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Tales from the Queue

It is almost that time again.  In twenty days we will be back on the road queuing up for more Arctic Monkey shows. Queuing for shows is a funny thing, most of my ” normal”  friends do not understand this concept of concert going. They get there right before the band gets on stage and are happy to be where ever they land in the crowd . Me, I get there HOURS before the doors even open, I  have the need to be front and center.  Luckily for me I tend to travel with a group of girls who DO understand the need to queue .

Recently, one of the girls that has attended several shows with us, sent a recent article from AP magazine to me. I laughed as I read it, having gone thru most , if not all, of the things they speak of.

Do you queue for shows? If you have some funny stories we would love to hear them, I am sure we can relate. Be sure to shoot us an email or leave your stories in comments.

The following article was reprinted from AP magazine and written by Cassie Whitt…

11 things only extreme concert line-waiters understand
We’re the barricade kids–the ones who will stop at nothing to be at the front of the crowd when our favorite bands take the stage. You take the bar and the moshpit and just try to fight your way up here. We dare you, because after waiting in line for twelve hours, we’ve earned this and aren’t going to take any of your shenanigans.

Here are just a few of the things that those of us who line up at ridiculous hours before shows can relate to.

1. Line-jumpers are your mortal enemy.
They’re here to thwart your entire mission of the day, and what’s worse is they’re always either really arrogant or really oblivious about it.

2. There’s always one person who will defend the pack.
About an hour before doors, people will start to flood in and form a crowd around the spots you have called home the whole day. Most of us remain meek and whisper about them and hope they go away, but somehow there’s always one sleep-and-food-deprived specimen among those at the front of the line who will spout a quick and snotty, “Um, the line is back there,” while the rest of us just glare, probably without even realizing that at this point, we all look like the kind of people you just don’t want to fuck with. It’s pretty effective. ( This is usually me…I am not afraid to tell someone I have been there ALL day )

3. Bathrooms are a luxury.
“Yeah, the Subway next door will let you use theirs, but only if you buy something. Chipotle keeps the bathroom key behind the counter. There’s a gas station a few blocks away, but they don’t have a public restroom. You can try the laundromat? If you’re sneaky, Dunkin Donuts won’t notice.”

4. Snacks are essential.
Anyone who has passed out or come close to it at a show knows this, and those of us who perch ourselves out in the elements all day know we must take it especially to heart. We tend to roll up with grocery bags filled with sustenance and may have even trained ourselves to drink the gross Gatorade flavors just to stay hydrated. I once drank a bottle of pomegranate-flavored protein syrup goop that probably wasn’t meant to be consumed as a beverage just so I wouldn’t pass out while in the crowd. ( Thank god for Cliff Bars, a concert essential )

5. Venues with multiple entrances are the worst.
“You line up at that door; I’ll man this one. As soon as the box office opens we’ll ask them [30 times] which door they’re opening first.”

6. No, we’re not “waiting for tickets.”
Nearly every person who passes the line outside a venue while you’re waiting to get into the show will pose the same question. “Are you waiting to buy tickets?” They can’t grasp the fact that you A) bought your tickets the millisecond they went onsale and B) are camped on a grimey sidewalk for the sole purpose of guaranteeing your spot in the front row. ( We have even had people offer us food thinking we are homeless . One guy asked , after finding out we had been in line since 8am if we were there to see Elvis..we looked at him and said ” Ummm kinda..”)

7. Conversations will always turn to other line-waits.
Basically the music fan’s version of a fisherman’s tale, the line-wait stories are always a tad hyperbolic, told with grand gestures and pantomime and are destined to happen every time you come into contact with a group of people who have shared similar experiences. ( Everyone has a great queue story, which is why we would love to hear yours)

8. Rain, shine or subzero temperatures
Weather-schmeather. Be it 107 degrees or 0, we’re going to plant ourselves in line for our favorite bands. The sane, logical person would see extremes as a hazard to their well-being and eventual enjoyment of the show. Others might encounter rain and decide they’ll avoid leaving their houses at all costs until it’s time for the headliner to take the stage. Nope. Not us. Goodbye, logic; hello, frostbite! ( We have been on the sidewalk in the middle of August in the South..HOT…in a Tropical Storm in Baton Rouge and in a blizzard so cold your fingers burned at the slightest exposure to the cold air)

9. Lingering sidewalk smell
You know that smell of city dust and asphalt that you occasionally catch a whiff of sometimes? That’s what we smell like. Sitting on the ground in an urban area all day puts us right at street-sweeper level and lets our clothes (and skin) pick up all debris. Mmm, crunchy! ( Wait…we smell? Who knew…everyone near me smells the same so we don’t notice )

10. Strategic car and bathroom trips
Down to the minute before doors open, you plot when you’re going to put your stuff away (those bags of excess snacks [see No. 4], blankets to sit on, card games, etc.) and when your final bathroom battle [No. 3] will be. It’s crucial that in the final hour before doors open, you don’t. move. at all. It’s also crucial that you make a friend in line or bring a friend with you and that at least one of you is there at all times to vouch for the other and keep your spot

11. Barricade Bliss
The moment you get inside and you plaster yourself to that metal rail in front of the stage, none of the frustrating parts of the line-wait matter. It’s a most satisfying victory, and high-five, because youyou lovely, soot-covered, ragged-looking, day-worn thing­–earned it.

About Teri (805 Articles)
You can usually find me traveling, queuing, or at barricade for a band. I am most likely doing all three things in a day. If I'm not at a concert you can also find me digging through crates for that coveted black disc, I'm an avid vinyl lover and I have the receipts to prove it.