When I go to a concert, I enjoy watching the crowd almost as much as I like watching the stage and, after years of research, I have identified five categories of concert goer.
The Soulful Bobber
This is the guy (sometimes you see a female head bobber, but they commonly are men) emphatically nods his head in time with the music. Often his eyes are closed as an expression of his extreme soulfulness and synchronicity with the music.
Usually the head bobber bobs his head forward, so he looks like he’s in earnest agreement with whatever was just said. This weekend, however, I saw my first side-to-side head bobber. Instead of nodding, he bobbed his head toward his shoulders.
He appeared to be trying to shake water out of his ears.
The Stoned Shaker
The stoned shake is much like the soulful bob, but more loose and with a “whatever, man” vibe.
While the bob can seem almost violent, the shake is all about peace and love. It’s a slow, graceful shake of the head from side-to-side, with a little chin dip for coolness.
The shaker is communing with the music just as much as the bobber, but s/he looks like s/he has a little chemical assistance.
The shake can also be accompanied by arms held out to the side so the shaker resembles a child pretending to be an airplane.
The Solo Dancer
This is the person you see at every concert dancing joyfully all by themselves, regardless of whether or not the song is danceable.
The solo dancer usually starts when the band plays a fast song and other people get up to dance. But then, when the band slows down and the other dancers sit, she (unlike the head bobber, solo dancers are usually women) keeps going.
Other people come and go, but the solo dancer dances on, often performing the same dance step over and over, sometimes throwing in a spin.
At one Grateful Dead-esque concert at the performing arts center, a solo dancer spent the entire evening spinning slowly around in a circle.
It made me dizzy just watching her, but she seemed happy. Solo dancers always seem happy.
The Shoulder Twitcher
The shoulder twitcher isn’t brave enough to be a solo dancer, but has a bit more rhythm and grace than the head bobber.
S/he needs to do more than move her/his head but isn’t the type to jump up and dance, so s/he dances with her/his shoulders, taps her/his feet and sways.
This category will stand up and dance, but only if everyone else stands up and only if the dancing occurs directly in front of her/his seat.
Shoulder twitchers also tend to make a lot of eye contact with their friends to make their chair dancing seem more like real dancing.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a shoulder twitcher.
This last category of concert goer baffles me the most. They are the people who sit in their seats, stare at the stage and don’t move a muscle.
They don’t bob, shake, dance, twitch, stand or tap.
I suppose they are enjoying the show as much as the other types, but they don’t look like it. They often don’t even smile or clap.
To tell the truth, I’m not sure why statues even go to concerts.
Now that you know the categories and that I’m a shoulder twitcher, it’s your turn. Which one are you?