Last night I was so excited to see PVRIS live. They are one of my favourite bands and I booked the tickets months ago, waited patiently, sometimes impatiently, for this night. This was meant to be an amazing evening, one to remember, and it was, but for all the wrong reasons.
Me and my partner arrived at the venue three quarters of an hour late. When I was younger, I would arrive hours early and queue up to be right at the front of the gig. Getting older, I’m much less patient now, can’t stand for as long (even though I’m only 23 – sometimes I feel so much older!) and so usually do my best to skip the support acts. That night we entered on the final song of the first support act, but we stood and listened to the second (and I must admit they were both pretty good and I may even check the second act out on YouTube.)
We first stood at the back of the venue and at my small height of 5ft 3, I could not see anything. Tom, being a whole foot taller than me was fine, which would have been great if it weren’t for the fact that I love PVRIS and Tom was only there for me. On both sides of the venue is a set of stairs and on one a girl was sat down looking out through the bars. Bingo, I’ll be able to see over her!
We walk up the stairs and I stand behind her and her dad (who is actually taking up three steps, whilst everyone else has one each to themselves,) and every now and again I move forwards a little for people to get up and down the stairs behind me. He turns and gives me a dirty look, but I ignore it. Then he accuses me of pushing him and I apologise even though I know I haven’t touched him. He starts to stick his ass out, slowly pushing my partner back. My partner is confused but, like me, ignores him. He’s just happy that I can see.
I stand and watch the support act, waiting for PVRIS to come on and all of a sudden the man turns and starts shouting at me angrily. I’m confused as first because I can hardly hear him over the music. He’s shouting “how dare you!” at me. He’s accusing me of trying to push in front of him and his daughter, which is unfair because they were there first. I’m not really sure why he thinks I’m trying to push in front of them when all I’ve done is stood behind them to be in the only untaken place where I can actually see the stage. I assure him that I am by no means trying to steal their place, but he just keeps shouting at me, repeating the same things over and over again, pushing his body further and further back to budge us away again.
Tom is shaking with anger at this point and I try to calm the man down before Tom loses it, but he just won’t give up and keeps telling me off for something I haven’t done. Tom can’t take it any longer and loses his cool with the man. He says that we paid to go to this gig and so it’s only fair that I can actually see it and the man argues back that he paid too and he was here first. Now, I don’t really know what this man was expecting. I don’t really know if he’s aware of the lack of personal space you get at a gig, or if he’s just picking a fight and thinks I’m an easy target, because the second Tom gets involved he keeps telling Tom to “chill.”
I have to physically step in and get Tom to calm down, even though I’m shaking with anger myself and the man is turning it on us by saying it’s us who need to calm down. I’m not sure how far this would have escalated, if it not for the fact I took Tom and moved to another part of the stairs, behind another girl who was sitting so that I could see. It didn’t stop the man giving us dirty looks through the whole gig though.
To top it all of, while in my new place on the stairs, I sat down during a break between moving one band’s gear off the stage and replacing it with the second band’s instruments and I managed to get punched in the face. Not the old man luckily, or I think Tom may have gone into full on attack mode, but a random guy walking past who apologised straight away. He did knock my glasses off though, which fell down the stairs and annoyingly landed right at the other man’s feet. I made Tom go and get my glasses, as there was no way I was going near him again.
Turned out it wasn’t just me though, as another really short girl couldn’t see either and so she made her way up the stairs and behind the man’s daughter to look past her at the gig too. He didn’t start an argument with her, but once again he started pushing his ass out as far as he could to the point she was back against the banisters and ended up having to walk back down the steps and to a place where she couldn’t see anything.
I will never forget this asshole and if I see him at a gig ever again I WILL be pushing in front of him and not my polite self next time and there’s no chance I will be calming Tom down.