10Nov, 2016
How To Survive A Rock Concert

How To Survive A Rock Concert

By Carmen Cillie

In my short 25 years of life I have seen my share of live performances but my absolute favourite one to date was back in 2012. I had my first REAL pay cheque burning a hole in my pocket after a promotion at work, I could finally afford time wise and financially a "treat yo’ self"-weekend and my favourite band was coming to town. The stars were aligning! I headed down to the Checkers in Ballito and bought two tickets to Linkin Park at Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town, got two plane tickets on One bloody Time Airways, put one of each ticket in an envelope and gave it to my mother for her birthday. Yup, I went to a Linkin Park concert with my mom and it was amazing.

In the time between May when I bought the tickets and November when the concert took place, I was so excited to see LP that I didn’t even realise that the freaking Kongos were opening until I fought my way back to our spot from the bathroom and they were on stage rocking like it was nobody’s business. It was awesome. Despite the late start to the show, and the 200 kg gorilla bouncing up and down on my toes all night (man, I'm glad I wore steal tipped boots), the entire experience just went smoothly. After the show we were stuck in the parking structure for almost two hours and every car in that place was blaring Numb, or Powerless, or In The End with the windows down. It was bliss. I remember thinking that all I needed was a Jack on the rocks and I would die happy.

I think one of the reasons why my experience was just unparalleled was because in that one night, all my previous misfortunes and misdirection and shear utter uselessness at planning culminated in me having the experience to not only foresee any boo-boo or ouchie or roadblock, but deal with it with poise and grace and without throwing my shit like a caged ape.

One thing I learned is “less is more”. In fact, the only things you should have on you is ID of some sort, money of some sort plus emergency cash, and if you’re a dirty smoker (like me): cigarettes + fire. Here is the method behind my notsomadness:

  1. Pre-drinking. Don’t get ratfaced but get your buzz on at home rather than at the concert. I’m not saying don’t have a drink or two but chances are the lines are so long that by the time you get to the front you’ve missed half the show, the beers cost a month’s rent served in a plastic bio hazard waiting to happen all for you to uncomfortably clench in your urine for the duration of the performance or brave getting lost and a black eye clawing your way through the crowd to get to a line longer than your gran’s chin hair to pee and miss the other half of the show. Good ways to circumvent that challenge is to have a Stadium Buddy, Shewee, or a penis.
  2. Uber. Luckily there is such a thing as Uber now! If Uber had existed then (In South Africa), we would have gotten home probably at like 00:45 instead of 01:10. Which brings me to the point of order. You’re probably not going to the concert alone and you probably aren’t staying too far away from the venue anyway so the fare won’t be that bad split among a group of you- so one way is probably about R50 tops each, no parking hassles or arguments with the carguards. Also, you’re going to be drinking before the concert, at the concert, after the concert so a good idea not to drive.
  3. Have ID. Driver’s license is probably the best, unless you have one of those new ID cards, because it’s thin and easy to carry around. It’s easy to slide into a pocket and keep safe. I always carry ID on me even though I haven’t been carded at a door since I was 15, just in case. Just in case you DO get carded on the off chance, or die tragically in a wildebeest stampede people will have to know who to call to come clean up, but that’s just me.
  4. Cash Dolla. After you’ve had a few Black Labels for starters and Jack for mains, gotten into your Uber cab and are now at the place eventually, you’re obviously going to head to the bar and get a drink or two. You’re probably going to the after party and jolling it up somewhere so of course you’ll need a card or cash on you. Cash is best, that way you can control your spending. I keep an extra R100 in a different pocket for in case of emergency, like you lose your card or get a hankerin’ for McD’s and reached your swipe limit.

That is literally all you need for the night. Dudes, splash some cash for an Uber so your lady friend doesn’t have to Mary Poppins all night with your crap in her bag. Girls I have two pieces of advice for you, a) leave the big bag at home and b) I honestly don’t give a shit what you look like but if I see you at a rock concert in stiletto pumps I will judge the shit out of you and laugh at you as you fall and break your legs. Flat closed shoes are great. They’re comfy, reliable and will prevent your toes from looking like Steve Buscemi’s teeth after a good mosh.

Mic drop.