|Ben from Neck Deep|
You know the type I'm talking about. Crowd surfers, circle pits, and complete madness. I love it, but it can be scary if you're new to the punk scene or it's your first few gigs. Getting a ticket to a punk rock concert for the first time is like getting a ticket to get beer chucked at you, as you're crushed into a space so small you can hardly breathe- at least that's what it was like for me. It's worth it though, I promise.
Last Tuesday I went to see Neck Deep and State Champs in Glasgow, and oh my gosh. Since my friend and I are going to see All Time Low in a few weeks we decided not to splash out on standing tickets, and we got balcony tickets instead, which was a real eye-opener. When you're actually in the crowd, you never really realise the extent to the madness that's going on around you; you just kinda go along with it and stand your ground. Standing on the balcony gave us a perfect view of the stage, but it also gave us a perfect view of the crowd.
|Crowd surfer gets lifted over the barrier|
First off, drink lots of water before you go to the gig. It's a punk rock concert- if you don't, you'll get dehydrated real quick. Oh, and since you'll be drinking a lot beforehand, make sure you go to the toilets as soon as you get to the venue. The last thing you want is to get in the crowd with a good view of the stage, and then have an urge to pee... especially during the concert! If it's a small one, you can always go during the support act.
Don't take water in to the venue; you won't be allowed. I made that mistake several times at my first 3 concerts, and each time I was told by security that I couldn't take my bottled water in. As disappointing as that is, if you go up to the bar and ask for tap water, they'll usually give it to you in a plastic cup. Ask for ice with it, especially if you're standing, cos you'll really appreciate that refresher when you're all hot and sweaty. However, you might want to down it before the circle pits start to form.
If you want to avoid circle pits (which to this day I still do), the best thing for you to do is stand near the sides, or the back/very front of the venue. Circle pits usually pop up in the centre of the venue, and they can be pretty wild, so do take care! If you're in a circle pit and you see someone fall down, please please please grab their hand, and pick them back up. "We're all friends here, and we don't wanna see anyone get hurt" as Alex Gaskarth said last February. Gotta love him.
|Crowd goes wild during State Champs performance|
Thirdly and finally, if you wanna get a real good view of the stage (and the people on it) but aren't up for queueing up for hours on end, squeeze your way up through the sides. Honestly, this is the best hassle-free way to get a great view, and trust me, it is a great view. Last March I went to see Lower than Atlantis and PVRIS at the Garage, and my friend and I managed to get right up at the barrier literally just from squeezing our way down the right hand side after the support act had gone, and I managed to get a hi 5 from (Queen) Lynn Gunn at the end of their set.
Take care, and tell me all about your punk rock experiences in the comments below!