Concert Foul No. 4: The Front Row Beer Mule

Don't be a jackass.
It's a big night. One of your favorite bands of all-time is in a venue small enough to where you can be closer to them than you had ever imagined.

You're not up front, but damn it, you're close enough and you're ready for the show to begin.

Sure, rock shows can be rowdy, and you're cool with that. Hell, most rock shows are downright boring without a bit of raucousness rolling around you.

So, bring it on, right?

Absolutely. Until, that is, you hear a seemingly innocuous phrase, followed by a not-so-subtle shove from the back -- and for the third time in less than an hour.

"Hey, man, need to get by."

Perhaps that sounds innocent enough, given the cramped quarters of the club. But it's highly offensive at this point. The show's already started.

It's made worse when you can't help but notice that the guy toting yet another armload of beer has been making this regular trek from perhaps the best spot in the house -- front and center.

Might as well be sitting on the stage itself.

But that's not enough. He's got to run back and forth to the bar all night.

The Front Row Beer Mule is a walking, bumping, agitating concert foul unto itself.

As the night goes on, the Front Row Beer Mule makes even more trips to the bar for beers and defiantly returns to his coveted spot each time. And, like clockwork, he tries to force himself between your shoulder and the shoulder of the other victim to your immediate left.

It is then that he acts one of two ways: Either the Beer Mule proceeds as though it's the first time he's done this and therefore it must be completely cool (even though it's not), or he attempts to make a joke out of it with a feeble "It's me again!"

But rarely is the Front Row Beer Mule apologetic. Rarely does one possess much of a clue at all, actually.

Here's the thing: Such servitude and sacrifice to a group of friends might be commendable in another scenario, but not here.

It happens at all kinds of shows. I saw it myself at recent Mumford & Sons and Social Distortion gigs, each of which was at the House of Blues, each of which was crowded.

Look: No one's suggesting that everyone have their own special little protective force field to repel the fingerprints of strangers at packed-out club shows. No.

Like every other concert foul, it's just a question of simple consideration.

But, in the Front Row Beer Mule's case, it's his repeated lack of consideration that makes the him a slightly far greater threat than even the dreaded Hot Girls Holding Hands as They Cram Their Way to the Front of The Stage Right As the Show's Beginning. (Yeah, that title needs some work).

Here's the thing, Front Row Beer Mule: When you grab a prime slice of real estate for a sold-out show, you're making a trade-off. You should know that your ability to hoist multiple drinks into the direction of the lead singer's microphone will be supplanted by a kick-ass concert experience that only a few in the sardine-packed room get to enjoy.

And that's pretty amazing.

Next time, Front Row Beer Mule, let that be enough.

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To me this is worse: Hot Girls Holding Hands as They Cram Their Way to the Front of The Stage Right As the Show's Beginning.

At least the beer mule got there early. The people that wait until the show starts and try to knock you over getting to the front need to be bopped on the head.

N. Disbelief
N. Disbelief

Nope.  Totally wrong.  The "beer mule" is not a "beer mule".  The "beer mule" is a guy (or girld)  who wants a beer who is trying as hard as he can to be considerate and as small an interference as possible.  He and his group were there first.  They sell beer at the HOB, and the guy is thirsty for beer at one or more points during a 2 hour show.

Sorry, but this is SO wrong I am actually commenting.  I have been to shows at the HOB where the HOB will send in 2 waitresses into the middle of GA trying to peddle a bucket full of heinekins and Miller Lites instead of having people leave GA and go to the bar and that is a way bigger interference than a guy trying to get back to his spot with a beer in his hand for himself and a friend.  Then, you go on to say that you place the 4 cute girls that magically start working their way to the rail about 4 minutes before the headliners start as being less of a group of a-holes than the guy who is thirsty but considerate enough to bring back beers for folks in his group?

I get it, you go to a show and you are on the job so you can't drink.  Most of us are there to have fun.  If you want to avoid this problem: Next time, go to a non-alcoholic show or sit in reserved upstairs seating.  It's real nice up there, if you pay the extra 25 bucks it turns out you are still really close to the stage and the beer mule won't bug you - and you won't bug the beer mule either. 

Or, maybe you could talk to the HOB and see if they would close all their bars at the beginning of the show so that it just eliminate's the problem altogether.

Good luck with any of those.


Even in non-pit SRO situations, this is a lose-lose scenario.

Beer mule will glare at whomever dare bump into his Barkely-like horizontal elbows, and God-forbid make him spill.

Hey Jackhole, why not drink a drink, or something heavier than a beer that has to have TWO "this is finally cold enough to choke down" labels??  That might limit your trips.

However, it is my fervent wish that Beermule and Cellphone Cameraperson bang into each other all night, rendering the upheld cell phone drenched into uselessness.


ugh, totally. I don't understand why it's so hard to get sauced before a show if you want to be front and fucking center. Wanna drink during a show? hang out in the back where you're not in everyone's way. It's even worse when the Beer Mule starts slopping brew all over the place.


Couldn't agree more.  You can't have it all.  If you're going to be running to the bar every ten minutes, a spot directly in front of the stage probably isn't for you.  

Also, something tells me that there's a lot of overlap with these concert fouls.  These aren't mutually exclusive groups.

Kelly D.
Kelly D.

I hear you, LR. And for the record: The Hot Girl bum-rush to the front is a foul, period. It does suck. I intended to explain that I basically think that foul is a first (yet slightly less troubling) cousin to the Front Row Beer Mule.

Welcome to Reality
Welcome to Reality

You think you're being considerate, but you're just a nuisance.  There's plenty of time in between bands to go to the bar, get your beers, and go rejoin your group.  Most bands, excluding the headliner, play at the most for one hour.  If you must drink more than one drink in that hour you should reconsider your alcohol intake.  If you must get a drink while the headliner is playing you should not be attending the show.  You clearly have no idea how to enjoy yourself at a show.  It's about the music not getting drunk.  Drunks in general ruin concerts.

Kelly D.
Kelly D.

N. Disbelief - I go to shows to have fun, whether I'm "on the job" or not. I also go to shows and have a drink or eight, so that argument's useless. The reason I place the Beer Mule ahead of the hot girls making their way to the stage (which I indicated is also a concert foul), is because the Mule repeats his offense many times, and the hot girl train is not a recurring trend through the night, typically.

Also, the Beer Mules I'm referring to aren't "trying as hard has can to be considerate." The being exactly the opposite, which is why they're a pain in so many asses, not just mine, homey.

Please take note of what I actually wrote: I enjoy the rowdiness of a rock show. I like being close to the stage. I think the balcony at the HoB looks hopelessly boring and it's comical that so many spend extra money to be bored up there. No joke: At a Ryan Bingham show in Nov of 2009, a guy was actually asleep as he sat up there.

Don't ignore a good chunk of the post in order to make your point.

The Beer Mule that doesnt care about bugging the shit out of other people sucks.

Billy Blanks
Billy Blanks

Beer slopping is the worst!! You know it's just gonna end up on "Hot Girls Holding Hands as They Cram Their Way to the Front of The Stage Right As the Show's Beginning" shoes. But she only knows this is a concert foul because she's been disturbed at the center of her little universe, where no one's thoughts or feelings matter except for her and the singer she wants to bone. How dare the Beer Mule disturb that enchanted moment!!

N. Disbelief
N. Disbelief

this may be the lead story for tomorrow's firstworldpains tweet.  if not, then for sure its when they sell out of chocolate/coconut at sprinkles before 2 when I am the next person in line

Kelly D.
Kelly D.

Sorry for my typos above. I'm at a show and a stupid Beer Mule just bumped my elbow

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