Tag Archives: concert

Towel Steppers

I went to San Francisco’s Outside Lands earlier this month. Outside Lands is a three day music and arts festival held in Golden Gate Park. I go every year and every year gets more and more crowded. Most people are respectful of other people’s space and property but there are always a couple of assholes who don’t give a fuck and consider themselves to be VIPs. They are towel steppers. They will literally step on your towel or blanket that you have splayed out on the ground. They will bump into you and not appologize. They will cut in line. They turn a fun event into a hassle. And they should be called out for it. The world needs more hippies and less towel steppers. 

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young 

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Netflix Music

Yo, Netflix! Where the music at? You have a bunch of movies, documentaries, television shows, and original content. You even have your own version of the Yule Log and New Year’s Eve Countdowns. I think that it’s time you step your game up and start streaming music videos or concert footage. You guys changed the way the world watches TV. It wouldn’t be much too hard for you to change the way we experience music. You could have your own concert series. Hell, you could have your own record label if you wanted to. I think you should. I think it’s a great idea. I’m happy to take credit for it. Just make a check out to me when you guys get on board. Oh, and you’re welcome.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Not So Silent Night 2015

Last Friday night I went to Not So Silent Night. It’s a concert thrown by LIVE 105, a popular Bay Area alternative rock radio station. They throw it every year but this year’s lineup was too good to miss, so I jumped at the chance when my friend asked if I wanted to go. The tickets weren’t too pricey. We got ours for fifty bucks apiece and sat in the front row of the second level. We had an unobstructed view of the stage and people below, plus easy access to the bathrooms. It was a good spot.

We got to the concert a little late. We missed out on X Ambassadors completely. I don’t really know them though, so no harm, no foul. We got there just as Foals came out. They played for about twenty minutes or so. They were alright. Nothing too spectacular. CHVRCHES were next. I’ve been looking forward to seeing them for a while. Now I can cross that off the bucket list. Their set was only about thirty minutes. Halsey was after that. I’m not too familiar with her music and I’m still not. She was good though, just not my style.

Silversun Pickups played after that. I first saw Silversun Pickups at Outside Lands in 2009 and they instantly became one of my favorite bands. They were the main reason I wanted to go to Not So Silent Night. They have such a great sound and vibe. They played for about forty minutes, which wasn’t nearly enough time for them to play everything I wanted to hear. Bastille was after Silversun Pickups. I don’t know Bastille too well. I only know “Pompeii” and they played that. It’s much better live.

Death Cab for Cutie was next. They played around an hour and ten minutes and were able to cram a lot of their hits in. Ben Gibbard has one of the best voices in the music industry today and it was awesome to see him perform live for the first time in my life. I would definitely go see them again.

Weezer was the headliner and they deserved to be. They’ve been around for a long time and they are still coming out with great songs. They played for an hour and twenty minutes. Not too long, but long enough. They played some new stuff, but they also played almost everything I wanted to hear… “Undone – The Sweater Song,” “Say It Ain’t So,” “Hash Pipe,” “Beverly Hills,” “Perfect Situation,” and “Buddy Holly” to name a few. The whole crowd was singing along to every song. A few people even raised lighters over their heads. Real lighters, not cellphones. It was a sight to see.

That was my first Not So Silent Night and it probably won’t be my last. They crammed in a lot of solid bands, and there was only a ten-minute delay between sets. It was nonstop entertainment. I don’t like paying a lot of money to only see one or two bands. I saw seven bands (it could have been eight) in one night. That’s a lot of bang for my buck. Totally worth it.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Free Tickets

Every now and then the universe decides that I need to have some fun and it rewards me with free tickets. Sometimes I get free concert tickets. Sometimes it’s movie tickets. And everyone knows that I’m a huge SF Giants fan, so I can usually snag free tickets from friends during baseball season. A free ticket is almost always a good thing. It allows you to escape from reality and the mundane for a few hours. You can’t complain about having a bad seat if you got a free ticket. It’s a better view than not being there. And it’s free so you’ll have more money to spend on food, booze, and souvenirs. And if you have extra free tickets, you can scalp those and have even more money for food, booze, and souvenirs. You should accept free tickets whenever the opportunity comes knocking.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Make Friends with the People Around You

It’s important to make friends with the people around you whenever you go to a concert or a sporting event or another similar event with a large crowd. You don’t have to ask their names, or what high school they went to, or add them on Facebook… you just have to make some small talk and exchange pleasantries. This way they are more forgiving each time they have to stand up to make room for you when you go get food or go to the bathroom. And they are more willing to look the other way as you pour your smuggled liquor into a Coke cup and pass it around your group. And plus events are more fun with friendly people around you. I was at a Giants game the other night and I overheard a little old lady telling her family that it was her first game of her life. I turned around and told her that she’s going to see something amazing. Sure enough, Buster Posey hit a home run and she turned into a schoolgirl and giddily told me that her last name was Posey too. Seeing the joy on her face turned a typical home run into a memorable one. We lost the game but that little old lady made my night. That’s why I make nice with the people around me. It makes being stuck in a crowd more bearable. Swapping stories and practicing common courtesy with your temporary neighbors goes a long way. For some reason, social events are more fun with a little social interaction.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Goose Hands

Last August I went to the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in San Francisco. There were a lot of bands, a few different stages, and thousands and thousands of people walking around. Anyone who has ever been to a festival can attest to how easy it is to lose your friends in the crowd. You look away for a second and they’re gone. Some people carry around sticks, poles, flags or balloons so that their friends can spot them amongst the sea of people. That’s a good idea, but it’s kind of cumbersome to walk around with a ten foot pole. Goose hands are the best alternative to lugging a flag around all day. Then next time someone gets separated from the group, tell them your general vicinity and to look out for the goose hands. Form a good old fashioned duck shadow puppet with your hand, then elevate it over your head and make it quack. Get a few friends to do it too, and the missing member of your group will be able to find you without any problem. It’s a great way to locate your group or guide your lost friend back to your spot. It’s easier to push your way through a crowd if you know where you’re going. Goose hands… try them at your next concert. It will change your life.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Using a Blanket to Mark Your Turf

If you’ve ever gone to an outdoor concert or festival, you’ve probably noticed a few groups that bring in beach towels or blankets to sit on. They stake out a spot where they can spread out their blanket, and that little plot of land becomes their territory. If you bring a towel you have a spot to lay down between sets, you have a place to leave your bags, you have a set meeting spot (I’ll meet you at the blanket). This is all perfectly acceptable behavior as long as there’s no music and you’re not too close to the stage. But if everyone around you is standing and/or moving to the beat and your ass is still parked on your blanket, it might be time to stand up and pack up your shit. There’s no point in bitching at a steady stream of strangers for stepping on your precious blanket. Yes, it is rude to step on someone’s personal belongings. But it’s also rude to claim ownership over public property by spreading out a blanket when everyone else is crammed together. Using a blanket to mark your turf is a smart idea, but you can’t be selfish about it. Drunk, stoned, and fucked up people have a right to dance and walk around during a set without worrying about stepping into your personal space. If you don’t like crowds, you shouldn’t be at a concert. That’s why they invented personal music players.

Critically Rated at 10/17

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Forgetting Your Ticket

You hear about an awesome festival with a fantastic lineup on an ideal weekend and so you buy your tickets a few months in advance and request the time off of work. You mark the dates on the calendar and your anticipation builds as the days slowly pass until it is finally time to rock out. You’ve been planning everything out: you know which bands you’re going to see, you recruit friends to join you, you pack your bag with some snacks and stash a few joints and a flask in a hidden compartment, and you start to make your way to the concert. You’re feeling pleased and excited and slightly buzzed because you were pregaming. And then you realize that your ticket that you bought months ago is still tucked away safely in your drawer. Forgetting your ticket is worse than leaving your kid behind at Chuck E. Cheese. You feel like an amateur. You feel like you’ve failed. And you did.

Critically Rated at 4/17

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Beach Balls

Beach balls are inflatable balls that require your lungpower. You blow into a little rubber nipple thing, and you get slightly dizzy if you blow it up too fast. The name is kind of misleading. You never see beach balls at the beach. You typically see them at concerts, festivals, and the occasional sporting event. They are sometimes distracting, but you still hope it comes your way so you can swat it. I wonder if the guy who brings the ball gets mad when no one gives it back. I would be pissed, “NO ONE IS LEAVING UNTIL I GET MY FUCKING BEACH BALL BACK! WHO THE FUCK HAS IT?”

Critically Rated at 11/17

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