Save Me From Your Followers

Are there any bands you love but whose fans you fear? Is there a band message board you are afraid to comment on because the people on that board are nutjobs? Or, are you or were you one of those fans and do you wish everyone else could just understand?

After attending more shows in one week than I would usually go to in a year (a.k.a. SXSW), I've been thinking about music fans and fandom. First and foremost, I am a fan of music. I've been a fan from the first time my dad put on a Joni Mitchell album, or I sung along to "Rocky Raccoon" (thinking at the time that it must be children's music), played 'air keyboard' on a table along to Fleetwood Mac, or hung an Elvis poster on my wall (about 25 years too late but I didn't know, or care). Since grade school, I've been obsessed with music—with the melodies, harmonies, choruses, riffs, rhythms, lyrics, and with the mystery of it all, that magical element whose solution is always just beyond our grasp. And I'm guessing this love for music makes me similar to a lot of you.

Most of my musical obsessions were quiet ones, known only to a few friends and to the walls of my teenage bedroom; walls poked with thumbtacks bearing the weight of a band poster, only to be removed a few months later, replaced by something new. The Clash and Ramones gave way to the B-52's, which gave way to the Stone Roses, and then finally it all ended with Fugazi (which is to say that I left for college and never again put a band poster on my walls.)

I never baked cookies or wrote letters to bands, never waited after the show to meet the members, never shook a hand or asked for a guitar pick or an autograph, I never even brought a camera to a show. I just wanted to be at the show and be able to talk about it later. Much of my fandom was tied up in the process of collecting: fliers, handbills, LPs and 7" singles, fanzine and magazine interviews, stories about the bands from friends of friends. The rest of my obsession involved deciphering lyrics, mostly Replacements songs, words that meant more to me than those by any other band. Ultimately, my love for bands consisted of a language with which to communicate with friends, a secret code made up of band t-shirts and stickers, lyrics scribbled on notebooks, and ticket stubs.

And yet it is this secret code, this common bond among fans, which often becomes obnoxious en masse. The fans might not change your love for the bands themselves, but the way fandom of certain artists manifests itself can seem less like an innocuous gathering of like-minded people and more like an elitist, annoying tribe. (I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere near my friends and I during our Fugazi or Bikini Kill listening days; admittedly, we were not very fun).

Today, the fans I have a hard time being around are the ones who deem their favorite bands precious, just shy of saintly, and evidence of their sophisticated taste in music. (Belle & Sebastian, Radiohead, and Magnetic Fields). Then there are the bands that, unfortunately, attract such a hipster fan base (like MGMT, Yeasayer, and Liars) that you want to attend the show wearing a fleece jacket, khaki slacks, hiking boots, and a fanny pack, then push your way to the front and line dance, except that you worry people will think it's ironic.

I can't really come down too harshly on the various ways fans express themselves. Sure, Deadheads, Parrotheads, and Claymates might be threatening, or even excruciating, but we've all been part of the crowd, and we chose to be there, even if we didn't fit in.



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Music fans are my absolute #1 obsession. Is that oxymoronic? I love how music fanatacism parallels extreme religious devotion - meccas, pilgrimages, sacred texts, rituals - everything.

Though I've met a number of perfectly reasonable Jandek fans, and I'm probably one of the more devoted (nuts?), they still strike me as a bit off-kilter. I, of course, have it all together.

I'm a very active trader/collector in the Wilco community, but the fans that tour 'with' the band most definitely creep me out. Seriously, the front row of every show is exactly the same.

Sent by ljc | 3:43 PM | 3-24-2008

I don't know if this is reflective of all Pinback fans, but the one time I saw them play live the crowd was trying to start a moshpit and push the crowd around. I'm not a fan of moshing, but at least do it to a band that is more up tempo.

Sent by Curt | 3:51 PM | 3-24-2008

The fans of any small band that has recently made it big scare me. I used to religiously attend Death Cab for Cutie concerts, until the "girls" showed up. Then I just felt like some snobby hipster sneering at the "girls" (you know the ones...they have small clothing and scream a lot)...I dislike their presence, but I don't like being that snob either. Same with the Shins. I used adore their, I just can't do it.

Sent by CPW | 3:56 PM | 3-24-2008

Oh, man, I have a ton of these. I had the misfortune of being a southern Californian a few years back when the big boom of screamo/avant hardcore bands was in full force. Labels like 3 One G and Gravity got a lot of hype again, and when the Blood Brothers came to town the crowd was a horrible meeting of typical hipster chic with the local white teenie punks. This was where skinny jeans, trucker hats, and bandanas around the neck (!) started to become de riguer among everybody over the age of 15... the terrifying nexus of childish mid-20-somethings' fashion with, you know, actual children.

I remember seeing The Locust open up for Pretty Girls Make Graves (whom I really liked) and thinking, for the first time, "I'm too old to see live music. Was I like this in high school?"

Sent by Brendan K. | 4:03 PM | 3-24-2008

I've made attempts to shake the hands of bands that have inspired me lyrically and musically. I have never asked for autographs or pictures, just the opportunity to let them know how incredible their influence was, lest they forget their artistic power.

Is the kind of obsession that drives a person to learn every single word of an album and every bend of a guitar string reserved for (or, an extension of) adolescence? I really like a lot of bands now, but as an adult, I just don't have the time to master every nuance of a song like I did with Nirvana back in the day.

I would guess that the adult fans are in it for community. I mean, how many times can one really watch Widespread Panic? Following a band around on tour seems a little cultish to me.

Sent by JJ Hellgate | 4:04 PM | 3-24-2008

Hey! What's wrong with Belle & Sebastian and Magnetic Fields fan?!?! Other than our charming wit, and manly good looks?

Sent by Adam | 4:13 PM | 3-24-2008

Les Claypool/Primus fans are called Claymates? Good to know!!!!!

Sent by Bill | 4:16 PM | 3-24-2008

The only artist for whom I fit the, what, "superfan" label?, would be Bruce Springsteen. I have found most Bruce fans to be a good lot, and the community of Bruce fans has gotten us all through good times and bad.I can't say that I dislike many artists' fans, probably because I don't like the artists who have fans I wouldn't like. My main thing is fitting in ... I'm of the aging male boomer school who went to every S-K show when you came to the Bay Area, and in truth I wasn't the only geezer guy at those shows. Perhaps more to the point would be Pink ... I love her work and go to her shows on the rare occasions she comes to our area, and the only people who look like me at those concerts are dads bringing their daughters. But I like the crowds at Pink shows.

Sent by Steven | 4:26 PM | 3-24-2008

You know, I really feared the Animal Collective fans when they played D.C. last fall. Somewhere in the midst of that weirdness that I love is a pop band (with a serious dub/reggae obsession) that's tapped into the oddball-twee-pster community. I'm happy that "out" music can be accessible/listenable to these folks, but my suspicions were confirmed when 80% of the nearly sold-out audience was the arms-folded, asymmetrical hair crowd.

However, I ended up in the back with the kids I avoided in college: the dead-heads. I thought about it afterwards and it totally made sense that these tie-dye-wearing hippies (and they were wearing tie-dye) would love Animal Collective: noodly rave jams steeped in Jamaican riddims. And, oh how they danced! I loved it. Such a pleasant surprise.

Also, weird "am I getting too old for concerts?" moment last night at the Acid Mothers Temple show: bunch of high-school age kids making out in the front of the crowd to freakout Japanese psychedelic-kraut-rock. WTF?

Sent by Lars | 4:31 PM | 3-24-2008

The Grateful Dead are the consummate example of this. Their fan following is a huge part of the band's identity, to the point where it eclipses the music itself. I had no interest in ever even hearing the band, based on those g-d dancing bears and tie-dyed shirts and stoned Ben & Jerry's scoopers, etc. I could not identify a single song by the Dead or even their sound, but I hated them passionately.

Then you made me actually listen to them and I realized that they're good. I figured if the Dead could make it past YOUR razor-wire-topped hippie boundary, there must be something worth hearing. Indeed. Nice conversion, CB.

As for Phish, though? I wish you'd stop trying to drag your friends to Trey Anastasio shows.

Sent by CJ | 4:34 PM | 3-24-2008

I'm pretty much in accordance with what others have said about Phish. Phish fans really really are cultish. It puts the fear in my heart.

Sent by Tomiwa B. | 4:40 PM | 3-24-2008

LOL ok I think Brendan K. & I were at the same Blood Brothers show! (4 real) Because that's who I was gunna say. I was pissed off the whole time because of the nuisance of lil rich kids dressed as he described acting like they were "hella kool" & doing lil things like chasing each other around. (This is the show where I felt like I was @ a Jr. High dance) I mean there were even parents there chaperoning about 40% of the kids there (Yes.LOL. Im so not joking). They were in the "drinking section" and I couldn't believe I was gettin drunk with them I mean fuck I'm only 29 not 59. Triumph of Lethargy opened up & Spencer Moody totally scared the teenage poop ouuta them & 2 moms drinking next to me asked if that's who the infamous Blood Bros. were (lol) I said no. You could tell they woulda been very concerned if it was so. I mean it was a horrendous time. That night I made it a point not to ever go to an all ages show EVER. It was a shame because Blood Bros. were great but their fan base? Nu-uh. Annoying.

Sent by Marissa Dailey | 4:53 PM | 3-24-2008

Oh man. I have to say Tool fans are the worst(I like tool's music by the way.) The worst crowd I have ever experienced as they tried to mosh during the whole show, which was pretty mellow with amazing visuals going on in the background, and were the drunkest I've ever seen. They could've blacked-out at their house for cheaper.

Most Tool fans I know think there is nothing better, but mostly listen to popular radio and I don't think I've ever heard anything better on popular radio, but then again I haven't been able to listen to that for years. I think the moshing might come from the fact that maybe they're the heaviest thing on popular radio as well and just want to get their mosh on? Have no idea. I left the show confused and disappointed.

Sent by mikemzoso | 4:59 PM | 3-24-2008

I've never had problems with any fans. But one time I was afraid of the actual band....

After seeing Sleater-Kinney open for Yo La Tengo in 1997, I was as close to obsessed as I ever got with any band. For the next four or five years, I saw every one of your NY shows, well over a dozen. But one show at Maxwell's in Hoboken stands out. This was in 2000, the height of rap rock, Limp Bizkit, "show us your.... ." etc. A lot of nastiness.

Before the show, me and my buddy (allegedly) smoked WAY too much hoo-ha, and by the time we situated ourselves on the risers in back, I was completely, utterly, profoundly paranoid. So I pulled my baseball cap down low to hide my eyes and my rapidly growing bald patch.

Throughout the opening band, I got the distinct feeling that Corin Tucker was giving me dirty looks. I told my friend about it and he told me it was all in my head. I tried to ignore it, but it seemed to continue. She was glaring at me with a look of pure contempt. "Dude," I said, "I think Corinss mad at me." He assured me that was just (allegedly) the hoo-ha talking. Since I never met Corin, why would she not like me? It sounded convincing enough.

Then, you got onstage. And before you even played a note, Corin glares at me, and says "I want all the guys to take off their baseball caps, NOW!" In my paranoid state, I envisioned a Sinead O'Connor-esque National Anthem standoff, where you wouldn't play unless I removed my cap. As if wearing a baseball cap made me Fred Durst, or Korn.

I realized this was a pivotal, character-defining moment for me. Do I conform to the unforgiving indie rock standards and remove my cap, (risking severe pattern-baldness hat head?) Or do I buck the system and keep it on, consequences be damned? After weighing the options for a few tense seconds, I realized what I had to do. Run like a scared rabbit to the men's room, and hide, hoping she would forget. And that's exactly what I did.

Fortunately after that night, you graduated to bigger venues, so I never got yelled at again. A happy ending, for both of us.

Sent by Rick | 5:02 PM | 3-24-2008

I think the band sometimes influences the fan base. At every Sleater-Kinney show I attended in SF, despite the diversity of the audience, I always felt like the band wanted us to dance and have fun and sing along, and I never felt goofy doing so. I think Beck and The White Stripes inspire similar audiences. There is an element of fun in these band's performances and they seem to appreciate fans of all stripes, and I they set a tone for the acceptance of all, fanny packs and fleece included.

Sent by Rachel | 5:07 PM | 3-24-2008

What drives me the most crazy, with any band, are the fans who push up to the front and then spend the entire set taking photo after photo, thereby missing the "live" element of the show and seeing it only on the digital screens of their cameras. One or two photos I can understand, but do they really need hundreds? And, sadly they often seem to be tall men who feel like it is their right to be there (in front of smaller ladies like me) because they are chronicling it for their website or whatever. I find it hard to truly enjoy the magic of a live show when I am standing behind a line of unrelenting amateur photographers.

Sent by Jo | 5:29 PM | 3-24-2008

any band thats more "punk" than Rock-n-Roll I tend to fear the fans... AS I tend to go to shows to HEAR the music... not slam dance with fellow strangers...
And, I tend to ALWAYS get stuck near one exceptional A-Hole at virtually EVERY show I go too...

of all the bands ive seen, best overall fans however, I would say, are Pearl Jam fans...

Sent by Kramer | 5:29 PM | 3-24-2008

The discourse among fans is dying; people just want to like something and move on. Very few out there want to be challenged or - god forbid - challenge themselves with why they like an artist, or what about this new album is different. We like a song, we download the song, make it our ringtone and move on to the next.

I Get frustrated when i try to talk or critique a band, an album, a show, and all i get is blind devotion. Sometimes I wonder if we were listening to the same thing. A band's failure can be just as interesting as it's success, and i want to talk about it, not just swoon over how awesome their awesomeness is.

Say what you will about Deadheads & phish fans - I agree they can be more than a little scary and not always playing with a full deck; But the fact that the music made by those bands was rooted in improvisation lead to a fan base that could not only speak about a melody and lyric, but also interplay and communication, and that was refreshing. They were there to listen,because it could go anywhere. But When the bass & drums weren't in sync, they would let you know about. But bad show or not, they would still be there, spinning on the lawn the very next night because they had faith in the band.

Sent by gcn | 5:35 PM | 3-24-2008

As a general rule, overly enthusiastic people, regardless of the subject, terrify me. For music, I tend to shy away from the bands whose fans are either a) indier-than-thou or b) belive that music can only properly be enjoyed while stoned. In both cases, I think my dislike stems from attending a super-liberal college in the early 1990s. Four years of that type of fandom can turn a girl off toward a lot of music, sadly.

Sent by Laura E. | 5:45 PM | 3-24-2008

OH! This is totally easy...the kids that go to Black Lips shows! They act like they are entitled to be obnoxious because they've heard their shows can be wild and so act like total idiots! Me and two of my buddies went to a show here in LA and we all individually almost got in fights with other fans...people that were half our age! Honestly, though, it was fun because I haven't been at a show like that since the late 80s/early 90s and it was funny to bounce the American Apparel-clad around the place :)

Sent by A.R. | 6:25 PM | 3-24-2008

Are there any bands you love but whose fans you fear?
Yes, all of them.

Of course I went to more shows when I was 19. Of course now that I'm 32 and married (in Canada) it takes a little more to get me to leave the house after dark. (I get up at 5am.) But I think the crowds have changed from when I was the kid pushing politely, but insistently to get to the front, to lean against the stage. Is it just because I'm now "old" that I feel like the crowds at shows are unfriendly? Is it possible that the aggressiveness of our American empire has bled over into band fans and casual I'll-go-to-any-show-if-it's-cool audiences? I don't know. I hit that wall a few years ago when I didn't start s*&t with the 6 foot 5 dude who stood in front of me at a show in Seattle. When I knew I wasn't wearing enough black to blend in. I moved to the side and watched the lights change through the frizz on dude's girlfriend's head and I realized I would never touch a stage again.

I also don't like that West coast crowds don't dance, it freaks me out. I mean, how can you not move when it's right?

Sent by Elizabeth | 6:33 PM | 3-24-2008

Well, let's see: I haven't been to a hip-hop show despite being fascinated by it... (I'm on the white side of latino and live in Oakland.)

If the average age of the fans at a show is lower than 18, I feel very weird. That's how it is at 924 Gilman here in the East Bay... young and straightedge. Nothing puts your fuddiduddiness into perspective like crazy, sober, young kids.

I saw you guys (SK) play in LA with the Locust and the Gossip (I think that's right) and man, it seemed like I was the only guy in the place... easily a couple feet taller than everyone else (I was in the back, don't want to block a view). Nothing like a thousand screaming women to make a guy feel intimidated and excited at the same time.

Sent by joe | 6:47 PM | 3-24-2008

I'm surprised no one has suggested it yet but U2 fans are pretty crazy up the willy-nilly. I camped overnight to get seats for one of their shows with my sister (a super-fan) and there are some REALLY intense fans. But its nice because a lot of them are crazy for U2 in a way that there's a sense of camaraderie. They'll cross the country seeing these bands with each other even though they weren't friends before they met at a show.

I've also heard that the Pixies fans were pretty intense (read: assholes) during the reunion tour. It was almost as if because they were older, it was their birthright to be there and get the best seat possible.

Sent by april | 7:10 PM | 3-24-2008

I second the Black Lips comment. I saw them a few years ago at the Bowery Ballroom, great show, no problems. Two weeks ago in DC it was a disaster. The band played great, but there were tons of underage kids slam dancing and stage diving. WTF, this is the Black Lips not Minor Threat?

Sent by BTH | 7:14 PM | 3-24-2008

Do I think most audiences are boorish annoying little poseurs because I am a misanthrope? Or vice versa?

Sent by TooManyCreeps | 7:15 PM | 3-24-2008

People at Tilly and the Wall shows scare me a lot. Their shows turn into a fashion show too, which is frustrating.

I can't really think of what fans scare me the most in general though. I used to be obsessed with Weezer and I was afraid to post on their message board because everyone was mean. But that's about it.

Sent by Dominique | 7:20 PM | 3-24-2008

I must admit I don???t understand the Fan concept entirely as Most of my show attending days were spent in the late eighties/early nineties punk/ hardcore/ emo scene on the East Coast. The first Show I can remember attending was @ Hampshire College circa, maybe 1990, was The Nation of Ulysses, with some band called Bikini Kill opening up (it was their first tour)???yeah??? a week later, I was in knee deep. These were Pre-Nirvana days; the punk salad days if you will, when (literally) everyone had a Zine. Everyone read Maximum Rock N Roll, and everyone bought seven inches almost religiously. Food not Bombs all up at the show, silk screened punk patches, and absolutely hardly any other girls at the show (let alone queers, which forced one to go a looking, but that???s a whole other bag o chips). This is where Riot Grrl was born, and the term ???EMO??? was coined, thank you Rites of Spring???.I can totally recall seeing bands like Fugazi, Los Crudos, Jawbreaker, Bikini Kill, Hoover, Universal Order of Armageddon with audiences of like 30-100 kids in some basement. I can recall leaving those shows with chills. This was a feeling I never experienced replicated at an ???Indie??? show. I always found the admiration for those on stage from the crowd completely overwhelming and kinda icky. This could have been due to my early exposure to punk ideals, not that it didn???t take place on some level at punk shows, but to me, it was far less blatant. At the time, the only way to meet other punks was at Shows, or through writing letters. Sorry no Internet, no Blogs. Everyone had their pen pal who they met through their zine, etc, etc??? It was all pretty awe-inspiring at the time. It wasn???t long before I had a zine and was organizing shows for all sorts of fun now legendary lil bands, had band members sleeping on my floor and cooking up ???Vegan??? Ramen in the Kitchen of our 8 person straight edge punk house (What was I thinking???). My experience was not uncommon within that scene. In fact, it was pretty commonplace.

As I remember it, The line between the Fan and the Band Member was often very blurry. The Rock Star didn???t exist there (with some self proclaimed exceptions). Often the people in bands were just other punk kids from some other place else also just trying to get their voice turned up top volume. The scene was encouraging of the novice Musician; it maintained a d.i.y ???art for art???s sake??? approach. One didn???t need to be Jimmy Page or Eddie Van Halen to be a genius. This environment was totally inspiring, and empowering. The lack of this hierarchy made me feel like I could achieve anything. It was hard not to maintain this way of thinking throughout the years. It has stayed with me throughout, making a lasting impression. It taught me a really awesome lesson in self-sufficiency, and ability. My punk experience taught me to go for anything no matter how lofty. D.I.Y or die!! Teach yourself how to conquer the fucking world, whether it be through a guitar or composting. I think we???re all capable of being a ???Rock Star??? just not up necessarily on stage. Its one thing to truly appreciate a bands??? music, AKA their ART, but it???s a whole other thing to praise them as heroes or as worthy crushes since it is awfully hard it seems these days to experience a real conversation with a band member at a show unless you have a connection to the band. But somehow that distance seems totally appropriate, given the time period. The musical experience has changed so drastically in these little subtle ways in such a short period. It???s hard not to suspect it a reflection of some larger cultural shift. I haven???t found the live musical experience to be personal and intimate for years now. Too many people, too much misguided energy, too much fear of dancing, and taking up space. Who wouldn???t want a Beer in such an environment?

I think its great that we can find Heroes and mentors in the world of music. But, in general that???s not where I find my inspiration, and have always admittedly been a bit confused by our hipster culture???s deliverance of ???Cool ??? Points to the Rocker. Granted they provide the Soundtrack, which is pretty fucking important, but I find artists, writers, stage designers, revolutionaries, etc far more worthy of praise, and Fandom at this point???but, that???s just me.

Sent by rascal | 7:51 PM | 3-24-2008

Neil Young fans are the worst I've encountered. Drunken mustachioed bozos in Harley shirts. I saw him once with Social D and Sonic Youth opening and the fans heckled both opening bands all the way through their respective sets. It was the kind of audience I would picture being at a Lynyrd Skynyrd show. I saw him once more after that, and it wasn't a fluke, exact same boneheads in attendance. I gave up after that.

Sent by bloodyserb | 7:53 PM | 3-24-2008

I'm weary of feeling like I don't belong. There have been a few times when fans have made me feel this way because of the way I look, just because I don't dress like the band or dress like the fans who strive to pick up every aspect of the band. I love music and I go to shows because of the music. I love it when I see a mass of people at a show, I feel good knowing others share the same interest I do.

Sent by AJ | 7:54 PM | 3-24-2008

the fans I don't mind - it's the people who can't be bothered to turn away from their conversation at the bar that disturb me

Sent by knitkint | 8:13 PM | 3-24-2008

I find them more amusing than annoying, but aren't there always those concert-goers who where faded Metallica t-shirts at every show? I've seen them at shows ranging from Modest Mouse and Radiohead to Ben Folds and Ryan Adams.

Sent by Seamus | 8:20 PM | 3-24-2008

two words: tori. amos.

Sent by caryn | 8:48 PM | 3-24-2008

I'm a Tori Amos fan (ears with feet), but I'm not one of her fans who travels around the country to see her play in every city. If I had the money and the time, I probably would have done it a few years ago.
I dislike going to Tegan and Sara concerts because their fans seem to be young kids and drunken lesbians these days, both of whom tend to be rowdy and make their own noise when a band is playing.
I'm also somewhat afraid of going to concerts when I know the fans are going to get aggressive. At 5 foot, 1 inch, I get knocked around quite a bit (Thursday, Coheed and Cambria, The Gossip). At a Gossip concert last year, someone elbowed me in the side of the head because they wanted to get in front of me, and I had to get my glasses adjusted the next day. That was a pain.

Sent by Adrienne | 9:06 PM | 3-24-2008

Oh............bands with annoying fans? Hmmm.. I guess I should come in and express my grievance here. I'm a huge Pearl Jam fan yet somehow I feel this hostility coming from their fans in the message board. I think even Eddie felt alienated by the Pearl Jam BBS. But in regards to this topic, what I'm obsessed with the most is what I've read in Charles R. Cross' Heavier Than Heaven. As much as I admire a guy like Calvin Johnson, I find his treatment toward Kurt extremely annoying and unacceptable. Or maybe that's how Cross portrayed him. As an elitist indie snob. I mean, werent they supposed to be part of the same counterculture? If so, then maybe we could decide if ADHD is just a created disease to sell pharmaceuticals and maybe the idea of a "First World", "Second World" or "Third World" nation will soon be considered a farce? That's supposed to be the responsibility of rock n roll. This world is ours to take care of, and with music elitism like that, we wont go nowhere at all

Sent by Francis Aguilar | 9:57 PM | 3-24-2008

I can't stand Ryan Adams fans. I can't even stand Ryan anymore because I wasted ninety dollars on what turned out to be a horrible performance... I was outraged when, afterward, reading some message boards defending the crappy performance! It just really made me mad. They refused to see it any other way than the point of view of like uberfans, like if they said something bad about it, Ryan would come up from North Carolina to smite them.

Dream Theater fans freak me out.

I get intimidated at Philly punk shows.

I'm intimidated around the twee-set because they definitely don't think I'm cool enough.

I'm afraid to go to a Spinto Band show because it seems like nowadays they cater strictly to the 21+ set and I'll be totally looked down on.

I'm biased because I am one, but Pearl Jam fans are really amicable people.

Sent by Joe Gallll | 10:06 PM | 3-24-2008

Do I even have to say Nirvana, or is that a given? The Cult of Kurt Cobain is a special kind of crazy.

Sent by Karissa | 10:08 PM | 3-24-2008

I love the band Tegan and Sara. Their shows are fun, goofy, always big dance parties. Except lately, I hate the fans. I try to appreciate how the band tries to do as many all-age shows as possible (I remember being 17 and wanting to go to a show and couldn't...) but geez. Flasbacks to mobs and mobs of judgemental, angsty middle schoolers. I like to show up about 5-minutes before doors open, and the lines lately have been miles and miles long. Forget basking in the front rows unless you want to be elbowed and death stared by the all-too-serious, photo snapping kids. Tegan and Sara are the new Hanson for all the angsty androgenous obsessive teens. And I hate it. God forbid my 5'11" height, with heals, block the view of their idols, especially if I start to dance (the horror.).

On the flip side. I was headed to a show by The Blow at the most hipster of hipster venues in Portland, Or and was fearing the worst... But the crowd was a bunch of fabulous, cozy, and respectful dancing maniacs. And I had a great time.

Sent by Kate | 10:35 PM | 3-24-2008

ghostland observatory -- gawd, their fans are as artificial as the band

Sent by brock | 10:42 PM | 3-24-2008

pearl jam fans have thinned out considerably since the late 90's, but man it used to be tough going to their shows. what a bunch of drunk, jock boy, rude a-holes. some dude burned me with his cigarette because i wouldn't let him stand/get in front of me. every show i went to before 2000 i was afraid, getting punched in the face by some random guy seemed totally possible. also, an early NIN show with marilyn manson opening was pretty risky due to nut job fans. that show was cut short because the drummer got clocked in the head with a flying boot.

Sent by leeann | 12:25 AM | 3-25-2008

I've heard horror stories about Tegan and Sara, however the show I went to last September was lacking in insane fans. Everyone genuinely loved the music, it was an amazing experience.

But AFI fans scare me, even more now that I've seen photos of bad Davey Havok tattoos.

Sent by Kirie | 2:34 AM | 3-25-2008

Most annoying fans? The ones who show up for a band who's recently made it big(-gish) and push their way up to the front so that they can listen to themselves sing the hits really loudly (look at what a fan I am!), yet are bored during the deep tracks.

Sent by vf | 2:37 AM | 3-25-2008

Contrary to many other fans I've encountered, metal fans are awesome. They know the fingering to songs. They know the growls. In Norwegian. And Swedish. The put back cheap beer and expensive whiskey with equal abandon. They never scream in a lusty way, even if a band hasn't played in this country because they have criminal records and can't get Visas. Even if they haven't played in this country for six years and have only put out limited-edition EPs with a thousand copies.

In short, metal is the new black. Ha.

I spent my 20s steeped in a lot of city-specific indie scenes (Minneapolis/St. Paul, represent!), and I'm, honestly, bored with most music that would be loved by hipsters. (But what is a hipster...? someone might ask.) To be honest, metal is the only genre with a crowd I can tolerate -- and this is partially because everyone just wears black and scowls. No eye contact. No movement, really. And, since I'm a woman, the bathroom lines are nonexistent. Though I do try to mitigate the sausage-fest by wearing S-K t-shirts and pink jeans.

Sent by JR | 3:38 AM | 3-25-2008

There's a Manchester (UK) band called Valerie. They have an entourage of mates who follow them everywhere and generally behave in an obnoxious way; basically acting like the riot grrl mafia, getting drunk and being far too good to speak to anyone else outside the inner circle. When Valerie supported Sleater-Kinney at the Roadhouse, members of the entourage thought it was funny to shout out jokes between songs. I think one even got on stage to tell one. Arrogant, I think, in her drunken assumption that we actually didn't mind paying good money to listen to her slurring gags at us.

Sent by Jo | 7:50 AM | 3-25-2008

I went and saw Lou Barlow play a solo show a week before I turned 19 and aside from the heavy smoking by most of the crowd, I was getting some questionable looks from the much older post-college hipster crowd. Sorry I wasn't born in '78 guys, but I like Lou too.

Sent by McCormack | 8:33 AM | 3-25-2008

i think you're right for most of the belle & sebastian fans, but some of us are fairly normal. however, i will never forget the first time i saw them and they played 'fox in the snow.' the man next to me promptly collapsed to the floor and burst into tears. i took a few steps back in shame.

Sent by jayme | 8:51 AM | 3-25-2008

Living in Canada, it's the Tragically Hip fans you have to worry about (although their ranks have thinned a lot since I was in college in the mid '90's). Decent enough classic rock-y band, but some of the most single-minded, drunken, frat boy asshats you'll ever meet.

There's a line in one of fellow Canadians Sloan's songs that goes "It's not the band I hate it's their fans". They were talking about Consolidated (remember them? Yeah, they were fun.), but it's become kind of short hand for my feelings about certain bands. (other 32 year old Canadian music nerds get the reference)

Sent by Mike M. | 9:43 AM | 3-25-2008

I am a huge fan of Tori Amos, but most of her fans scare me immensely.

I am also scared of most Morrissey fans.

Personally, I am so tired of everyone needing to document every single moment of a concert with their cell phone camera. Just stand/sit and enjoy the show! They are so distracting.

Sent by Kate | 9:49 AM | 3-25-2008

I have to agree with a previous comment that the fans that show up and take pictures/talk on their phones the whole time are the worst, in my opinion. I remember going to shows long before everyone had cell phones; I could actually look at the band and not be distracted by fifty glowing squares. Really chaps my hide.

Sent by Johanna | 9:56 AM | 3-25-2008

Pearl Jam fans scare me. They're so obsessed and have hand motions for many of the songs. It was distracting!

Sent by eip | 10:49 AM | 3-25-2008

I was at an Interpol gig and my friend and I were dancing away to the music. We weren't bumping into people or even touching them in any way and people kept yelling at us that we didn't understand the band. Interpol fans suck.
Also I got punched in the face by a Slipknot fan once (it was a music festival, I was actually waiting for System of a Down, but I still ended up at the medic's place for about half an hour). Slipknot fans also suck.
Tegan and Sara fans suck too. I agree with Kate wholeheartedly.

The band with the best fans? At the most recent Cat Power concert the fans there were all really nice and laid back.

Sent by killabot | 11:23 AM | 3-25-2008

I thought the Mates of State crowd was pretty annoying. Of course, I think Mates of State themselves are also very annoying...

Andrew WK fans are the best!

Sent by viki | 12:07 PM | 3-25-2008

I'll admit it. I think Dave Matthews Band have a couple decent albums, and they would not be mocked nearly as much as they are were it not for the fanbase they've inherited.

Sent by TJ | 12:11 PM | 3-25-2008

Tori Amos. I've been a big fan for years, and the fan base just seems to have gotten worse. Elitist fans who have met her 47898932475 times who to "tour" with her, who know exactly which songs have been played all tour and the amount of times they have BEEN played.

I still love her (mostly older stuff though). But it's pretty obnoxious.

Sent by mee | 1:05 PM | 3-25-2008

Tori Amos has the most obsessive, rabid fanbase I've ever seen. They wait hours (or days) to meet her before or after shows, hang on her every word, and collect everything that mentions her. They follow her around the world, using their set of live show stats to out-fan other fans. ("Oh, you missed Chicago and Miami? Those were the only shows she covered 'American Pie' this tour.")

Their perceived connection to her is so deep and personal, it's scary. They all want to be her friend, but more importantly, they want Tori to like them back.

Sent by Andy | 1:40 PM | 3-25-2008

i used to be a message board person for 3 or 4 bands, but then it got stupid and cliquey. it all goes south when the moderators befriend the band and then start thinking of themselves as actual famous, talented people.

as far as bands whose fans i fear...i had a bad experience at a weezer concert. i also hate all moshers and crowd surfers, in general. oh, and guys/girls who smell and/or get sweat on you.

Sent by Lauren | 1:48 PM | 3-25-2008

The worst fans I've ever encountered were the ones of Rilo Kiley.

I'm never going to one of their shows again because of the obscene amount of pretentious Jenny Lewis fans. They ruined it for me.

Sent by Brian | 2:12 PM | 3-25-2008

when i was sixteen and hitting the peak of my teenaged punk rock identity obsession in rural missouri, my best friend and i became obscenely annoying superfans of anti-flag. yes, anti-flag. the anti-flag of snottily trite three-chord political slogans and made-up names like 'justin sane.'

superfandom included baking cookies, and presenting a huge, huge bag filled with food and mixtapes and, of course, a vhs tape of the antiques roadshow recorded the friday night before the show. for days after the show we would talk about the band as if we actually knew them, speculate on whether or not they actually ate the cookies, if they were creeped out (we weren't completely naive to what exactly we were doing). superfandom also involved traveling many miles to a show, and tracking them down once inside the venue. they were incredibly accessible to their fans at the time, and always made a point to put up with long, drawn out awkward conversations for the sake of being nice guys and attempting to defuse the idea of fandom. i think they eventually learned that their methods were faulty.

four years later i was at an anti-war protest in washington, dc. i looked over, and lo! there was anti-flag, the lot of them, walking alongside me. our eyes met, mine filled with surprise and shame (my favorite emotion), theirs a combination of surprise, fear and dread.

"hey! we know you!"
"yes, you do."

and then they ran away. literally. like, sprinted.

rightly so, rightly so.

Sent by b | 2:32 PM | 3-25-2008

I love the Mountain Goats, but the rabidness of their fans has caused me to skip a number of their shows. I think in particular the forceful way they shout out their song requests is unsettling.

Sent by Andrew in Chicago | 2:32 PM | 3-25-2008

Back in high school, 10 years ago, I used to see Ani Difranco a lot. The last time I was at one of her shows was at least 5 or so years ago. The reason; her fans. They booed the opening act at one of her concerts! When she came onstage to play she told the audience she didn't feel like playing for us anymore because of how rude we were. I totally agreed. If you can't wait 30-45 minutes for your favortie artist and you are rude to the people who go on before them, you really don't deserve to see bnnd/artist you came to hear. This also happened at a festival when she was playing. Maybe things have changed now, I don't know her fans turned me off so much I haven't been to a concert since.

Sent by Lauren | 3:26 PM | 3-25-2008

Fans on the "...And you will know us by the Trail of Dead". They think the band can do no wrong and if you say anything against the band you are evil. I love(ed) the band and all of a sudden I was ostracized by stating an opinion.

I sometimes feel out of place at a show if i'm not dressed like everyone else. I felt a bit out of place at Ani Difranco shows. I felt bad for being a man. Oh well, it's about the music anyway.

Sent by Shannon | 3:45 PM | 3-25-2008

i like The National. i hate their fans.
Went to a seated dhow at BAM in BKLN.
Sensitive sing along (loudly!) guys on both sides.
i didn't go there to hear them sing. People need to get that.

Sent by polly | 4:49 PM | 3-25-2008

Bright Eyes fans are easily the worst ever. Moreso than my not-so-secret love of Ben Gibbard (whether it's Death Cab or Postal Service), my being a Bright Eyes fan is probably the thing I'm most ashamed of, not because of Conor's songwriting or music, but because I don't want to be lumped in with the average Bright Eyes fanatic. I've traveled to other states to see Oberst and Co. because of how much I love his music, but no matter where I am, Bright Eyes fans are typically the most annoying people to attend a concert. It's all a bunch of attention-starved kids who feel the need to profess their love for Conor (and Mogis) which leads them to yell stupid crap directed at the band. It makes me want to tear my own hair out and yell back at them to shut the hell up and let everyone enjoy the show...but then that would turn me into one of them. Ho hum.

Sent by Brian L. | 5:06 PM | 3-25-2008

I would love to see one of the fabled Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds acoustic shows they do every once in a while, but as great as the recordings of those shows are, the fans are so, so obnoxious. The drunken frat boys and potheads I had to deal with seeing Tim Reynolds by himself in Philly was bad enough.

On the other hand, you are guaranteed to have a great time at a Hold Steady show. They are great guys and their fans reciprocate the love in spades.

Sent by TerenceF | 5:07 PM | 3-25-2008

And yes, I'll plead guilty to being the stranger that approaches bands but, and it may or may not sound odd, but it's mostly to pass on artwork I've created of them rather than to ask for something in return. I guess as an artist/illustrator constantly inspired by music and always having a room to fill with sound and image, a large part of my fandom is a desire to express my gratitude to a band in a more personalized way, because I have an outlet that allows for that. For me its a gratitude that extends beyond ticket/CD price of a band because their music means more than a monetary value to me. Music and bands are a big part of what inspires my art, and on a professional level, it's constant subject ??? I'd feel a sense of guilt as a spectator not extending that thanks when I have the ability to.
As for band's fans that rub me up the wrong way; I'd have to say the last shins concert was a little unnervingly hipster.

Sent by Guy Shield | 5:47 PM | 3-25-2008

Hmm...I think the only reason any of my stuff from live shows is autographed is because guys like Rob Schneider (Apples in Stereo), Jeremy Barnes (A Hawk & a Hacksaw) and Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good to Me) are the ones selling stuff at the merch table. Good fortune, I guess.

Otherwise, I collect handbills, records, etc. I'm not pretentious about it though...I don't frame each precious poster. They're just up in my room, more exciting than white walls and wood paneling.

There are a few fans that I'm afraid of. Deadheads are chief among them. I went to Bonnaroo last year and wound up having my head talked off by a Deadhead who was shocked that I wasn't into Bob Wier and Ratdog before going into an even longer diatribe about kids my age not appreciating the classics. Widespread Panic fans scare me, too - I worked with a guy who followed them on tour for a few years, and he was nearly offended that I missed them at Bonnaroo in favor of driving home. Radiohead uberfans and Dave Matthews fans are similarly annoying. People who go to concerts and stand around not doing anything just make me sad.

I was terrified about going to a Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks show two days ago because I wasn't sure if the crowd was going to be made up of a bunch of jaded Pavement fans...but they turned out alright. To be honest, I've never had a concert experience ruined by fans.

Sent by Paul Rodgers | 7:08 PM | 3-25-2008

I saw Xiu Xiu this past Friday in Boston. Amazing show, odd venue (theater in an art museum, rather formal.) I'm not sure why I hadn't seen Xiu Xiu before, but, well, anyway, the fans were pretty great, I thought. Yeah, a few were a little hipper-than-thou, but most were attentive and clapped politely, and at the end the band got a well-deserved standing ovation. The formality of the theater made for long periods of silence between song, but then the roar that followed was simply astounding. The fans loved it, tense and quietly waiting between songs.

Sent by Michael | 9:11 PM | 3-25-2008

Prussian Blue fans are major leage A-holes.

Sent by Rick | 11:34 PM | 3-25-2008

I miss being 16 and not caring at all what the rest of the crowd thought about dancing/singing/yelling/general merriment that cannot be expressed in any social situation other than a concert or party. Obnoxious fans are easy enough to ignore or avoid, but what's harder is dealing with the joykiller "fans." Being jubilant about a band and wanting to express it but knowing that any sort of outward glee will be met with cold stare-downs and sometimes even verbal reproach is one of the most disheartening feelings ever.

I agree with TerenceF, The Hold Steady are one of the few bands I've seen in the last few years (Of Montreal, too!) where everyone in attendance, be they cross-armed hipsters or overly-boozed frat boys, can have a fantastic time in whatever (usually loud) way they please and know that the band is having a blast, too.

Sent by Sara | 12:02 AM | 3-26-2008

Alternate context, same phenom: Bart Simpson saying he won't stay at an American youth hostel b/c he's bound to be cornered by a German tourist droning on about how Americans don't appreciate their National Parks (apparently there are none in the Fatherland.)

As a Bob Mould listener, c. 1990, I'm a bit wary of the Huskers fans and their sense of betrayal at Bob's newer, gayer--literally and figuratively--music direction. I prefer my musicians to evolve.

On seeing him 2 nights in a row a few years ago, I bought myself a pint of 'Cherry Garcia' ice cream to remind myself that I was doubtless becoming the people that I used to mock.

Sent by nsf | 12:28 AM | 3-26-2008

The Tegan & Sara shows I saw a few years ago were great; small, happy, and peaceful. The most recent T&S show I went to was at the Crystal Ballroom in December, and it got to the point where they both asked the crowd to calm down and be a little kinder to their neighbors. I felt embarassed for all.

Sent by a.e.h | 1:28 AM | 3-26-2008

I went to see Ra Ra Riot a few weeks ago at Bowery Ballroom; saw them 6 months prior in Brooklyn. I was all smiles after seeing how much they have honed their live show and how much energy they gave off from the stage...

then i thought "oy, the audience was pretty good...this ain't gonna last long..."

such is life

Sent by sps | 7:44 AM | 3-26-2008


I went to Dave & Tim at Bucknell University in 99 (while I was a student). Despite it being one of the most overtly "Greek" schools I know of (based on percentage of population), if you listen to the recording, Dave thanks the audience for being so respectful. It was a truly amazing show. I doubt it could happen again at this point, but for whatever reason (perhaps the really amazing, uptight venue), it was really a solid audience.

Same goes for Bela Fleck after that, and a Tim Reynolds show as well. Hell, we even had the Bacon Brothers (i.e., Kevin Bacon and his brother) there while I was there (not a bad show), which ended up being hilarious because I think the band expected a rock show and since it was an orchestra-type venue, everyone remained seated and tapped their feet/hands...

Sent by ss | 7:51 AM | 3-26-2008

I was bitterly disappointed when I saw Girl Talk last fall. Everyone was pushing just so they could get close to Greg, and no one cared about actually dancing to the music. I was expecting one big fun dance party and all I got where people trying to push to the front so that they could be photographed for Pitchfork.

Sent by kaitlin | 9:08 AM | 3-26-2008

I like the small shows that let you go up and shake the bands hand after a show. I've never asked for anything in return, but one of my favorite concert experiences was shaking Jacob Bannon's hand and telling him how much I liked his band after a Converge show in Philly.

Sent by Brian | 10:47 AM | 3-26-2008

I thoroughly enjoy Slayer. And, not in a "look at my vintage t-shirt" way, either. And, I think Chuck Klosterman summed up why I fear their live shows and fans enough to where (as an old man) I won't be attending one anytime soon. Take it away Chuck:

June 1998 - The Odeon Club - Cleveland, Ohio

"Slayer would be Spinal Tap if they possessed even an ounce of irony. But, as it is, they are the most serious band who ever lived. The result is absolutely punishing."

"As soon as Kerry King played the first chord, a guy about 10 feet away from me inexplicably punched the person standing in front of him. I'm almost certain they had no relationship whatsoever. About five minutes later, a man hit a woman in the face for no particular reason at all."

For whatever reason, they started throwing punches at each other before the band could even beat out the first few words of the song, which in case you are wondering were 'trapped in purgatory/a lifeless object, alive'."

Sent by Richard Church | 11:52 AM | 3-26-2008

Bright Eyes fans are pretty bad, I'd go with saying they're the worst of the worst.

The Rilo Kiley crowd at their last show at HOB in Orlando was possibly the worst crowd I was ever apart of. And I say this being a huge RK fan, they're my favorite band of all time. But I would travel across the country to have missed the crowd they had which involved multiple people yelling out that Jenny was hot, the girl next to me trying to kill me to take my spot, and some guy who knocked my friend over/trample her right as they came on stage, which resulted in her having to leave the floor. I love RK, but that was insane.

Best crowd ever? Pretty Girls Make Graves, hands down. Not to mention, after the show, they were just the nicest people to meet. Of Montreal runs a close second though!

Sent by Meaghan | 12:11 PM | 3-26-2008

I would have to completely agree with the Tori Amos comments. Having experienced her fans first hand, I can definitely say that they see her as more than just a musician and more like the second coming.

Sent by D | 12:23 PM | 3-26-2008

I could never be a crazed fan. I enjoy the music yes, but I don't know the people personally. I can see a glimpse of who they are in interviews, but really that doesn't show anything.
I would need to know a person for me to have some kind of obsession or think they are they greatest thing since sliced bread.

Sent by Jess H | 12:38 PM | 3-26-2008

Elliott Smith. I'm a pretty big fan of him, and it scares me how much I know about him. I'm not even sure how it happened. I'm not even in the league of the people who post on his message board and have his live shows catalogued and can tell you who he dated when and tell you all of these close family stories. He's not even a People magazine target; you'd actually have to go digging for this stuff.

Sent by Ben | 4:22 PM | 3-26-2008

Morrissey's male fanbase all look like him! That's kinda creepy.

Sent by Rhianna | 4:24 PM | 3-26-2008

Joe Bonamassa. The blues technical guitar soul free guitar guy.

Sent by Dino | 4:49 PM | 3-26-2008

In response to the of Montreal comments- I've seen them four times. Twice the crowd was great, but the other two times the crowd was terrible. One of them doesn't really count, because it was really only three really drunk kids that pushed their way to the front and then kept drunkenly stumbling all over everyone.

The other terrible experience though was with a group of about 10 hipsters that shoved their way up to the front (and I don't mean they just pushed their way in, they literally SHOVED people with both their hands out of their way.) Then they started dancing, which normally I would think is great, except that they kept stepping on everyone around them and hitting people and forcing everyone further and further back to the point where nobody else could move. The whole room of people behind them was so crammed that you literally could not move an inch in any direction without hitting the person next to you. I'm all about dancing at shows, but that was painful. You're in a small room crammed with people, be aware of your surroundings! The funny part is that they probably felt superior to everyone else because they were dancing and nobody else was... because nobody else had any space to move.

Sent by I | 10:48 PM | 3-26-2008

My of Montreal experiance was probably one of the best I've had, right on up to the merch guy threatening to "hug the shit" out of me.

I need to see the Hold Steady in a non-festival environment. I was surrounded by idiots at Bonnaroo last year, but I still had a blast.

Sent by Paul Rodgers | 1:22 AM | 3-27-2008

to each their own. if someone wants to be fanatical about a band, then so be it. i think it's okay to feel passionate about something/anything. music is a powerful medium that has the capability of inspiring people. if someone's really obnoxious at a show, i choose to ignore it. i'm too old (29) to be worried about others' degrees of obsessions with a rock band. i'm a self-admitted dork, so i hardly care if i fit in these days at the shows i attend.

Sent by formality | 2:00 AM | 3-27-2008

I can live with Morrissey fans now (cause I'm old enough), but Smiths fans really prevented me from enjoying their music while the band was around - too serious to get the camp and humour (as well as the real hurting) in Mozzer's lyrics. And I guess if I hadn't been a fan of Joy Division from day one, the post-suicide Ian Curtis worshippers would have driven me away. These days, I fear Bj??rk and The Mars Volta fans mostly, who only have contempt for people smart enough to see thru shallow pseudo multi-ethnic doodlings or conceptually pretentious albeit skilful muso masturbation, pretending we just don't "get it"...

Sent by Thierry | 10:20 AM | 3-27-2008

i am reminded of a lyric from one of my favorite Canadian bands, Sloan. The song is called Coax Me.

"if I drank concentrated OJ
could I think Consolidated's okay?
it's not the band I hate
it's their fannnnns.
three cans of water perverts me!"

I actually truly love many Consolidated songs. But I'm NOT a fan of having the audience get up and speak between sets.

Sent by jane birkin | 11:29 AM | 3-27-2008

I think I was one of those fans. I followed a band to several cities on the east and west coast. And saw them every time they were in my hometown. I didn't understand why I was complied to so, but I can only say I felt they were my friends and I emotional connection with them, and until someone falls in love with a band it can't explained.

My fandom manifested itself in going to as many shows as possible and trying to be the first in line. Before then I had never seen a band more than
once and never though of being in first row.

And I was protective of the band and felt that if I was in the front row and danced and smiled, they would feel happy that there was a true fan; in whatever city they were in and would feel at home.

I am also guilty in sending the band packages over the years. Usually books and stuff.

Was I ever scary? I don't think I was. I always kept I comfortable distance from the band. And I was always respectable of casual fans. But I can also say they were never going to come between me and the best band ever. I miss them.

Sent by xavier | 7:46 PM | 3-27-2008

Whoever said that about Tegan & Sara (Kate?) I agree with you whole-heartedly. I remember when I was a teen attending shows in town never being allowed in the bar area. In some weird way, I resented those that were allowed. Now, I???m one of those people. I???m only 26, but I feel too old to like Tegan & Sara, and I???m the same age as they are! I saw them in Cleveland late last year, and outraged by people by moving towards the front of the stage, got bitched at for being taller than people (I???m 5???9???) and was just generally treated with disrespect. I paid just as much money for my ticket; I???ll stand wherever the fuck I want to. There was some really young, really angry girl towards the front of the stage drinking a PBR. She kept turning to my friend and I and screaming obscenities. If you can???t handle you???re one beer, don???t get your mom to buy it for you!

Sent by Jimmy | 1:45 AM | 3-28-2008

I just got back from hearing Caribou and Fuck Buttons - nonono...not worse name ever,... I once saw a flyer in Belgium announcing a "Kiss the anus of a Black Cat" show (actually they still exist, just googled them) - and found myself thinking about this post. What about fans that aren't annoying enough? Well, not annoying, but enthusiastic.
I just moved to the States and noticed the lack of movement in the crowd. It wasn't exactly a pouncing concert, but... such hypnotic, gripping opening bands, why was 95% of the crowd not swaying? And to Caribou, gooOoodness! How can people stand still with those drums pounding in your chest?
Is it just because the bands are fairly new? Is it some kind of Brooklynian thing? Does it depend on the genre here? Day of the week? Moon cycle? Jean-tightness?

Sent by gimmeguacamole | 3:09 AM | 3-28-2008

There was a moment in time, right after Liars had released They Were Wrong, So We Drowned when Liars was the least hip band in the universe. During that tour I saw them play in a ballroom at Smith College and most of the audience was dancing, the moshpit area wasn't so much a mosh pit as a rubbing pit. It was a collection of oddballs going crazy. One of my all time favorite shows.

Sent by K??ri Tulinius | 11:43 AM | 3-28-2008

Slayer. Actual, fight-or-flight response activated fear.

Sent by Jeremy | 6:41 PM | 3-28-2008

Pantera fans can be nice enough even though the band's personal politics probably lean towards Prussian Blue in more ways than one, and I wouldn't go to one of the shows for fear of broken bones. Fear fans who have a lot of phlegm also scare me. I'm pretty much uncomfortable at most shows I go to these days because there is a definite non-"stoniness" and/or willingness to dance/at least look like your enjoying yourself, that is off-putting. I love, and wish I could be the kind of kid, that person that goes out and breakdances or does something stupid when people are doing the statue and not dancing or "circling". I have to agree that metal fans can be fun to hang out with, but that might just be because I'm an overweight white guy and that seems to be my team.
Ozomatli is probably one of the best bands I've seen live, even though they toured on one album for 7 years or whatever.

Sent by zach | 10:40 PM | 3-30-2008

In 2001 my now-wife and I were at Memphis In May enjoying Tower Of Power jam out on a gorgeous Saturday night. Slowly, fans of the next act, Lynyrd Skynyrd, starting to make their way into the crowd screaming things like, "Get off the stage," while splicing expletives into, raised clenched fist punctuating the harshness. We left, making certain to avoid eye contact. Coincidentally, as I understand it, the year before that the band's fan drank all of the whiskey at the summer concert amphitheater here in STL. The venue had to send runners to a grocery store to buy bottles off the rack.

Sent by Nick Cowan | 5:35 PM | 4-1-2008

A few weeks back I went to see Tegan and Sara in London, they were for the matter brilliant and funny.

Because, in the past, both Tegan and Sara in interviews have been open about their sexuality they have built up a big gay following, un suprizingly.

Although they have been out spoken about being gay some of their fans have completley blown it all out of proportion, by the way some fans go on you'd think that's all they are about.

At the concert I was standing in the line, behind me was a man on his own, he was confronted by 5/6 female fans and was asked 'are you gay? why are you here? I was really shocked to hear these questions - why does it matter!? I dont think they were dileberatly being confrentational - they were just mereley making convosation.

The man replied 'No, I am not gay, I just have a great respect for their musical ability and their capibility of writing great, catchy songs' which is exactly the reason I was there. The group of women honestly were confused by this response.

The man looked at me and said 'isnt that the reason we have all come to see them' he thought people like this often put off non-gay fans from attending artists gigs who happen to be gay by making them feel out of place.

Why does it matter if you arn't a gay fan? Not all Tegan and Saras songs are about being gay and even if they were why could you not just simply enjoy listening to the way the song is structured or what harmonies they use and where.

I felt quite sorry for the man, he said he felt quite intimitated being one of the only men at the concert.

Its the pact mentality thing isnt it, and thats what often goes so wrong with music and fans!

Sent by Shannon | 3:50 PM | 4-6-2008

God, I hate to hear people put down Tegan and Sara fans. They are a pretty awesome band, and so I guess they have a severe cult following now. Myself and my (straight male) mate are huge fans. He and I both have all the records, Dvds and all that Jazz. I guess going to any gig where fans are like super hardcore, and your not super hardcore (even if you are a big fan) is tough. I get how difficult and annoying it must be to show up to a concert and have miles of queues in front of you, with fans who have been waiting all day. I think it varys from venue to venue. Also, in Europe Tegan and Sara developed this serious group of fans in the past few years and hadn't toured here in ages, so the concerts were intense. While I would never yell at anybody, ever, or even talk about them to my friend, or try to make a concert in anyway unpleasant for them, I am somewhat annoyed (on the inside) when fans like you show up, as you said, five minutes before a concert, and push their way to the front. I think that if people were giving you filthies, I might be able to understand a little how they must have felt. I think T&S fans tend to be a little too rowdy, I prefer to listen to the music and anecdotes rather than yell out marriage proposals. But I think that they manage their fans pretty well. Fans are sometimes rowdy, but I don't think they are rude. About the whole, basking in the front of the venue, when you've arrived five minutes ago, well think that is bad etiquette for a concert, and just bad manners to push to the front. I think your being very harsh, and maybe should realise that there are probably people on some other forum, giving out about how they queued for four hours to get a good spot, because it was unreserved, and then this tall lady in heels, arrived five minutes before the show and got to the front. Then later she went home and went on to the internet and complained how Tegan and Sara fans were unfriendly because she was tall, and gave out about them for taking pictures at the concert.

I think that Hanson comment was way harsh. Tegan and Sara are not Hanson for kids now, I hate Hanson. The Blow however, is awesome. I do agree that (some) Tegan and Sara fans who are gay feel some sort of ownership towards them, and that sucks. Tegan and Sara are amazing musicians, and I would hate to think that anyone in any audience is there because they find them attractive. I mean, I think they both are, but that is not why I am at the shows, they're gay anyways.

I think if you just act politely, if you want to get a good spot, queue early. I honestly took a half day at work to go queue. Fans in the queues were very very friendly, funny and nice. There were a good few lesbians, and I saw a gay guy. But me and my mate had a blast. We met some really nice girls, queued for two hours!! got good spots at the show. I liked the fans a lot. But once they got drinking, they were a bit loud, but they quieted down once Tegan or Sara started to sing, or tell a story!

The kind of fans I don't like, are the ones that give out because they don't like too many lesbians (Adrienne). I mean, why did you have to use the word lesbian, like who gives a toss about their fans sexuality. T&S are gay, so they have more gay fans than most bands, deal!

Unlike Kirie who had heard bad stories about Tegan and Sara concerts, I had not. But like her, the gigs I went to were awesome, and there were no insane fans, the crowd was great. It was the best night ever.

I agree with Kirie also, that AFI fans can be scary! And with Kate, that The Blow fans are chilled and cool.

I also like Joanna Newsom fans, a lot!

Sent by Louie | 9:55 PM | 4-27-2008