After successfully crossing off several bucket-list concerts over the past few years (The Eagles, Alabama, Elton John, etc.), I had one last must-see-before-I-die show: Garth Brooks. A few months ago, he announced that he would be coming out of retirement to do a U.S. tour. After posting his shows in Chicago, I made it a point to check daily for any updates and new location releases. Lucky for us southerners, Atlanta was his second announced city. Friday morning, I will be frantically refreshing my Ticketmaster webpage, attempting to secure tickets at 10:00 a.m. on the dot, along with the rest of anyone within driving distance of the city. Since the tickets are going on sale before any other tour stops have been announced, I am sure tickets for the show will be going quickly.
But, as excited as I am, it is not the reason for my post. Fewer places provide better opportunity to “people watch”. From county to rock, the genres may be different, but the people you see at the shows are all the same. Below are a few of my favorite people to look for… every time…
- The guy who knows one song: Now, I have gone to plenty of shows only knowing one song, but in keeping an open mind, still go along with friends for a good time. This isn’t the person I am talking about. I’m talking about that dude that looks like he told his friends that he is the biggest (insert band name here) fan, and will quietly bop along until that one song, perhaps the band’s greatest hit/overplayed radio single is played, and then will magically become a new person, belting out the chorus that, let’s get real, everyone knows. He first will alert his group to make sure they are prepared as this is his favorite song. If he had an arm around his date, he doesn’t anymore; his hands are now clapping enthusiastically and pointing at the band as if to say “you played my song boys!” and “that’s right, see how big of a fan I am? I know every word!” He will also begin over-exaggerating the lyrics as he makes eye contact with everyone in his immediate vicinity, making sure that they too know just how big of a fan he is. After the song, he will return his arm to the shoulder of his lady friend, sit back and grin because that my friends, was the most classic moment in his life. I also think this guy should be the next “real men of genius”.
- The girl who sexy-sings: (Or… at least she is in her mind). This is the girl that seems to think singing lyrics with an over—exaggerated “come hither” face, while creepily staring at the band with “fatal attraction” eyes, is going to land her a boyfriend before the end of the night. Her movements will either be stoic, as though she is sad and misunderstood, or at the opposite end of the spectrum, resemble a dirty-dancing stripper as if to say “I may be wild, but you could be the one to tame me.” I think oftentimes, they think that this could be the show that they are identified out of the sea of other “sexy-singers,” as the most deserving and obvious choice for a back-stage invite post-show.
- The “well” dressed: I think I should create a game that involves varying point values associated to articles of clothing. If I did, these items/ensembles would make the cut: cowboy boots, cut-offs, concert tee of the band who is currently playing, high heels (I will never understand this, but give major kudos to the ladies in a new relationship who consider sandals an impossibility), leather anything, forehead headbands (the “bo-ho” kind, not the Olivia Newton John kind), new belt buckles/cowboy hats (ones that were obviously purchased the day before so as to give an impression to the ladies that they could possibly be the lesser known brother of Luke Bryan), tube top worn by a lady in her mid-fifties, and a bathing suit top (because who doesn’t love the possibility of discovering a slip n’ slide on the concert lawn?).
- The bumps on a log: These folks are the concert-goers who, in my observations, thought they were going to a nice, quiet dinner for a date night, when all the sudden, someone put loud music and bright lights in front of them. They don’t tolerate those who dance, stand, sing, or do anything else that may resemble having fun. Their most enjoyable part of the night must be giving those hateful “you suck at life” looks to anyone around them who doesn’t think they are also in a cozy booth at the local Italian café. Don’t let these jerk faces ruin your night. They have always been present and will continue to be present as long as there is music.
- The “illiterate”: My ideal seat is probably different from most. I would rather be further back on an aisle than crammed between others, sitting sideways in the front row. That being said, few things make me feel more embarrassed than witnessing the following “episode”. Without question, at every concert you will see people trying to find their seat with a look of confusion because their row appears full. The buttholes “illegally” occupying G6 and G7 stare straight ahead as though if they ignore them hard enough, the seats rightful owners will just forget and walk away. When the confused couple returns with an event volunteer, the “campers” will take their tickets out and look at them with a new realization of “Oh, silly us. We thought our tickets said ‘G’, not ‘JJ’,” and then locate their rightful spots 40 rows up. If you are this person, you look like an idiot. Every single time.
Disclaimer: I love concerts, I love people watching, and I love all the characters described above. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for enhancing music experiences across America!
Below are a few of our more recent shows.