July 17, 2012 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Please school this 50 year-old in what to expect at the Skrillex concert I am taking my 13 year-old daughter and her friends to.

OK, I'm not completely lame. I like 'the rock and roll' as much as the next guy. There's some EDM I've enjoyed lately. But I have no idea what I am getting into here. I agreed to take my daughter and four girl friends to the upcoming Skrillex concert. They are all sweet, pretty straight-laced kids. My daughter likes EDM -- the music. She has no exposure to EDM culture or clubs...etc. So she's a bit anxious about what the concert might be like. We read recent articles in Rolling Stone about EDM and the rise of ecstasy use, and she's worried about "the drug people".

I don't expect anything ugly, but... what will it be like?
posted by ecorrocio to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (22 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Haha, I know this casual acquaintance who took this girl he was interested in to a Skrillex show last year, but he was pretty vague on details because he was, wouldn't you know it, high on mushrooms the entire time.

In general though the crowd, I've heard, is pretty harmless. Just very sweaty. And loud. Bring earplugs. Seriously. I started wearing them when I was 22, my hearing sucks enough as it is.
posted by midmarch snowman at 9:36 AM on July 17, 2012

Ecstasy is not crack. Chances are, if Skrillex is anything like any other musician, ever, you guys are not even going to know who is choosing to experiment with recreational drugs and who is not.

Your daughter is worried about "the drug people" because most likely her only exposure to drugs is via sensationalist media, school anti-drug programs, and silly movies.

I'm sure you know this, but nobody is going to offer her drugs or be openly administering drugs in the middle of the concert. (With the possible exception of a faint reek of weed from somebody's one hitter, though Skrillex doesn't sound like a pothead kind of scene, and you probably can't smoke in there, either.)

Most casual drug users do not want to be caught using drugs by the authorities. Drugs are also pretty expensive, so most people are not inclined to share with strangers.
posted by Sara C. at 9:38 AM on July 17, 2012 [19 favorites]

It will be loud; seriously nthing earplugs for everyone. That's honestly your biggest risk. I've never seen an EDM crowd that was aggressive, though I haven't been to that many shows.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:47 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

People who will be taking the illegal drugs that you're worrying about who will be at the concert will almost certainly be purchasing and consuming the illegal drugs before the concert begins.

Worry about the noise aspect.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:49 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Loud noises and a lot of high school kids, and not as much drug use as you'd expect, especially if you're going to a legit venue. The serious drug use is going to be at dirty warehouse raves with acts you'd never heard of. Your average skrillex show is going to be more tame than a pink Floyd show, tbh.
posted by empath at 9:51 AM on July 17, 2012

There will be drugs, and no one will offer them to you or the girls. In fact, as a 50-year-old man accompanying a number of young teenagers, you've basically got a sign on you that says "DON'T ACT WEIRD AROUND ME." The people who are on drugs are there to dance and party and probably totally indistinguishable from people who aren't on drugs, who are also there to dance and party. As a bonus, every all-ages EDM show I've been to, security has been very vigilant (and firm) about keeping creepers away from kids, and I doubt this will be any different.

This is going to be loud. If you want to talk during the set, you'll be screaming into one another's faces. I suggest you bring earplugs for everyone.

Also, if they're like most 13-year-olds, the girls are probably somewhat self-conscious, so I would (lightly!) encourage them to dance if they're just standing around. No one is looking and EDM is a lot more fun if you move your body.
posted by griphus at 9:52 AM on July 17, 2012 [7 favorites]

Oh, also, even if there were a bunch of people getting high there, most drug users aren't monsters and they aren't going to be trying to get a bunch of 13 year old kids high.
posted by empath at 9:53 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Probably it'll be loud as absolute fuck. Bring earplugs. Trust me on this.

I wouldn't rule out the possibility that folks might be selling drugs outside the venue, but it's not especially likely. Even if they are, they'll be so covert about it that they'll be hard to spot.

Anyone who's on drugs will be on party drugs; pot, coke, ecstasy, etc. Maybe some brave souls on psychedelics. Pretty much all of them will have taken their stuff beforehand. No one will offer her drugs inside the venue, unless they're absolutely fearless (or stupid, or both) and trying to hit on her. No one will hit on her if she's with her father. There might be some people craftily smoking weed if the venue allows smoking, but if not, they won't be.

Absent obvious signs, strangers who've been smoking pot will be basically indistinguishable from strangers who haven't. They'll be dancing and they'll be harmless.

People on ecstasy will be dancing and touching one another; giving backrubs, maybe touching each others' faces and that sort of thing. They'll tend to stick into their own groups and rarely try to touch up on strangers. They'll be harmless.

People on coke will be dancing, maybe with a lot of energy. The biggest hazard with coke is that it has this habit of turning people into assholes, but since it'll be too loud to hear them talk and you're not going to the afterparty with them, that's a moot point. So: harmless.

Someone on psychedelics will either be dancing in a sort of weird fashion or maybe they'll be off to the side, sitting down and riding out a bad trip. Harmless either way.

Basically: It'll be loud and sweaty and hot and there will be a lot of flashing lights and everyone will be dancing. Closer to the stage, there will be much less space between people and it'll be kind of a crush.

Keep towards the back of the crowd if you can. It's not a given by any means that some skeezy dipshit will try to touch up on your daughter or her friends but the chances of it happening are lower if she's not in the thick of the huge sweltering crush. Same with crowdsurfing, if that's something that people are doing - someone usually tries to cop a feel whenever anyone who's female is crowdsurfing. This is true of any show, anywhere, in my experience. The experience of others may differ.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:54 AM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

People on ecstasy will be dancing and touching one another...

Oh, this. Someone may ask for a hug from one of the girls at some point. This is a usually harmless thing that happens at EDM parties (people taking ecstasy enjoy physical contact) and not considered inherently creepy. YMMV. You ought to instruct the girls that when that happens, it is considered perfectly okay to say "no, thank you" (which is why they ask in the first place.)

I'm not sure if people do this anymore, but if someone asks if you guys want a light show, I'd say "yes." They're pretty fun to watch regardless of age or intoxication.
posted by griphus at 10:11 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Arrange a meeting spot if you get separated, usually by a main entrance or by where a bouncer/guard hangs out is best. Leave valuables and jewelry etc at home, not only that it can get stolen but can get lost if they get caught up in a crowd. .

They are 13 and will want to dress up don't let them wear their "best" clothes, you want to be comfortable and age appropriate to avoid any creepers, though if you are with them that will solve a lot of problems. Also get them to stick to flat shoes if they are not used to wearing heels, my first concert was ruined by bad shoes.

As someone who spend her early teen years getting to go to concerts/shows because her Dad was awesome about supporting her love of live music and would take her into pretty much any venue anywhere you are making some great memories for your daughter and I hope you all have a great time.

Also she will probably be completely be oblivious to the drug taking, it was only when I started going to gigs solo that I got offered drugs and people started to be less subtle about drug use, apparently a father looming in the background with a serious scowl on his face can put a lot of people onto their best behaviour.
posted by wwax at 10:17 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]

griphus: "I'm not sure if people do this anymore, but if someone asks if you guys want a light show, I'd say "yes." They're pretty fun to watch regardless of age or intoxication."

They did at the Bassnectar show I went to in April, so I would expect that. Some rolling fellow collapsed on me during one of the openers as well. Bassnectar's merchandise table had a bucket of free earplugs, which was great!

Another good reason to stay in back of the crowd is to avoid getting separated, and also to avoid getting constantly shoved/elbowed by people, although this is certainly not specific to dance music!
posted by mkb at 10:22 AM on July 17, 2012

When I was an early-mid teen I was very good at seeing shows and standing away from "scary people," both at nightclubs and stadiums. They'll find a spot. You don't have to be right there standing behind them. They won't be murdered or dosed, and they probably won't be interacting with people flailing about on drugs.
posted by rhizome at 10:40 AM on July 17, 2012

IIRC, Red Rocks is all/mostly seated.
posted by brujita at 10:40 AM on July 17, 2012

If you're not sitting with the girls, tell them to sit down and stick out their legs if someone tries to turf them out of their seats, then find an usher if this doesn't work.
posted by brujita at 10:56 AM on July 17, 2012

I saw Skrillex last year (when I was 40). He puts on a super fun show. The crowd is crazy energetic and he really gets them going. Depending on the venue, there will likely be a vigorous mosh pit scene at the front. If you and the girls stay to the side/back till you get a sense of things, you'll be fine. They likely won't even notice the drug use - some of the people will just be extra energetic and such. Have fun!
posted by judith at 11:30 AM on July 17, 2012

IIRC, Red Rocks is all/mostly seated.

This will not occur at a Skrillex show.
posted by kuanes at 11:52 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

Hot. Sweaty. People bumping into you ALL the time. You'll see people smoking pot. You'll see people that are obviously high and acid, shrooms, X or Molly. Just enjoy it as a life experience and you'll be fine.
posted by zombieApoc at 12:26 PM on July 17, 2012

Drugs (at least most party drugs) don't make for scary people. Alcohol, on the other hand, can make for very scary people. I have no idea about her and your experiences, but if she's got experience of being around drunk people you can use that as a reasurrance.
posted by Coobeastie at 12:43 PM on July 17, 2012

48 here. I saw Skrillex last year. I will up the recommendation for ear plugs and add that you should bring earplugs for all of the girls. They may not want them at first (because they want to be cool), but eventually they will want them. Definitely, agree with the consensus above that the problems at EDM shows come from the people on one specific drug, i.e. alcohol. There is no need to worry about the folks tripping or rolling or stoned; they will not be causing you or the girls any problems. However, compared to other EDM acts, Skrillex is very popular with drunken frat boy types. They are usually the most dangerous in the pit, but their drunken antics can happen anywhere in the venue.
posted by hworth at 1:57 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

If it's any comfort, you won't be the only parent, and they won't be the only kids.

It'll be really loud. Definitely bring earplugs. For your daughter, at least, you can get her a nicer pair that don't make the sound so bad. I haven't seen Skrillex live, but I have seen Justice, who are in roughly the same echelon of popularity and decibels.

If they want to wander around, have them take a buddy, have a rendezvous point, and ask them to check back in at a set time. If your daughter is uncomfortable for whatever reason but her friends don't want to leave, she can say "we just need to go say hi to my Dad and then we can come back", or whatever. Don't count on cell phones working reliably at a large event.

Make sure they realize that being short in a dark/loud venue makes them hard to see, so they might get jostled or, at worst, accidentally hit with an elbow. If she's in a packed part of the crowd, she should keep her arms up, in front of her, to absorb people moving into her from in front. The easiest way to leave the crowd is moving to a side and back.

[All of the following is based off concerts in California. YMMV] She will probably see people smoking pot. If the ladies room is an actual room and not portables, she might see some girls doing coke or MDMA, but it's not likely (stalls are more private, etc.). Boys around her own age might offer her pot if you aren't around. Other "cool dads" might offer you pot.

Any creeps are going to be vastly outnumbered by normal people and venue security. That said, I was surprised when someone pinched my butt at a concert when I was a thirteen year old boy. I'm ever in your situation I'll have that in the back of my mind.

But yeah -- elbows and earplugs are the main things.
posted by spanishbombs at 4:49 PM on July 17, 2012

Thank you all! We are ready to go have a great time. Thanks to your advice we'll be packin' ear protection and ready to dance.
posted by ecorrocio at 8:18 PM on July 17, 2012

Skrillex put some blips from his concerts in this video.
posted by sybarite09 at 10:16 AM on July 19, 2012

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