Let’s face it, if you’re a certain type of girl of a certain age, you probably will either: a) know someone in a hardcore band, b) date someone in a hardcore band, c) want to date someone in a hardcore band, d) be in a hardcore band, or e) have an extremely co-dependent friendship wherein you buy a ton of stuff for someone in (you guessed it!) a hardcore band.
If you find yourself schlepping your extremely hungover self to a dark theatre space on a drizzly Saturday night to see a hardcore show, you’re probably familiar with the scene. But for those of you who feel more like Margaret Mead than music enthusiast, here’s our helpful guide on how to attend a hardcore show without looking like an idiot.
1.) Dress to de-stress: Hardcore shows are hot. Seriously, sweltering. While you may have wanted to channel your inner Joan Didion with an oversized flack jacket—don’t. Cute as your heels are, stick with your Docs. They’ll protect your feet from any potential moshpit mishaps.
2.) Bring a friend: After all, who else are you going to play a game of "plaid shirt punch buggy" with between sets?
3.) Actually know the name of the band(s) you’re going to see: Granted, they may have changed their name and line-up several more times by the time you’ve arrived, but referring to The Year It Broke as “The Year Ramon Orkestar Broke” just ain’t cool.
4.) Know thy genres: Nobody’s expecting you to be a walking, talking version of Pitchfork, but heaven help you if you start chatting up a cute music nerd and can’t tell the difference between grindcore and “skramz”. Check out Wikipedia for a comprehensive overview of hardcore’s various subgenres.
5.) Position thyself accordingly: Don’t stand near the front if you don’t want to mosh, or interact with the band. Just, don’t.
6.) Just Dance: Don’t just stand there like an unenthused sad sack. Dance! It’s actually quite cathartic.
7.) Pretend to know the lyrics: You there! Quit your shoegazing! Where do you think you are, a My Bloody Valentine show? Sing along! Think of it as your very own primal scream karaoke session.
8.) Talk to some of the other girls there: I’m pulling a total Kathleen Hanna here, but sometimes these shows can be serious sausage fests. If you feel intimidated, strike up a conversation with another girl. You might leave having picked up a couple solid music recommendations, and or having started a band of your own.
9.) Talk to the band: Though they may have spent the last little while shredding guitar and screaming in your face, don’t be afraid to congratulate them on a job well done. They’re not as scary as they sound.
~Words and Photos by Natasha Hunt