Can you believe that there are Duran Duran shows happening next week? They are playing in Miami and in Kaboo next week. I have gotten pretty used to not have Duran happenings that I almost don’t know how to wrap my head around the idea. That said, I’m super excited for those who are going to shows this week! I cannot wait to hear all about them. In my realization of impending Duranlive, I remembered that someone commented on a blog post asking about advice for general admission shows. Good question. While I’m definitely not the expert by any means or even a fan of GA shows, I have survived one or two in my lifetime.
Duran shows that are GA are tough, way harder than seeing other bands. The reason for this is that I want to be close. Even when I say that I don’t, I do. I would like to believe that other fans feel similarly but maybe they don’t. Therefore, my advice will center around that premise. If it doesn’t apply to you, then you can probably ignore at least some of what I have to say. The other important thing I have to share before I start my official list of advice to the Duranie heading into a GA show is that the advice is random and probably only applies to the shows in the U.S. My understanding from some of my European friends is that GA shows in other parts of the world aren’t quite so…competitive as they are here in the States.
Have a Plan
I know that having a plan sounds easy but it is harder than it looks. What do I mean about having a plan? First, I would start with research about the venue. Do they allow people to line up? What time do they allow it? Are there means of getting early entry if DuranDuranMusic did not offer an early entry VIP package or you didn’t buy one? Sometimes, Rhonda and I have done well buying some sort of special deal through the venue itself. Of course, sometimes, we have bought those with little benefit. For example, both the Oakland show and the San Francisco show in the summer of 2017 had special add-ons. These cost about $50-75 and offered a special entrance, bathroom, bar and snacks. For Oakland, this allowed us to get in early. For San Francisco, it backfired and we ended up getting in late. Research matters as does seeking out others who have attended shows at that venue.
The next part of the plan consists of figuring out where you hope to end up inside the venue and sticking to it. When you don’t have a plan, it usually goes something like this. You arrive at the venue whenever, probably arriving later than you wanted. Then, when the doors arrive, you glance at the crowd filtering in and decide to go left or right or stay at the center. As you head towards one direction or another, you might change your mind and switch gears, wasting more time in the hopes that you get just a little bit closer. Often, this results in ending up further back in the long run. So my advice here? Again, after looking at the venue map, have a decision made ahead of time about which side of the stage to go towards and stick to it. Stay laser focused as you enter.
Be Happy Where You End Up
All of that advice above said, I would also make sure that you are happy where you end up. Nothing ruins a show faster than spending the time being disappointed about your spot. In 2008, we saw a show at Foxwoods in Connecticut. Yes, our seats were way off to the side and it bothered us to no end. We literally spent the entire time just being mad and finding fault with everything. Even if some of that was justified, we shouldn’t have been like that. That show might have been awesome but I have no means of telling. My memories of that night are not good. Shows are supposed to be fun. We killed our own joy that night. That said, remember that show I referenced earlier in San Francisco that we bought add-on tickets for in the hopes that it would help our location but it did the opposite. We could have been mad that we wasted money or that the plan backfired. Instead, we promised ourselves to enjoy just being there and we did. We had a great time. Attitude matters.
Make Friends Not Enemies
This one might be obvious but do try to make friends with the people near you. First of all, it makes for a more enjoyable experience. It can add to your excitement and ease your discomfort knowing that others are in the exact same boat that you are. Plus, they can then help to defend the space when others try to budge their way closer to the stage as frequently happens. If you are a united front, the person or group will end up heading in a different direction. Likewise, they would hold your spot if you MUST leave for whatever reason. More about that in a minute. Anyway, this far beats alienating or even angering those near you. I have literally been with people who have found the littlest thing to be annoyed about and yelled at people standing near us. The result? We had to move before things got ugly. This meant a much worse spot and a bad attitude going into the show. That said, this doesn’t mean just tolerate anything. People can and will push your limits. Make sure the reason warrants getting all worked up about before you do. Some things matter (like people pushing you out of your space) while others do not (like when people bump into you on accident). I promise that you can tell the difference.
Little Things Add Up
Last but not least, the little things can and do make a different. Plan wisely when it comes to shoes. You will be standing for a LONG time. Be prepared. Cute is not more important than comfortable. Plan your beverage intake. You definitely do not want to be going to the bathroom once you have staked your spot. People are not always kind in terms of leaving and returning and you definitely don’t want to miss a note of the show. Last but certainly not least, I highly recommend NOT having a hangover. I thought I might die the entire Oakland show of 2017 because I had one of the worst hangovers in my life. Don’t be like me on that front. Lesson learned, big time.
All of that said, I hope those of you going to any/all of the upcoming GA shows have a simply amazing time! I hope that you share your experiences with us, too!