The 4 Rules Of Concert Shirts

by New Music Michael on October 6 2011

“What is this, you are going to wear THIS to the show … you are going to wear the shirt of the BAND you are going to see … don’t be THAT guy …” – Jeremy Piven’s character Droz, from the 1994 movie “PCU”.

Our computer systems were down at work for a while yesterday, so Jennifer came over and asked me about the proper protocol for wearing concert/band shirts to other concerts. I know we’ve had the discussion a few times during our music club, and the general rules are pretty easy.

  1. NEVER, EVER wear a shirt from the headlining band to another of their concerts. A shirt for one of the opening acts is barely acceptable, and still frowned upon in some circles. I’d recommend avoiding it as well.
  2. NEVER, EVER buy a shirt at the show and then wear it for the rest of the show, regardless if it’s the headliner or an opening act.
  3. The best shirt is from a band of the same genre, but more obscure or hipper. Since ‘hipper’ is completely subjective, it’s a lot safer to go with more obscure.
  4. It’s also acceptable to wear a band of a different genre, but caution is required. Tend towards bands that are no longer together, and have been major influences to many others, including outside their genre.

Obviously, at the end of the day you can either listen to these rules, or not. I own quite a few shirts myself (two of which appear above), so sometimes it takes me a while to decide which to wear to a concert. The Bauhaus one gets a lot of use, though, because, as per rule #4, it can be worn to almost any show.

BTW, after I tweeted about the topic yesterday quite a fracas ensued. My apologies to twitter denizens for filling your timelines. But, you know, if you don’t follow me already, you really should: @newmusicmichael.

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  • D N

    I think you can wear that bands shirts from PRIOR tours to the CURRENT show…IF and ONLY IF the shirt you are wearing is from a significant gig or tour. Say Duran Duran’s rum runner days, The Beatles at Shea stadium (say for example, at McCartney show), A Mensch Maschine shirt from 1978 to a Kraftwerk gig in 2011..that sort of thing. It has to be at least a decade old for it to be acceptible. Last years tour does not count.

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