By: Gavin Cleaver When you go to a concert, which is purportedly a collection of like-minded people on the grounds you're all there to see a particular thing you personally enjoy, you have two choices. You can either dress as you think everyone else will, or you can shout, "FUCK IT" into the mirror and dress entirely the opposite way. The middle ground, wherein you try for either and totally misjudge it, is where madness lies. Here's a guide to the etiquette of dressing for a concert.
1. CONSIDER YOUR SURROUNDINGS Your decision between assimilation and outrage may rest on the perceived violence of the crowd at the concert. Should you, a large hairy man, decide to wear a frilly pink dress to a Kid Rock show, then your cross-dressing may not be met with the same warm acceptance by the tank-top wearing masses as it would be in more enlightened crowds.
2. PICK THE RIGHT SHIRT Guys, jeans and a T-shirt are acceptable for 90 percent of gigs. However, don't go wearing a T-shirt promoting the band you're there to see. Then you're a try-hard, and no one wants to French kiss one of them. The ladies will instead flock to the man with the T-shirt featuring a band that is one of the group in question's major influences. For instance, at a Tool show, wear a King Crimson shirt. The women will never stop admiring your musical knowledge and prowess.
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3. GIVE YOURSELF SOME FLARE For a rave, grab an item of clothing that is simultaneously the most revealing and the most colorful. If, like me, you are colorblind and unable to figure out what is blazingly colorful, then simply light yourself on fire, thus guaranteeing you stand out and are almost certainly the individual with the most flesh on display (dependent on the duration of the fire).
4. BE COLOR-CONSCIOUS If you find yourself at the other end of the spectrum (so to speak), attending the kind of show for which the only acceptable color you can wear is black, then you have two opportunities. One, anything other than black will make you astonishingly easy to find, which is a boon to your group of friends, and two, you will get served at the bar faster while all the black-wearing people with black hair and black makeup blend into a sea of black.
5. FIND A DRESS TO IMPRESS My wife, who I believe is an example to us all, is determined to find a pretty dress for every occasion. She recently managed to find a dress that was suitable for both the Polyphonic Spree and Cannibal Corpse on one recent downtown music marathon evening. Jeff Mangum? Dress. Mastodon? Dress. She doesn't even have that many dresses. It's a testament to her courage, self-conviction and ability to convincingly argue with people that, yes, this works fine. These are qualities we could all do with more of. 6. WEAR SOMETHING YOU DON'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT If it's a music festival, for goodness' sake, only wear things you are comfortable with getting destroyed. You see that paint-splattered T-shirt you used last time you redecorated? By the third day of a camping festival, it's going to be the best-looking piece of clothing on the whole site. Those shoes that are falling apart? What's three more days? You didn't need your toes anyway! Coachella being declared "all-nude" is only a few years away, so get a head start.