bite the dust--the art of concert going
Tips & Info for new concert goers

How to get up close, backstage and even meet the band.

My back story
I love the experience of a live show, they are always bright spots in my life. As soon as I started going, my obvious goal was to get close to the performer. My very first concert was The Monkees in 2001 in San Diego California. I was brought into the rock and roll world by Davy Jones, who serenaded me during the show. After that it was endless amounts of interesting luck and fun experiences. Check out my list of all the concerts I've been to. Along the way during my desperate teenage attempts to meet famous people I learned a bunch of useful things. I'd like to pass on this random but helpful knowledge to future generations of new young concert goers. This page is a guide to getting the most at concerts. I've been to plenty and found out the successful strategies you can take!

Ya know what the biggest lesson I learned was that I can tell you right now? ASK if you can go back stage, ask if you can meet so and so, ask for an autograph. It never hurts to ask, you'd be surprised how far you can get just by making your wants known. It blows my mind to think all I've usually had to do with many situations in life is just ask.
See The Confidence Gap

Video: How to Get Backstage at a Rock Concert

1) First of all, consider your connections. Do you know anyone in the music business who can hook you up? Do you have any friends who work at a radio station?
2) Act quickly when it comes to buying tickets, join mailing lists to stay in the loop.
3) Find out what radio stations are giving away tickets and backstage passes. They are usually pretty easy to win.
4) Bring a friend, support is fun, awesome and safer!
5) Network! Chat with everyone. You seriously never know who has a connection. You can also meet new friends.
6) Take pictures and possibly footage if you can. You will appreciate even just a few shots from the concert, especially the older you get.
7) If you want to try to meet the band: Ask the sound board guys about the after party (depending on the venue of course). There often times is one and they are relatively simple to get in to. Find out if there's a pre-show meet and greet. Wait by the back door where they exit for the tour bus.
8) Be friendly and genuine and have some composure. This is probably learned, but I think it's important. I always make sure to shake the artists hand and thank them for their music.
9) Be ready and go, or miss out. Many of the best shows I've been to were ones I was invited to at the last minute. You never know when you're gonna get or be a +1 and often times it is last minute!

Where You Stand at a Show and What It Says About You

Do the hussle
1) Getting good tickets is all about notice. Join mailing lists and newsletters related to the bands you like. You will often times get the information first! Sign up on for email alerts. Even though Ticketmaster is becoming evil they still have a great concert newsletter. Visit your favorite band's official website often, keep up-to-date on what's going on.
3) Plan ahead, get a map of the place so you know where you'll be and how easy it will be for you to get upfront. Organization never hurt!
4) If you have any professional photographer friends who are taking shots at the show you plan on attending, ask them if they can hook you up with a press pass. Remember yo be super respectful, because after all they are going out of their way to help you.

Winning tickets from radio stations
Radio stations can be your best friends. I've done this enough and had success with this too. Heres what you do when you know between some span or time or at some time they will opening up phone lines for concert tickets:
1) Find their hotline (should be a 1-800 number) and call it hang up to have it on redial (aka speed dial).
2) Sit at the radio with your finger on the redial button.
3) They moment they open the lines, call and keep calling.
4) Depending on the popularity of your local station (like if you live in a metropolitan area) you should just call and keep calling even when the lines aren't open. In major cities there will be WAY more people calling and your better off just calling the whole time instead of when they open the line or right before you think they might.
5) It's probably a good idea to have a pen and paper near by, or a a computer. Just in case.
6) To get ready for the contest, listen to the radio station before hand to get a feel for it. And see what the contest/trivia might be like.

Mosh pits
Mosh pits, and slam dancing are really fun and a big part of the live concert experience. Sometimes they are not the best idea if you are small like me. I suggest wearing steel toe boots to protect your feet and keep you grounded. Stay on the sides and feel it out, and enter when it looks like you wont totally get knocked down and possibly even knocked out.

The LAST resort
1) If you couldn't score a ticket come at the last minute before the show starts and try to get one from a scalper (BE CAREFUL) they tend to drastically lower their prices right before the show.
2) Have a cop friend? Have him accompany you before the show, find some scalpers and once you initiate wanting a ticket have your copper friend come along and confiscate the ticket. It's a dirty game, but it will work.

Hecklers and buzz killers
There are jerks everywhere, as we all learn as we grow. And they are definitely at concerts too. There usually large/loud and drunk people pushing around and starting fights. They can get out of control and almost ruin the show. Just ignore them, and keep an eye out for your music loving comrades. It's always good to have someone's back and know they'll return the favor more than likely. They will try to ruin the show and put you in a bad mood...don't let them succeed! Rock and roll, or punk rock isn't about being mean and angry.

Just for fun Concert lingo
Roadie: People who pack up instruments and move them. Also usually a friend of the band.
Toadie: Someone who wants to be a roadie or like a groupie but is a dude.
Groupie: Muse for the band.
Band Aid: Girl who doesn't sleep with the band but flirts and hangs out like one of the guys.
Piggy back: Blending in with the group.
GTOs: Girls together only. The groupie rock worshipping goddesses.

Articles I have written about live shows
The Who hit 50 and Pete hits 71!
Rock of Ages: Bone Bash 2015
Bryan Adams Reckless Tour 2015
Sir Elton John rocks San Jose and apparently, Rob Lowe
Bone Bash 2014!
Rockin in America at the fair with Night Ranger!
Through Any Weather: Finally Meeting Joan Jett
Sitting here thinking of you: Joey Ramone Birthday Bash 2014
The Cult at the Fillmore!
Bone Bash 2013!
"Convenience" charges and other concert fees getting out of control
The Whip it to shreds tour with Devo and Blondie!
The Buzzcocks in Oakland on 4/20!
Van Halen 2012
Iggy and The Stooges at the Warfield!

Extra Info
Pamela De Barres' book "I'm with the band: tales of a groupie" is recommended for interesting 60's groupie stories.
Other good rock backstage/rocker wife books are...Deborah Curtis' "Touching from a distance"
Mickey Leigh's "I slept with Joey Ramone"

The best advice I can give you is to be determined but positive! If things some how don't work out exactly how you hoped...ENJOY THE SHOW. Stand up and dance! Throw your fist in the air! Sing loud! You paid for it!! Plan ahead and always be on the look out, suck up and save up early!

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