Why Are there So Many Douchebags at Dallas Shows? A Simple Guide to Etiquette
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.
Ian Witlen Remember, those are fellow humans you are crushing over what appears to be broken snacks.
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.