Why Are there So Many Douchebags at Dallas Shows? A Simple Guide to Etiquette

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Ian Witlen
Remember, those are fellow humans you are crushing over what appears to be broken snacks.
It occurs to me that, at Dallas gigs, there are a greater than average number of people whom I would politely refer to as rapscallions. That is, they seem determined to waste the time, energy and patience of the average gig-going person like you or me with a series of tiresome antics. None of these people have the self-awareness that should be necessary to be allowed into heavily crowded public places.

I almost feel like some sort of test should be required. It could be a very simple test, using questions like "Given the idea that a person is standing directly behind you, is the appropriate course of action a) to throw your beer straight up in the air and shout 'WOO!', b) to jump around in the manner of a 5-year old who has had far too much Mountain Dew, c) consider switching from iPad to iPhone when recording the events occurring directly in front of you or d) to briefly consider their presence when performing an action that might inhibit their experience?"

A couple of examples I have witnessed in the area include a man simply trying to punch everyone in a Dillinger Escape Plan moshpit at the Prophet Bar (with a kind of whirling-arms motion and a glazed look in his eyes) before charging the stage to remonstrate with the keyboard player for playing a slower number. No, really. He reckoned without the DEP being double-hard, unfortunately, and the keyboard player tore his shirt clean off before throwing him back into the crowd. At that point the culprit was "escorted," shirtless, out of the venue by four members of the crowd, before the gig continued unabated.

My wife nearly got in a fight at the Palladium seeing Primus, after a particularly enthusiastic girl decided that the optimum place to jump and down would be her poorly protected foot. Rather than apologizing, the girl simply started shouting back, then hid behind her boyfriend. One friend of mine has got into fights that he didn't start at two Trees gigs in a row at which he was simply trying to stop other fights. Also at Trees, I saw one guy get punched after he took the somewhat questionable decision of dry-humping a large, hairy man who was leaning on the stage at the front. I have gone into circle pits simply to make them stop after they get out of control, I have had my view blocked by a million iPhones, I have sat next to people who talked loudly at plenty of seated gigs and I have had many, many drinks spilled on me. This is not to mention the people with the divine right to stand farther forward than you, who just simply push until you get out the way, and then stand directly in front of you.

So Dallas, what gives? Are all cities like this? Is my experience far away from the usual? Every time I go out, I know something like this is going to happen. I could be a magnet. And how do they work?

In honor of all the douchebags, there is a quick etiquette guide on the next page, so you too can not be a bastard.


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108 comments
ogenjr
ogenjr

Just having fun! If it were any were else, they would be killing each other for a piece of food


Melanie Woldt Cotter
Melanie Woldt Cotter

In Dallas people won't shut up, in LA people won't dance. Dallas has loud dancers apparently

hotdogthatshit
hotdogthatshit

I always record 30 seconds to a minute of a show depending on who's playing and what track it is, I have a terrible memory. 

I am also tall and try to be considerate so I will stand in out of the way places, the side the back etc.  The only time this changes is when I go to a show early so I can snag a particular spot and when I do this nothing is more annoying then people tapping my shoulder "um can we switch spots"  "um can you move back" "um can you stand over there?"   No, I'm not doing any of those things cause I paid for my ticket and got there at a reasonable time so I could stand where I want.  Piss off.

Otherwise yeah, you're pretty spot on.  Every time I see someone trying to start a fight at a Dallas venue its either SMU frat boy types or someone so drunk/drugged out that their eyes are glazed and they have that thousand yard stare.

Brian Breckenridge
Brian Breckenridge

I personally blame the parking meters and the homeless of Deep Ellum.

MaggieCassidy
MaggieCassidy

The problem is that you're talking about certain genres of music and certain venues that house a culture notorious for being rowdy. This isn't Dallas-specific.  The fact is that, when you go to these types of shows, people are going to do loud and stupid things. You can't go to a Dillinger Escape Plan concert and expect everyone to sit quietly in their seats, pleasantly enjoying the music. At places like Trees, where they normally have a metal-based line-up, you're going to see mosh pits. You're going to have tall people. You're going to see people throwing punches. That happens literally everywhere, not just Dallas.

If you go to a venue like the Kessler, where their line-up and clientelle is a lot more relaxed, or behaved, you will have a completely different experience. It's all about the TYPES of concerts you are going to. 

As for the phones? Anyone who thinks that it's just Dallas who records a concert with their crappy phone is sorely mistaken. You are going to see that at every concert, at every venue, with every type of audience. Even a Pat Metheny one, when Pat himself pleads the listeners to turn off their phones. 

To make a blind and sweeping statement about all of Dallas, their musicians, and their venues is not only uneducated, it's sad. There are so many great shows that you can enjoy here!

Joanna Jurgens
Joanna Jurgens

I think it happens in a lot of places. But it is exactly experiences like those mentioned that gave rise to us at Sofar Sounds: Dallas/Fort Worth. http://sofarsounds.com/ We run free shows in over 40 cities worldwide with the #1 rule being to respect the music. We love typical venue gigs, but sometimes it's nice to slow down and enjoy music with people who really care!

girlnextdoor
girlnextdoor

I can't even imagine the Kessler letting their patrons allowing people to act in an offensive manner. Last time I was at the Granada some random man sat at my table and drank my full cold beer.Management didn't seem to care. I really don't want to go back there again. 

Brian Harshaw
Brian Harshaw

Affliction t-shirts? Check. Popped collar polo shirts? Check. Dated tribal arm band tattoos? Check. Drinking crappy beer brewed in the state because it's cool. Check? Date rape drug in pockets? Check? Skinny jeans? Check. Almost knocking you on your butt trying to get to the front of the stage when the one song they know from an obscure band plays? Big check! Roid swollen fake tan covered muscles? CHeck. Yup - describes the Dallas douche bag scene. Worst I ever saw - one of the world's greatest bands, SLEEP, headlined the Denton 35 show earlier int he year. When the band played the one song the masses knew, I bet I had 30 of these D-Bags rush the stage and crowd every one (real fans) out, got in front of us, threw elbows around and even moshed. Really, What a bunch of pricks.

Jerome Chavez
Jerome Chavez

Ok I understand douchebags but who ever wrote this is a DAMN article crybaby!!!! Shows get crowded getting beer spilt on you and getting your toes crushed is part of it if u don't like the pit then get out NOBODY told u to be there.....YES ITS EVERYWHERE NOT ONLY DALLAS SORRY IF U DON'T GO TO MANY "GIGS" BRO!!!!!!!

Roland Shield
Roland Shield

And while there may be *some* truth to what Bill Finstad says, they didn't all come from Cali and NY. There were plenty here to begin with. Again, it is a magnet for douchebags. Gosh, look at the Legislature or the Governor, fer Christsakes !

Roland Shield
Roland Shield

The entire State of Texas is a douchebag magnet to be sure. Why ? Because it is a place where the interest of the individual is *allways* king. Texas friendly ? A necessary myth. And there are many.

sleepyhead420
sleepyhead420

Do these people taking videos of the shows ever go back and watch them? Or is this just some sort of required tribal behavior? What is the half life of it...is it just when they get new devices? And what is it these people have to talk-yell at each other about the whole show? I know they can't hear anything at the Granada because the sound guy thinks everyone comes to listen to shitty drowning bass acoustics...so what is up with the non-stop? I would just like to know.

jtyates_206
jtyates_206

Something in Texas sucks? Wow who would have thought that? You guys vote for suck perpetually then tell everyone how much they suck. Your attitudes are all garbage, reap what you sow. 

Linda Gertrude Dennis
Linda Gertrude Dennis

You think they're bad in the mosh pit, just try attending the opera. Whooping and cheering on their feet after every aria as if it were a football game is not good form, folks. Oh, and "bravo" is not what one screams at the soprano. Yikes. Sorry, but transplants from NYC and Cali know how to behave in a theater.

Joe Bannon
Joe Bannon

Lack of good music, nothing better to do at the venue.

James Asher
James Asher

Its everywhere. Makes it almost not worth going to any shows.

The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley
The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley

Wow, Dallas seems to be full of douchebags and people who want to tell others how to behave in public.  I don't disagree that general douchavior can be annoying, but I tend to draw the line at not allowing an insignificant turd to ruin my experience.   


Jon Binford
Jon Binford

Since douchebags are the only people that go to Dilenger whatever and Primus shows...there you go.

Kyle Confehr
Kyle Confehr

it's a dallas problem. don't Internet rape me people. just an opinion

Tommy Miller
Tommy Miller

Uptown just seems to breed doushbags. Class VI rapid of doushe just flowing through the streets.

John Slate
John Slate

It's a freaking epidemic, everywhere. Dallas is no worse than anywhere else. Austin has just as many douchey dickweeds.

Kevin Snearley
Kevin Snearley

I think it really depends on the type of shows you are going to. If you're going to see a rowdy band like DEP, expect people to get rowdy. Nobody throws beers at say, a Seryn show.

Sean Hatch
Sean Hatch

Seen a few douchey guys and girls just go plowing through the crowd at shows around here.

Ron Chapman
Ron Chapman

You would think Trees would have learned after the Skinhead incident. Sad.

thecreativeunbound
thecreativeunbound

Like Sonia said, it depends on the show you go to, and Trees is just its own problem. Their staff is rude, their regulars are the fighting type... Just don't go there if you don't want to be around it. I don't even like going there when my friends are playing there and offer to get me in. Aside from that, most other places are chill unless you're seeing a genre of show that is NOT chill. Of COURSE I got some beer spilled on me and a fist to the chest when I saw Mindless Self Indulgence at the House of Blues in April. I would have been disappointed by anything less. But Widespread Panic? Not so much. Just a lot of happy jam fans dancing. I have to confess I am guilty of forcing my way to the front, but only because I am a short girl and usually can't see because no one adheres to your etiquette for tall audience members. 

Crash Stitches
Crash Stitches

I've played shows in several states, there are douchebags everywhere in record mumbers.

Randall Stephens
Randall Stephens

This is a great place to be - most residents here don't even know how cool it can be. I know of many places where douchebags just run amuck (FL)..

Luis Cruz
Luis Cruz

I've seen people getting into fights and I've had drinks spilled on me by girls who decide to dance with a drink in their hand.Can't we all just get along?

Warren Johnson
Warren Johnson

well, duh. look at the crap you guys advertise and stories you print

Bill Finstad
Bill Finstad

Because the areas has filled up with d-bag people from d-bag places like NY and Cali.

Mark Edington
Mark Edington

Because there are so many douchebags in Dallas. Obvs.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@MaggieCassidy

That's a spot-on assessment.   Going to an alcohol-fueled rebel music concert and complaining about the bad behavior is like walking out of a whore-house and complaining that you don't feel "loved".

stewartbyron
stewartbyron

@thecreativeunbound So true.Depends on the band & venue. Panic has a great crowd. When I go to Suicidal Tendencies, Different crowd.  Loved going to Panteras shows back in the day. I guess stage diving would really offend some here. I love to record at some venues. I am careful not to obstruct anyone's view  and Yes I do watch and post on youtube for others.

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