The Story of the Do's and Don's of Show Garb

          There you are, standing in front of your bathroom mirror, putting the finishing touches on your already perfect look for the show you've been anxiously looking forward to for weeks. You're in your favorite band tee that's been cut, sewn, tied, and re-cut. It took you two hours and you still have scraps of sleeve scattered about your room. You have on your favorite pair of jeans with casual holes in all the right places and your roughed- show-going shoes with all their glorious badges and battle scars from the many concerts prior. As you should, you feel confident, secure, and ready for the night of your life, but that's not what this is about. I'm going to tell you about the people on the other end of the spectrum. The ones who don't think about their incredibly awful wardrobe decisions and what they should have done instead.

          Setting: The House of Blues, San Diego, CA. The year is 2006, and I'm 14. I'm tagging along with my cousins to see Cartel (good band, though I'm not a huge fan, just happy to go to a concert with my super cool, older cousins.) After some ticket issues due to lousy venue employees, we finally get inside to find a well-oiled machine of a crowd being fueled by the speakers. Excitement consumes me and I leap into the crowd like a pig in a mud pit. People are crowd surfing, drunken college guys are shoving each other, little teeny-bopper girls are falling on the floor; everything is going as it should be when suddenly... WHACK! I'm hit with a stiletto right to the noggin. Some 20-something girl thought, "Oh, show at the house of blues? Good thing my 5-inch heels are polished! I can't wait to crowd surf and cause someone severe head trauma!" After stumbling around in a concust daze for a few moments, I pull myself out of the crowd to find the culprit. Standing near the bar, flirting with her long-lost margarita, is the woman that came within an inch of stabbing my brain. As I stared at her in her dress, heels, dangling earlings and ten pounds of make-up, all I could think was, "Why?!"

          Now ladies and gents, as a band member, aspiring model, skateboarder, and avid show-goer, I, with great confidence, will tell you that there is definitely a time a place for ever outfit. I'd never go to a photoshoot without my pumps, but you'd sure as hell never catch me riding down Main St. on my cruiser in a friggin' ball gown. Needless to say, this lipsticked glitter girl should have gone a different route with her wardrobe that night. Let's break it down and correct her "Yikes"-evoking choices.

          There are a few factors that need to be considered when deciding on the proper show attire. First of all the venue. This is probably the most important factor. Is it indoors or outdoors? Is it sitting or standing room? In this case, The House of Blues is, of course, indoors and standing room only. The next factor is the type of music/fanbase. Heavier or faster music usually tends to have a rougher crowd. Cartel's music and fanbase indicates a light to moderate mosh pit. You may be bumped around quite a bit but nothing back-breaking. Although, the venue serves alcohol which can alter the violence and coordination of the fans in the pit so I'd say this night was a slightly rougher than moderate crowd due to the amount of drunken fist-swingers. Now that we've established our show factors, let's move on to little Miss Thing's mistakes.
          Mistake #1: THE HEELS. No one who enjoys having healthy, strong, non-fractured ankles should ever put on heels and go to a concert, especially one that's standing room only. Not only did she put herself in danger of being hurt but she succeeded in hurting someone else... ME! Had she cared less about artificial hieght and cared more about ankles and other peoples' heads, she would have worn shoes flat-bottomed shoes. Ya know, something without spikes of death jutting out of the soles, like sneakers or low-tread boots.

          Mistake #2: THE SILK DRESS. Dear lord, where do I begin? Every female knows (I hope) that dresses and skirts are never a good idea when attending a standing room only show in a venue that serves alcohol. Who knows how many drunken frisky-fingers wandered their way up her dress? Not only that, but sweat stains silk, and there isn't one person who doesn't sweat in a mosh pit. What should she have worn? Everybody, say it together: Jeans and a tee-shirt! It's simple and ever so blatantly appropriate.

          Mistake #3: THE DRAG QUEEN MAKE-UP. Ladies, I understand that make-up is a security blanket for some of you, but please, leave it at home when you go to a show! It just becomes a key component in a nasty chain reaction. Sweat beads run down your forehead so you wipe it off, smearing your foundation, then more sweat drips from your brow to your lashes and slides down your cheek, taking marcara with it, and by the end of the night you look like you left your face in the microwave for too long. Forget the make-up and take a handkerchief for the sweat. (Tip! I usually wear one around my neck to wipe my face and I pull it up to protect my mouth and face from dirt and dust at outdoor shows.)

          As I said, there is a particular time and place for every outfit and there is simple method to proper show garb. Who cares how you look at a show? You're there for the music, so leave the lipstick, heels, and skirt at home and prepare for a gritty rough and tumble pit that'll leave you sore for days to come.

- Tunage

Written by Laura Sullivan


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