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  • Words by Faye Coulman and Jonesy

LIVE RUINERS: Five things guaranteed to kill your buzz at a concert


Among the many vibrantly entertaining pastimes and pleasures that COVID-19 has cruelly robbed us of in recent months, there’s none we metalheads miss more acutely than the rowdy, adrenaline-fuelled thrills and spills of live music. The tense electricity of a crowd seconds before a headlining set. The sweaty, beer-soaked euphoria and playful camaraderie of the pit. Riffs so raw and ferocious as to practically liquefy eardrums with their sheer, lacerating aggression. And yet, as we longingly reminisce on these intensely bittersweet bygone times, flooding our social media feeds with all manner of misty-eyed musings on the past, it’s all too easy to forget the various, inescapable irritants and undesirables that come as an inevitable part and parcel of the whole experience. Yes, that’s right, you know what I’m talking about. From iPhone camera-wielding hipsters to super-hostile security staff who wouldn’t look out of place in a Thai prison, we’re here to remind you that it’s all just a teensy bit overrated when you stop and really think about it. Just kidding. It’s fucking awesome and we miss it all indescribably. But some of this stuff can be pretty grating though…

MAKING MEMORIES

They say there’s nothing quite like living in the moment. Try telling that to this pack of obnoxious, iPhone-wielding irritants. If this were an art gallery or museum, you just know they’d be the type of dickhead likely to be carelessly blundering around brandishing a selfie stick either a. inadvertently blinding and/or maiming innocent bystanders or b. destroying some priceless work of historic art with the aforementioned infernal contraption. Because the simple fact of the matter is that nothing is more precious or meaningful to these mindless, self-absorbed oxygen thieves than the all-consuming business of documenting every single moment of their own tediously unremarkable existence. And nothing - be it beautiful, centuries-old works of art, historical relics, groundbreaking feats of scientific invention, all the infinite mysteries of the cosmos - is going to stand in the way of that. So, odds are, the rare pleasure of seeing your favourite band live probably isn’t going to be registering too high on their list of urgent and pressing priorities. After all, that Instagram account isn’t going to fill itself, ya know. So stop being such a stuffy old dinosaur about the whole thing and get used to enjoying live music the way nature intended: through a series of gigantic, solar panel-sized electronic screens…row upon row of the fuckers, everywhere you look…distorting reality progressively further and further into blinding, fuzzy-edged insignificance like Inception for disappointed gig-goers. #Unfollow

SAFE AS HOUSES?

Don’t get us wrong. The vast, overwhelming majority of security staff do a fantastic job of working hard to keep us all safe and sound from the many potential hazards and pitfalls of attending any large-scale live music show or event. And for that honourable service, we are eternally grateful. But every so often there’s that one security guard that, for no apparent reason in particular, seems to seriously have it in for every man, woman and child within a hundred-mile radius of their boorishly intimidating presence. As if every single one of the bastards was purposely placed there as a personal insult to their frighteningly precarious sense of sanity. You can usually spot them a mile off… a great hulking mass of simmering anger and unresolved childhood issues, typically sporting a shaved head, a bulky, formerly muscular frame now slowly but surely running to seed. So much pent-up hatred and resentment quietly bubbling away up in that big, vacant, melon-like dome…just waiting for the slightest flicker of agitation to instantly ignite into a state of uncontrollable reptilian fury. They’re the ones you’ll see manhandling harmless adolescent kids in the pit for literally no reason whatsoever or barking orders drill sergeant-style at petrified gig-goers trying to enjoy a quiet ciggie in the outside smoking area, making the whole affair feel more like a North Korean death camp than a chilled Saturday night out with your crew. Oh and don’t even think about loitering about in the venue more than a second longer after the headlining act has finished their set, or you’ll be dragged (presumably by the hair) out of the nearest and most conveniently located exit.