Seated Gigs: A Guide To Dealing With Idiots, Using Passive-Aggressive Actions

Categories: Music Etiquette

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Christian Rowlands

We've all been there. You're at a seated gig, possibly in a large stadium or auditorium, and the people around you only serve to remind you how much you dislike humanity. With their phones, their talking, and their general disregard for the etiquette of polite society, they are in actual fact the worst. It's like the cinema, but at a concert there are actually far greater opportunities to make your feelings partially clear, using the great power of passive-aggressive interference. Do not directly tell them to shut up. That would itself be uncouth.

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• If they've got their phone out and they're playing around online, simply get your phone out, turn the brightness up to full, lean subtly towards them and start to play with your phone. Repeatedly googling things, the bright white background of your search results searing their indignant eyeballs, will soon inform them that what they are doing is wrong but will not expend any actual words.

• Take a lesson from long flights, and use coughing as a cover for repeatedly sweeping their armrest. Person in front of you being a dick? Time for the knees. Person behind you the actual worst? Film the entire gig. On an iPad.

• If the person next to you isn't meeting your approval in some way, then a way to approach their misdemeanors that's fun for everyone is to really pointedly applaud directly at them in between songs. A favorite of my father growing up (which, let's face facts, explains a lot), upon witnessing someone else driving poorly he would simply applaud them, complete with an "are you shitting me" look on his face. If it was really bad, he would shout "oh, well done. No, really, that was brilliant." I'm beginning to understand where a lot of how I act as a person comes from now. Remember, when pointedly applauding the person next to you, stare them directly in the eye with the same sort of glare. Only do this if the person is smaller than you.

• Of course, if possible simply move to a different seat. Sure, the view might not be as good, and the new person next to you might be even worse, but you can always just move back. Then you will have fresh perspective on how good the original seat was. Remember, the seat is always greener on the other side. That's just the way the $8 hotdog crumbles.

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5 comments
DeathBreath
DeathBreath

Passive aggressive manipulation is an art form for those of us who know how to brandish our passive aggressive swords.  I love it.  With passive aggressiveness, you get to watch the other person go to jail in the event they go smooth off in front of authorities.  This is my favorite, when assholes get arrested for misbehaving. 

Steve
Steve

I hate phones at shows almost as much as Limey fucks with opinions.

bifftannen
bifftannen

Can't stand seats at a concert. Once went to a show at the Winstar, and seats all the way up to the front. What is the point? First and last time going there, but the casino on the way in is just depressing.

maverick
maverick

If I were going to a ballet or play, perhaps I get upset. But if I'm at a concert, I pretty much know that everyone's going to be rowdy and standing up and finding a way to disrupt my view. If I don't want that, then I should just stay at home.

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