So after an epic, ten-hour wait in line, I saw Dir en grey last night at the House of Blues in Houston (this is the link to my report of the concert on last.FM). The only down point about the entire experience was the whole cutting-in-line issue that has been prevalent both other times I saw them, and I’m forced to wonder, is this common? I suppose it really has nothing to do with being a gigantic weeaboo, but I’ve only ever attended five concerts, including last night’s. Three of those five shows were for Dir en grey, though to be fair, one of the Diru shows was technically a Deftones show. Of the other two, one was to see Muse at Madison Square Garden, and the other was to see Meg&Dia, a very indie band at a very indie venue. Since I didn’t have pit tickets for Muse and since Meg&Dia isn’t exactly a big deal, the Dir en grey shows are the only shows where I had to deal with lines.
I don’t understand people that don’t understand line etiquette since it seems like it should be common sense. When a line starts to form at the break of dawn the day of the show (and occasionally, the day or night before the show), it’s obvious that people will be coming and going a bit, but the point of getting there so early is to hold your own place, not someone else’s. Below are two rules that I think are fairly intuitive… if everyone followed them, I would have absolutely no quarrel with anyone in line.
1. When you arrive, you go to the end of the current line. This means that if there are already people there when you first get there, you will line up behind them. This means if your friend got there before you and there is now space between that friend and the end of the line: TOUGH. If you’re close enough to go converse with this friend, then fine, but your friend’s spot still isn’t your spot. You can have friends all up and down the line, but if you all didn’t arrive at the same time, then their spots aren’t your spot. If you got there early, and your friends can’t come until later, then you can’t save their spot. Friends don’t let friends be assholes and cut in line. This kind of friend-saving-spot thing is particularly aggravating when the early-arrival friend is saving spots for five or more people. Seriously, what the hell?
2. It’s fine to make short trips away from the line, but more than an hour or two is excessive. When you’re going to be in line for the entire day, you obviously need to take breaks to go to the restroom and to go eat. If you brought entertainment with you into the line, you’ll probably need to go throw it back in the car before the show starts, etc. That’s fine. Make nice with the people ahead of and behind you in line; when they know you’re there, they generally have no problem with not moving into the empty space you leave behind. But if you’re gone for half a day… if you dump your stuff in line and then go take a nap on your nice hotel bed for five hours… that’s not cool. It’s not enough to just get there at dawn, mark your place in line, and then disappear until showtime. That’s kind of not fair to all the people that are actually sitting there in the weather and sleeping on the sidewalk, y’know? Don’t be an asshole.
I don’t know why these two things seem to be so hard. Ironically, depending on the distance between the doors of the venue and the stage itself and depending on how many people hit the merchandise stand before going for their spot on the floor, a person’s place in line really doesn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things. For last night’s show, I stood in line for ten hours. I arrived at 9:00am for a 7:00pm door opening and an 8:00pm show. I got the rail at the exact spot I wanted. The guy next to me had been in a separate “skip the line” line because he’d purchased +$30 worth of food from the venue. The girl on the other side of me had arrived in the normal line at 1:00pm and had hit the merchandise stand before going to the stage. Funny how we were all side-by-side, huh?
Originally, I figured these Diru fans were so crazy because hey, it’s Dir en grey. They’re Japanese! Who knows when they’ll be back again? Who knows when we’ll see them again? This was what set us apart from the American fans of American bands. Not such a big deal. Those bands are sure to come back. There’s always another shot. But since Diru’s showcase “tour” in 2006, they’ve come back to the US more than four times and their last three albums have had US releases. It’s more and more likely that they’ll come back; hell, I’d say it’s almost a sure thing. Most of the fans in line have already seen them at least once by now. So stop being assholes to each other, huh?
I really want to know whether these line-cutting issues are common. Walking by the Garden one morning this summer on the way to work, I saw a bunch of girls lining up by the pit entrance. Further down the street, I saw Justin Timberlake’s bus, so presumably, that’s who was playing that night. And so I wonder, do those girls get into bitchfights over line order too? Do assholes try to cut in line there too? Common sense says yes. Maybe it’s just because most of Dir en grey’s fans are female too. Girls are bitches about a lot of things, and fandom is definitely high on the list. Do guys do this? (As often?)
Sometimes I really think I just expect too much out of the human race, even if it’s just “common” courtesy.