Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

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.

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  1. burantashi on November 27, 2008 7:39 pm

    I hear you on this one. D: Line cutting is really annoying, whether you’ve been waiting for 10 hours or 10 minutes.

    When dir en grey played in Sweden in 2007 the same issue appeared. Even though there where people who had been waiting in line for several days, people still cut the line on the last day.

    They sat down next to the queue right at the beginning and when the people in the actual line complained they responded that they were just “sitting there”, no need to make a fuss about it because they weren’t doing anything wrong. Still it made the rest of the queue (especially the first 20something people) because they were afraid to loose their spot. It also made others, further back think that it was somehow ok to cut.

    The worst people I think were the ones who walked straight into the line and refused to move, defending themselves with the argument that “who are you to decide what I should do?” and refused to listen to anything that you said. It was respectless on so many levels and really childish behaviour. The people who had been waiting there for days we’re ofcourse furious and tried to make them move, but the only response they got was something like: “bummer, looks like you chose the wrong way to go! :P”.

    lol, long comment! xD But I really feel very strongly about this! :O I remember the feeling when you had been waiting there for so long, endured cold nights and hot days and then someone really ignorant came along and showed no respect at all! They more or less treated you like you were an idiot for even waiting in line in the first place. What is it with people that makes them feel like it’s okay to behave that way?

    I would feel really bad for stealing someones spot and treating them with such little respect.

    I don’t think that line cutting is something that happens more frequently at dir en grey shows than anywhere else; I can’t compare it to anyother show by anyother band because 1) I haven’t been to that many and 2) at the ones I’ve been to I haven’t felt like I needed to get a great spot. Line cutting, ofcourse, happens everywhere. But I’m afraid to say that the respectless responses when the line cutters were confronted , is somethig that I have only experiened that one time. :(

    I do think that it might be common in other situations where people are really passionate about whatever they’re waiting for.

    Still it doesn’t justify their respectless behaviour. I really wonder what is wrong with the person when they show no empathy towards others and when they seemingly have no bad conscience about it!

    Long rant, probably pointless, probably not very correct use of English… xD I easily get worked up about these kind of things! ^^; Also, I hope I don’t come off as too harsh!

  2. P. Static on November 27, 2008 9:01 pm

    Yeah people are kinda jerks, especially when it comes to lines :(

  3. Anonymous on November 28, 2008 1:01 am

    Before New York, this year, a friend and I waited 21 hours outside of the venue. We slept on the street in the cold and the rain on old towels, huddled together. We never left for more than an hour or two at a time, to eat or to drop our things off where we were staying. Less than an hour before doors, six people we hadn’t seen anywhere in the past day showed up in front of us in line, and refused to move. Their friends had jammed them into the number system- 7.5, 11.25, and told us oops, they’d miscounted when they gave us our numbers, sorry but oh well!

    I just don’t get that kind of disrespect, man. Why is it hard for people to behave in a way they would expect someone in front of them too? If the situations were reversed, you just know those people would have been furious. Don’t cut if it would piss you off if someone else cut, don’t let friends cut with you if it would make you angry in a reverse situation. The disrespect Dir en grey fans have been showing to each other in regards to the lines is just disappointing. This tour has been amazing, and for the most part, it has been in spite of the fans’ disgusting behavior.

  4. Kiriska on November 28, 2008 6:13 am

    @burantashi: Damn, I’m really sorry to hear about your experience. I suppose mine wasn’t nearly as bad in comparison, especially since I still pretty much got in the place I wanted, but it’s always the principle of the matter, yeah? I really hope people learn to grow up eventually…and I suppose you’re right that these problems aren’t exclusive to Dir en grey shows, but I just don’t ever seem to hear about them otherwise.

    @Anon: Same with your experience. That’s really just… ridiculous douche behavior. I still think it’s peculiar and sad when people so blatantly ignore that “golden rule” they were taught in grade school. :/

    I guess the general consensus is a lack of understanding as to how people can be such assholes, eh?

  5. Tal on November 29, 2008 12:14 am

    I go to tons of shows, I can safely say that line cutting is a jrock phenomema.
    At metal shows for example, people come maximum an hour early, and then there is no shoving or line cutting. The crowd has a much greater feel of comradery as well.
    In general, I’ve found that fanbases of mostly females, such as a jrock and screamo,tend to have more bitchy, rude fans with no respect and appreciation for the music. (my pet peeve: screaming fangirls DURING a song.)
    If the fans base is mostly male, the crowd is far more about the enjoying the music.

  6. Kiriska on November 29, 2008 6:03 am

    See, that’s kind of what I was thinking, but it’s interesting to hear it from someone who actually knows. It’s definitely not hard to imagine that female-heavy fanbases tend to be more drama-filled. (I really hate the screaming during a song too, especially if it’s at a slower/softer/easy-to-cover-up part.)

    I’ve heard people suggest that jrockers should play at 21+ venues. I’m not really sure that age is as big an issue, but it’d be interesting to see what, if any, difference there’d be.

  7. Pri on November 30, 2008 10:27 pm

    Hey hey!! Who is this? My friends are in the picture you posted~ I’m just wondering if we met, ’cause I was standing there :D

  8. Kiriska on November 30, 2008 10:40 pm

    I wasn’t too particularly social in line, so I don’t think we met. ^^ I was an Asian girl wearing a black jacket over a red shirt with tan cargo pants? :3

  9. Pri on December 2, 2008 11:14 pm

    Oooh I remember you! :)