The summer is winding to a close, which means that not only are people heading back to school, but all of those bands out on the festival circuit are getting off their buses and heading back to the studio. Don’t think, however, that just because summer=vacation, nothing has been learned over these last several months. More than just an opportunity to see large numbers of bands you like (and a number you don’t) in one place at one time, this summer’s music festivals have provided us all with an educational opportunity.
Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned:
- Festival producers, remember the old Sesame Street segment, “One of These Things is Not Like the Other”? Well, keep it in mind when you’re putting together your line-up. My apologies to all the Phish-worshipping, white, middle-class suburbanites out there, but I have seen the Sprite Liquid Mix Tour (Talib Kweli, The Roots, N.E.R.D.), and someone needs to put OAR out of their misery.
- If you are underage, plastered, and carrying a 22-ounce plastic cup of beer in your sweaty little hand, do not attempt the lawn seats at an outdoor venue. These places are built to ensure good sightlines, people, and that means on a big hill. I’m only warning you because you are still young, and it is possible you do not know any better.
- If, however, you are above the legal drinking age for your state, plastered, and carrying a 22-ounce plastic cup of beer in your hand, by all means, head for the lawn. I’m quite happy to point and laugh when you tip over sideways and bring your friend down on top of you. As long as you don’t get beer on my blanket.
- Don’t take ‘shrooms before you go to the show. It may be enhancing your enjoyment, but believe me, it’s not doing a thing for the enjoyment of those around you. Which leads me to…
- Drugs and/or alcohol do not make you a better dancer. I promise. No matter how fabulous your body appears to you, to me you’re still the guy waving his arms and legs around in what appears to an impression of a hungry chimpanzee.
- Cell phones are helpful. Cell phones can assist you in locating your bitch best friend who moved the blanket while you were in the bathroom, or hook you up with the rest of your crew who came in a different car. However,
- Once you have located them – and are, in fact, standing next to them – do not continue to talk to them on your phone. Any intelligence points you gained will be immediately lost.
- If you must go to the show with a group of your boys, all wearing matching t-shirts, make sure there are at least ten of you. At least then we’ll know you look stupid on purpose. And finally,
- Unless you have a commercial license and know how to drive a rig, do not wear a trucker hat to the concert. Pharrell can get away with it. Barely. You can not. This means you, too, JC.