Here's a list of dos and don'ts for the smart concertgoer.
By GINA VIVINETTO
Published June 3, 2004
[Times photo: Lance A. Rothstein]
Even the outskirts of the mosh pit were a dangerous place to be during Livestock 14 in Zephyrhills in April. If you dont want to get knocked around, stay away.
The sounds of summer
The new Ford Amphitheatre in Tampa is helping to lure cool concerts by top-notch performers. The older the act, the higher the ticket price.
For those of you braving the blistering sun and heat at fun outdoor concerts this summer, let's get something straight: YOU ARE RISKING YOUR LIFE.
Do I sound panicked?
Take it from someone who is pastier than Casper the Friendly Ghost. There are certain things you learn when you spend a couple of decades going to summer shows in Florida.
I have been to the Vans Warped Tour, which takes place this year on July 20 in St. Petersburg's sunny Vinoy Park. I have done time at the all-day, all-night Ozzfest, which will happen this year on Sept. 2 at the new Ford Amphitheatre, featuring headliner Black Sabbath.
I have made mistakes.
Fortunately, I lived to tell about them. I don't want to see one of you young bucks wake up with a sun-blistered nose. Not one of you boys and girls deserve peeling shoulders. Concerts are for fun, not sun poisoning.
Did I mention drinking enough water so you don't wind up a dehydrated good-for-nothing?
Look me in the eye. Promise me you'll make good choices.
If this list prevents just one case of salmonella, my work has not been in vain.
WEAR SUNSCREEN (ESPECIALLY YOU PASTY KIDS!)
If you are very pale - and even if you are not - wear sunscreen. You know why? If you sit under the sun in Florida from noon until night, your skin will burn. It will burn badly. Some of you kids without a lot of beach experience - hello, goths; hello, punks - find this shocking. You think you're immortal now, and skin cancer and wrinkles are eons away, but when you look like a not-so-rocking lobster the day after the Warped Tour, your pals will still guffaw. Wouldn't you?
Sometimes, when you're under the sun in temperatures near 100 degrees from noon until nighttime, and you haven't taken in any fluids, you get heatstroke. So, drink water. Even if the venue is charging a wack amount for a bottle of Zephyrhills, treat yourself to a few. It's better than passing out. That's totally embarrassing. (By the way, one cool thing about the new amphitheater: tons of water fountains!)
IF YOU ARE DRINKING ALCOHOL, PLEASE DRINK WATER, TOO
Alcohol is cruel. It actually dehydrates you. If you imbibe, you'll need even more water. It's all about avoiding heatstroke, dude. And passing out.
DON'T WEAR SO MUCH BLACK
Black really sucks up the heat. You will be a sweaty mess. A sweaty mess doesn't look so cool. Unless you're Ozzy. Everything Ozzy does is cool. Because he's Ozzy.
HEADWEAR IS A TOSSUP
You could wear a hat to protect your dainty skull from the sun, but forgo fashion and make it one that lets your head breathe. What's that statistic? Hats block in something like a billion percent of your body heat. Do you need to be so warm at the show?
WEAR EARPLUGS OR YOU'LL END UP LIKE ME
My friends and family hate me for talking so loud. And for thinking that everyone mumbles. I blame two decades of standing near amplifiers at live shows. I never wore earplugs because only "old people" wore them.
DON'T SCREAM REQUESTS TO THE BAND
Look, the band is going to play its big hit. You'll just look like a novice concertgoer if you keep screaming the title out. Really.
BRING TOILET PAPER
Girls, one thing is certain: the Port-O-Lets are going to run out of TP. You can either (1) scam for napkins from the pizza booths or (2) plan ahead and bring soft, cottony TP of your own.
BRING SQUIRTY SOAP
Because those Port-O-Lets are germ incubatin' nasty portals of doom. Clean your hands. Antibacterial or bust!
DON'T MAKE JOKES ABOUT FIREARMS
Security guards will not find your clever remarks funny. Zip it!
DON'T BRING A CAMERA
Or a cooler, a lawn chair, an umbrella or anything else that the venue doesn't allow. You'll just lose your stuff at the security gate. Also, you'll annoy people like me who always have to wait to get in while we watch novices argue with a guard.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU EAT
If that chicken sub with mayo has been sitting in the sun all day, I'd think again - crazy little thing called food poisoning.
DON'T GO INTO THE MOSH PIT (UNLESS YOU LIKE PAIN)
If you go into the mosh pit in front of the stage, chances are guys will slam into you. So if you insist on joining them, don't get mad if you get knocked around. And don't whine about it on the ride home.