By: Amy McCarthy
As I angled for a good spot at a rad show a couple weeks back, an elbow descended from on high at dizzying speed, only to directly and sharply make contact with my boobs. I hollered, “Hey, asshole!” but whatever the DJ was playing was too loud for my words to make an impact. So I had to make due with kicking the offending tall person in the leg and making a beeline for the smoking patio. And this, sadly, is the story of my concert-going life.
As an unquestionably short person, I'm used to doling out this kind of guerrilla justice to the tall people who frequently ruin my experience at standing room-only shows. It takes a lot of practice to know exactly when to kick someone who is much larger and drunker than you, but after years of going to shows, tall people have not done much to engender much kindness from their fellow vertically-challenged music fans. Which means that I sometimes have to kick them.
Being short at live shows also means that I will have to jockey my way to the front or side of the crowd if I want any chance of laying eyes on the actual musician on the actual stage. Inevitably, as soon as I've found a good spot, some Dirk Nowitzki lookalike will come and stand directly in front of me, then start dancing. Every. Single. Time.
At a measly 5'1″, the best I can hope for is that his erratic movements will occasionally draw him out of my direct line of sight to the artist. Occasionally that happens, and other times, I'm forced to watch the back of some random dude's head while the band performs. It is not great, and doesn't exactly foster a friendly environment at shows. Put simply, your height is giving me a bad attitude, tall people.
Tall people are rude at shows in different ways than frat boys or a group of 40-something moms that have been over-served at the bar. But they're often still rude, even if they can't help it. Whenever they get too into a stripped-down cover of “Stay With Me,” that beer they're waving around in the air is going to end up directly in my face. When they put up their hands in the air in an attempt at looking like true players, good luck not taking a flailing arm or poorly-timed hand clap to the face.
Which is exactly why tall people need to get their acts together and stop being jerks at concerts. I can't keep kicking people forever (not without consequences), and it would be nice to think that the people that I'm seeing a show with actually give a damn about being polite. No one is suggesting that you have to look like you're protected by the Lollipop Guild with a sea of people who are barely tall enough to ride The Batman in front of you. But it would still be cool if you occasionally asked the shorter person behind you if they'd like to step in front to have a better chance of actually seeing the show.
And sure, maybe you won't be able to be 14 inches from your favorite band member's sweating face, but letting a short person stand in front of you is concert karma (koncert karma™, if we're going to be savvy about things here) which means that you will someday be rewarded for your good deeds with a private show by the resurrected Beatles. Or something.
At the very least, I'll promise to stop kicking you in the calves if you promise to stop planting your upper torso directly in front of my view of the artist that we both paid to see. Or, you know, hitting me in the boobs.