listen: there's nothing wrong with being into equipment. Far from it. The thing is, not many people go to your average live show and want to talk shop. There are guitar expos every once in a while for that sort of thing. And there's always Guitar Center, too. 

As understanding and friendly as people can be, there is a grating feeling when these one-sided conversations continue at a show. 

Let's face it: Equipment doesn't necessarily make a musician play better. Endlessly babbling BS about equipment doesn't make the show a better experience either. 

Even if the dude does know what he's talking about, is it too much to ask for brevity with the shop talk?

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Don't hate on a fan or musician for geeking out over gear. I do that shit to this day, and I'm 40.

Except for going on and on about someone else's gear. That's almost as bad as a Trekkie at a con. (ahemLaura).


Unless you know that a particular artist has a string endorsement deal, you wouldn't know what they are using, (unless it's a bass player using DR Black Beauties - what I use, or Dean Markley Blue Steels back in the day, which had light blue twine at the headstock end. Not sure if Boomers still have the red twine, haven't used them in over 20 years).

People who geek out over this are gear whores/junkies, we appreciate and notice these types of differences and subtle nuances.

No, having badass equipment doesn't make you a badass. It does show that you know what you want out of your sound, though.

Get over it.

Fucking critics, jeezus.


I have attended hundreds and hundreds of shows (I'm old) and have never heard band equipment guy/girl.  I didn't know this specimen existed but I'll be on the look out for one from now on.  I must experience the complete DC9 concert foul list or my life will be for nothing.


Yeah, because you can spot brand of strings from the audience... *rolls eyes*


Who ever said, "that's a nice Ibanez guitar?"  Were you at a Steve Vai concert?


ahem, girl who commits that foul often is right here.  I'll elbow people out of my way to get a look at the headstock of a mysterious guitar, and will go on and on about it.  I'm annoying as shit about that at concerts, and I am a girl.

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