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At concerts, manners rock: 10 tips for concert etiquette

Timothy Finn
McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The live music scene is coming out of holiday hibernation. Seems like a good time to remind us all how to be considerate to one another, whether in an arena or a small club.

Here are 10 recommendations for better show etiquette:

1. If it's a rock show, please don't yell at me to sit down and say, "I didn't pay $ (blank) to look at your back." And I didn't pay $ (blank) to feel like I'm in my own den watching TV. It's a concert, not a funeral Mass. Most places have accommodations for people who cannot stand.

2. Organize your beer/bathroom runs. No one likes the dudes in the middle of the row who leave their seats eight times to keep their buzzes going.

3. Mass sing-alongs are great. Give them all your gusto. Singing at the top of your lungs when no one else is, is annoying. Sometimes painful. Keep it under your breath.

4. Unless you're Ken Burns, there's really no need to document the entire show on your iPhone, which is usually held aloft, in someone's line of vision.

5. If you must talk throughout the show, stand in the bar or concourse areas. We didn't pay $ (blank) to hear in excruciating detail the story of your personal life.

6. If the band does another encore while you're on your way out, please don't stop and plant yourself in the aisle to listen. Move on or go back to your seat.

7. In the merch lines, figure out what you want before you get up to the point of sale. They're only T-shirts, not automobiles or houses. Just pick one.

8. I suppose if you drop a $7 or $12 cover to get into a bar/club, it's your prerogative to sit at the bar with your back to the band and talk — or shout — over the music, like it's happy hour. You could also go somewhere else.

9. If the club/theater is packed and you arrive at the last minute, please don't elbow, nudge, wedge and barge your way past those of us who arrived an hour or more early to get a good place on the floor. "Excuse me" doesn't cut it, especially when you plant yourself directly in front of someone five minutes before showtime.

10. When it's crowded and you're returning to your spot with full beers, take a few sips beforehand so that they go into your belly and not on someone else's arms, back, legs ...

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