This is why we can't have nice things.
I've seen a lot since I started doing this in 2000. The first time I ever went to a show, some guy from a local radio station was doing a remote broadcast from the venue's entryway and called me out literally 5 seconds after I walked in - "Sir, I think you're the wrong place" or some other crap with a bunch of people laughing. Honestly, at that point in time I guess I don't blame him for joking about it. I was with a girl so at least it sort of looked like I was "dragged along" or something (in reality I was mostly dragging her along).
But that was just a prelude - one of those radio station shows where every band plays for an hour and that's it. The real thing was a couple months later - a full show, by myself, with a 2nd row ticket. Walked in and it didn't take long before people were doing one of the following:
*Confusing me with security (you know how most security personnel are wearing Samhain t-shirts)
*Coming up and trying to hug me - girls looking like they ranged from 9 to 35. I was 21 at the time.
*Asking if they could have my seat because I wasn't a fan anyway
Although I actually had a pretty cool experience with the band that night (may write about that some other day although it's not a big deal), the atmosphere and the people kind of left me with a bad taste. Too much focus on me until the band actually came out and diverted it to themselves where it belonged.
A few years later the acoustic tour started and I wound up going to 4 shows. I had zero "plan" outside of knowing where I'd be driving (Mapquest printouts all over my car!) and zero friends to meet when I got there. I knew literally no one. The first show I went to wound up being a local one for me, and an (unplanned) overnight wait at that. It was actually pretty encouraging at first - from the prior night into the late afternoon, people were generally nice and got along and shared stuff.
Once the time got a bit closer to doors, it suddenly became everyone for themselves. People that just got there an hour or so earlier walked up to the front of the line. Garbage left everywhere. People "telling" on each other to security. Once inside the venue, relentless jostling for position began because, as we've learned, the band loves you more if you are in the front row. Then we've got people yelling dumb shit at the band during the show. Once again I went in with what I thought were reasonable expectations and left disappointed, and it had nothing to do with the performance itself.
It continues. At the Cleveland stop on that tour, literally the entire show was spent holding my ground against people not powerful enough to move me, and I wasn't even that close to the stage. People screaming at me. People literally running at me to try to get me to move. First and only time I've ever totally lost it at a show. I don't even remember what I did but it involved a loud noise and everyone around me immediately clearing out in fear. Still the worst crowd I've ever seen at a show.
In Chicago (the show taped for the UAL DVD) apparently it was even worse but since I was against the barrier I didn't notice. I felt the people hitting me, but they're not going to be hurting me without outside weapons. Apparently I was being spit on as well but of course I didn't notice until I was informed afterwords.
Didn't stop at that tour. A year or two later in Detroit I had an experience almost as bad as Cleveland, to the point where I finally had enough and just shifted hard and knocked everyone behind me back about 5 feet. Still the only time I've ever done anything "physical" at a Hanson show, (besides me defending the girl I was with by flooring a drunk dude in Chicago a few years later, but that's another story). Yeah I felt bad about it.
I could go on with personal experiences, but I'm sure you get the idea by now.
The thing is, it's not just me. I've seen people I'm close friends with turn on each other in a heartbeat because one did not pick the other as their second for an meet and greet, in favor of a family member. I've seen people strand their friends a hundred miles away because it may have caused them to miss something related to the show. All but the most loyal friends are willing to destroy each other if they think it'll bring them closer to the band.
It gets incredibly irritating to see people bugging the band for multiple photos during the walks. I don't get how people are so oblivious to the band clearly being irritated as well. You are not humans. You are noisy little blobs of pink flesh that apparently exist only to annoy. Pick a better time. The majority of shows, if you demonstrate a little patience, the band will hang out for a little bit outside the venue when the show is over and take photos/sign whatever you want.
The fans criticize and obsess over the band to an insane degree. Not that this is exclusive to the Hanson fanbase, but I'd hope we'd be able to elevate ourselves a bit. Is somebody smoking? I don't think they should say that in a song. Do you have his address? Anyone have any pics of their kids? I don't think they should say that at all. Who are they voting for?
HELL no, I am not a "Fanson." I am a Hanson fan.
I've been to truckloads of concerts for boatloads of bands. I've still never run across fans that behave in this manner. The band we like is superior. We should be superior to other fanbases.
So, with that, I'll ask you to now come back for my entry in 2 weeks:
"Why Hanson Fans Are The Best."
The King Has Risen.
Blog title taken from Nine Inch Nails - You Know What You Are?
Don't you fucking know what you are?
Go on, get back to where you belong...