The recent Red Hot Chili Peppers concert at Spark Arena sounded like it was a bloody nightmare. Numerous reports of all manner of atrocities flooded in after the show. There were the super fans who'd bought VIP tickets and found themselves fleeced. Unruly drunks in the crowd vomited on the people in front of them. Heck, one person was reportedly strangled with a t-shirt.
Most heinous of all? The Red Hot Chili Peppers played.
Okay, okay, calm down Chili fans. That last one's a joke. Don't @ me. Or vomit on me. Or strangle me with a t-shirt.
Besides, all the reviews of the band's performance were red hot. The Herald's reviewer called the show "a revelation". So, onstage all good. The band did their part. It's offstage where things take a turn.
As a frequent concert goer I accept that there's always a certain amount of aggravating nonsense I'm gonna have to put up with in order to have a fun night out. It's part of the deal and, in this one area of my life at least, I attempt to approach it with a zen outlook. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and all that.
I've kept my cool when I've had drinks spilled on me, when people have lost control of their enthusiasm and slammed right into me, or when annoying phones have been waggled around in my face. But like Elsa, I've let it go. Because I don't want it to ruin my night, or theirs, and everyone's having a good time and it's a concert and that's just what happens, so you deal with it.
But there's a definite line. And the behaviour of those unruly fans spewed all over that line before trying to fight the line and drunkenly falling across it.
The golden rule of life is, 'Don't be a dick' and all the news stories out of this concert showed clear violations of that rule. From nearly everyone involved.
Firstly, the promoters were dicks to the hardcore fans who shelled out a whopping $450 for a VIP ticket. This outrageous cash outlay promised prime position, smack bang, right in front of the stage, safely fenced off from the barbarians on the other side of the gate.
But when these ticket holders entered the arena they were given the choice of standing in front of Flea or standing in front of the band's new guy - hmmm, tough call... - and then unceremoniously herded into a little pen at either side of the stage with an obscured view of the entire stage.
It's easy to think, 'oh, boo-hoo rich people,' but that's not fair. I'd guess most were hardcore Chili fans buzzing to see their fave band. Fair enough. It's also not the point. If you're sold a ticket for a certain spot then that's where you should be. Case closed.
These folks rightly complained about being ripped off and to make things right they were offered a drink token. Not good enough. You know what else isn't good enough? A week on promoters Live Nation are yet to comment, despite being contacted by the Herald. Shame on them.
Also shame on the security guards who violated the 'Don't be a dick' rule by not jumping into action and doing their job. They fielded multiple complaints about this mob of threatening jerks who were not just hurling abuse but also literally just hurling. Security kicked the vomiting guy out, sure, but let his cronies stay to intimidate and disrupt everyone else's night.
There's no excuse for that and we need an explanation. At the Eagles gig two weeks ago security spent the night policing the crowd to prevent punters from filming any part of the show on their phone. In my immediate area I saw at least 10 people hauled out and forced to delete their covert footage right there in the aisle.
So if security can leap to action against rogue phone users then a mob of threatening jackasses should be thrown out quick smart.
And lastly, the group of dicks themselves. They clearly broke the, 'Don't be a dick' rule by behaving like total dicks. All you can say really is shame on them. The dicks.
I can't work out why they were there. They obviously weren't experiencing any moments of revelation from the band's performance. Depending on where they were in the arena they paid between $120-$200 each for their tickets. For what? And why?
They mugged themselves. And there's no way they should have been allowed to mug those around them.
Everyone needs to do better. Attending a great concert is one of life's joys. And it's pretty easy to not ruin it for yourself or others. Just don't be a dick and you'll be golden.