Or should I say, “gigs.” Coming back from a year of European concerts, I’ve come to notice several differences between the culture in the United States and the United Kingdom.
In the United States, people are more chatty in queues and between bands. Don’t get me wrong, British people won’t turn their nose up to you if you try to spark up a conversation, they’re just less likely to start one. I was complimented three times and chatted up by total strangers at my most recent American concert. Not to mention, it is more likely that Americans will yell at and interact more with the band members on stage than British people.
A lot of American guys like to take off their shirts when it gets sweaty during the show. British men are a lot more reserved and that is practically unheard of.
British people tend to vocalize along to instrumental parts. The band I most recently saw in Arizona is particularly instrumental and I was the only one in view singing along to the especially instrumental parts of the song (awkward…).
However, in chilly England, we do get to look forward to being welcomed by a cold breeze after the show once we step out of the venue. In Arizona, the outside of the venue, even at 11:30PM, is just as hot as the inside.
Since most of my shows were in central London, most people got to shows by public transit. In America, it’s quite the opposite: most people drive themselves. However, this means that there are a lot more drunks stumbling around the mosh pit, slipping on the spilled alcohol on the floor and a higher chance of getting a half-full cup of beer to the face at British shows.
Despite these differences, there is always a strong sense of community at all these shows and I’m glad to have the chance to experience the same artists in different ways in different parts of the world.