Last night, Lady SonicGabe and I went to see Dave Hause, Against Me!, and Bad Religion. We arrived early to get a spot up front. I’ve seen them countless times over the span of their existence, from house shows to tiny clubs to large venues. I will almost always go stand up front. There are risks and annoyances to doing so, but it is a punk show. But last night, I lost my shit.
During opener Dave Hause’s set, this woman in her later 30s was standing behind and to the right of us. We were one person back from the barrier. She talked louder than the music for his entire set. Her voice cut through everything. She was on what seemed to be a date, probably their first or second one, as she was telling the guy all sorts of things that people who know each other would already know.
And when I say she talked, I mean she talked. She started about 15 or 20 minutes before Mr. Hause and rattled on through his entire 30 minute set. We could hear every word she said. Her date said six word. Lady SonicGabe counted. She literally talked non-stop for about 50 minutes. But whatever. It’s the opener. People are still coming, finding their friends. Other people are talking. Except she was talking so loud. I figured she’d probably stop when Against Me! came on.
I was right, but after what happened, I would have preferred the talking.
As Against Me! started, there was the anticipated crowd push forward. Lady SonicGabe ended up at the barrier, I was standing directly behind her. Miss Talks-A lot, let’s call her “Carol”, because that’s her name, grabs and eight inch piece of the barrier next to Lady SonicGabe. She proceeds to wedge herself up against my wife, trying to force herself in to a space that doesn’t exist between two people. Carol is standing behind Lady SonicGabe on the right, but is grabbing the barrier in front of her. She is pushing my wife in to the barrier. She would occasionally let up a little, but remaind in full body contact with my wife. After a few songs, I tapped Carol on the shoulder and asked her very politely to please step back one inch as she is hurting my wife. I begged her to just put one inch between them.
She said no. She proceeds to tell me that she is not moving and not letting go of the barrier. She doesn’t want to lose her place up front. She doesn’t want to get pushed away by the pit.
I pointed out to her that I had a good 12 inches of space between me and everyone around me and that THERE WAS NO PIT! Well, there was a small pit of only five people about 15 feet behind us. But everyone else was standing with plenty of space between themselves and the next person.
Carol wouldn’t let up and kept forcing herself in to my wife. So Lady SonicGabe said fuck it and left the front as she felt like she was going to pass out from the pressure being applied to her.
As Carol took her place on the barrier I leaned over and yelled something like “Thanks for ruining the show. All you had to do was move back one inch, but you couldn’t do that. You couldn’t do one nice thing!” I gave her the double birds right in her face, screamed “FUCK YOU!” and ran after my wife.
Upon getting home, using all of the personal information I heard Carol say very loudly at the show, I found her on Instagram and Facebook (which is how I know her name). This took all of 10 seconds to do. We have 19 friends in common on Facebook. These are people who I have known for a very long time. It is inevitable that one day someone will introduce us at a bar or concert or something. And when that happens, I will just says “Oh, you’re the asshole from the Against Me! show” and I’ll walk away.
This morning, the entire right side of Lady SonicGabe’a body, especially her hip, knee and ankle are in pain because of Carol pushing on her. It would be different if everyone was caught up in the crowd, if everyone was moving together, having a good time. The last Against Me! show we went to was a sea of people moving as one. This wasn’t the case. Everyone was standing, or bouncing in place; but no one was pushing, shoving, climbing, or jumping. Everyone had their own space. Carol violated my wife’a space.
And let me add that my anger was not alcohol-induced. I didn’t have a single drink before, during, or after the show.