Ordering a Drink at a Rock Show

I wear a lot of hats here at One Fat Frog: wine connoisseur, human spell checker, resident smart guy (I kid, of course; we’re all smart), but the one which often gets left unnoticed: resident rocker. Yes, it is possible to enjoy nerdy things like spelling and still have a good time at a rock show. And as many shows as I’ve been to, there’s always one common denominator: those rock clubs are LOUD. This is useful, albeit obvious, information since going to the bar between or during acts requires a little extra participation by you, the patron. So, some quick tips for the music enthusiast who occasionally gets thirsty during a show.

First off, recognize the fact that the bartenders are working twice as hard at any other bar for two reasons: volume and lighting. As already established, music venues are loud. If a band is playing, it will difficult to communicate with anyone, let alone a bartender. Also, music venues tend to be lit differently than other bars and restaurants, and by “lit differently,” I of course mean they’ll be darker. The bartenders find themselves straining to see and hear patrons, so be patient with them.

Second, don’t dilly dally (such a fun phrase). If you’re thirsty, chances are there are dozens of other thirsty people right behind you depending on how packed the place is. If you don’t know what you want, let people who do go before you. The key to getting drinks at a music venue is to go to the bar, get your drink, and get back to your spot so you can enjoy the rest of the show. Multitask; watch the show and think about what you want and then order when you’re ready. Also, once you decide, make the order fast. I can order a drink with three shouted letters: P-B-R! Just that simple. Also, when you ‘shout,’ don’t try to blow the poor bartender’s eardrum out; chances are increased time in a rock venue will do that for them.

Lastly, and this is advice some don’t think of, pick a drink and try to stick to it. This benefits you in two ways. For one, you know the price of the drink before you go to the show, so you can plan how much you want to spend. For example, my personal favorite venue offers a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon for three bucks. As a responsible drinker, I don’t plan on getting intoxicated (duh) but I’ll be there for three hours for the show, so let’s say I plan on two to three drinks during the night. My rule for tips is usually a buck per drink I order, so that means I should be able to get by on 12 bucks cash not including my cover charge.

The other reason to stay consistent is for the bartenders. At said favorite venue, there are bartenders that know me from multiple visits, so as soon as I step up to the bar, they just make eye contact and go for my choice drink. It means you get served faster and get back to the show faster as well. And just so you know, bartenders are usually good with faces, so they’ll remember you within one or two trips to the bar.

So, help a bartender out and follow these tips and they’ll greatly appreciate it. Also, and this goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway, remember to be responsible. Rock shows are a lot of fun and getting a drink is just part of it. Don’t let the night get ruined by having too much. But if your favorite band offers to buy you a round of shots (which is hard to turn down), be sure to call a cab.

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