Please don't break this one rule of concert etiquette.


A few songs into the set by well-selected tour openers Deleon, the otherwise fun-having crowd slowly growing in front of the stage encountered two 20-something males radiating foulness. I'm talking exceptionally awful body odor. The somewhat stocky kid of average build was clearly the second banana. Chief Stink stood a lanky six-feet, and would have stood out of the crowd just on the basis of his long, wavy red hair - that is if he didn't fucking reek. His hair was frizzed to near-Afro status due to the weeks-long drought of water and shampoo his scalp must have endured. I think grindcore pioneers Carcass named their first album, Reek of Putrefaction, after these two. They certainly reminded me of decomposing flesh. My wife remarked that Pigpen must smell like potpourri by comparison. The two of them, bless their hearts, brought energy to the center of the Ritz's floor that outpaced the rest of the audience; but their smelly arrival prompted the creation of a one-foot halo of concertgoers around them hoping to avoid the stench. They started launching their rancid bodies into innocent bystanders, bringing an early start to moshpits characteristic of Gogol Bordello's energetic headlining set.

[image-2]As with all unwritten rules, exceptions will be made. I don't see the point of going overboard with personal hygiene prior to any concert at Jannus Landing between March and November. Long festivals, especially outdoor shows like Warped Tour or Bonnaroo, are likewise exempt. But inside at the pleasantly renovated, well air-conditioned Ritz Ybor? For the sake of those around you, hose yourself the fuck off!

Only one group of people should be permitted to smell that badly at a rock show. You can usually find them on-stage.

Shitty concert etiquette can destroy what could otherwise be an out-of-this-world concert experience. I've attended hundreds of metal, rock, and punk shows and witnessed all manner of drunken douchebaggery. The more intense the show, the more idiocy you'll have to put up with.

I'm not a people person. I don't go to shows to get shitfaced. I don't go to shows to intentionally collide with people galloping in a sloppy circle while shadowboxing. There's nothing wrong with either of those things, and I have no problem putting up with people who engage in them — I just want to enjoy an awesome live show.

Gogol Bordello played the Ritz Ybor last Monday. They were just as amazing as their last Bay Area appearance at the State Theatre, and I had an awesome time. Early on, however, I feared my evening would be ruined by the most egregious concert etiquette faux pas. An error so heinous it transcends rock shows and infringes upon normal everyday life.

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