People, It's Time For Yet Another Lesson In Concert Etiquette

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Listen up, live music fans. It's time for an etiquette lesson. No, not a lesson on how to pour tea or eat crumbly shit without spilling down your blouse. This lesson is on concert etiquette.

Some of you may need it, some of you may not, but I'm sure you know a few people who could brush up on their concert-going skillz. In that case, you can pass this along to them now that you know it exists.

Now put your pinky fingers in the air and follow me. Let's do this. Here are some basic lessons in concert etiquette. We'll all be fancy by the end of this.


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Today's 10 Most Predictable Acts to See in Concert

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Photo by Groovehouse

There's nothing quite as soul-crushing as a disappointing concert. We've all been there; shit rolls downhill the minute the dude behind you dumps his beer on your girl's shoes, or the security bro doesn't find your umpteenth "Freebird" request to be quite as funny as you did. It'll ruin the night with one swift flick of the handcuffs.

I'm not talking about those times, though; it's your own fault if your Chihuahua bark bites off more than you can chew. I'm talking about the kind of soul-crushing that happens when you're all jacked for the concert, making your descent down I-45 hell, and you're met with an utterly mundane concert.

It's the same set list as last year, the same theatrics and the same crappy covers. Foghat sure can be disappointing, can't they?

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Toad The Wet Sprocket: Not Bikers' First Choice

'90s alt-rockers Toad the Wet Sprocket, playing House of Blues tomorrow night, may be an established act now, but back on the heels of their second album, 1990's Pale, the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based quartet had to take their lumps just like everyone else who has ever left the practice space and hit the road to gig.

We talked to bassist Dean Dinning, who has been there since the beginning, about the early days of Toad, from inexplicably opening up for Rollins Band at a radio festival, to their current touring model which allows them the freedom of actually having a personal and family life.

Rocks Off: Before last year's show at House of Blues, you hadn't hit Houston in quite a while.

Dean Dinning: I actually starting asking people, because I couldn't remember when it was. Maybe 1995 when we went out opening for Cranberries. We played at one of the sheds out there [Ed. note: Cynthia Woods, most likely]. Glen (Philips) had toured through there with his solo stuff, but I haven't done any touring with my side stuff.

It's a weird thing. We get a lot of calls to play on the East Coast, but we were thinking that we were missing the whole Southern part of the country and we made a conscious effort to go and play where we haven't been in a long time.

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Mike Stinson's Paranoid-Musician Nightmares

From time to time, Rocks Off thought we'd ask both local and touring musicians to tell us the worst gig they've ever played, in the hopes that the next one won't be quite so awful. We asked Houston honky-tonk transplant Mike Stinson, whose new CD The Jukebox In Your Heart is now in regular rotation on Sirius/XM's Outlaw Country channel, to help us get started. Tell us about your own worst gig (and your next one) at chris.gray@houstonpress.com.

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Markus Cuff
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"I've discussed this topic with lots of musicians over the years, and I don't think any of our actual worst shows compare to the ones our minds create in our paranoid dreams. Every bit as terrifying as the "falling out of an airplane" dream or the dreaded "running for your life from a serial killer" dream, the paranoid-musician dreams come in many chilling variations, and startle us awake just as breathless and profoundly relieved.

"When I was drumming all the time, I kept having this dream that it was showtime, the whole band takes the stage, the place is packed and excited, and then suddenly I realize that the drums I had perfectly set to go are now disassembled and in pieces all over the stage.

The guys are looking back at me with desperate, pleading looks, begging me to count off the first tune, and I'm frantically crawling around the stage trying to reconfigure the kit enough to play something but I can't seem to put any of them in the right place. "It becomes a puzzle that I simply can't solve in my agitated state, knowing that everyone's waiting and we look like idiots.

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