This one is going to be controversial. I have prepared for the backlash. That being said, band shirts are made for two reasons, a) to advertise for the band, and b) to advertise to people that you like the band. That’s it. If you have another reason for band shirts, hit me up on Twitter, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
But if you’re already at the show of a band, then they’ve done their job in the advertising department. You’re also surrounded by people who are well aware that you like the band (being that you’re at their show).
So don’t wear a band shirt to see that band.
Wearing the band shirts of those playing is redundant. And don’t get me wrong, I’m talking about the headliner. If your buddy Sam’s band, “Snow Plow Elixir” (which is a pretty dope name for a band, because water, am I right?), is the opening act and you’re super proud, then by all means, rock that shirt.
This also does not mean that wearing other band shirts to a show is off limits. I fully support doing this. Wear band shirts 24/7 if you can. You might just be advertising to people at the show that they should be your gig buddy for future shows.
But beyond that, there are only a few reasons when it’s okay. Otherwise, never.
The ONLY 3 reasons it’s okay to wear band shirts of the artist you’re going to see
Reason One: The Merch Table
You’re at the show. You’ve seen a band. And you fell in love with their music. You immediately track down the merch table like a good music supporter and procure a shirt (or a few shirts). Now, because you came to the show ready to rage, you didn’t bring a bag or anything to put the band shirts in. And unfortunately, the merch table didn’t have any bags. You’ve made the quick decision to put the shirt(s) on immediately, on top of the shirt you wore to the show. I fully support this reason, headliner or not.
Reason Two: Tour Shirts
You’ve followed a band for 23 years. You’ve been on every tour they’ve ever done. And you’re proud as hell to have seen them the first time they played at an open mic night in college. You want to walk up to people with tour shirts and ask them if they were at the show in ’89 where the lead singer jumped off the rafters into the crowd. You’re ready to point to your back and say you saw them on every stop throughout the ’90s. The shirt is not so much clothing as a conversation piece, painting the narrative of your music-going experiences. These beautiful painters also get a pass.
Reason Three: You Own One Shirt
That shirt happens to be the shirt of a band you’re currently watching…
Honestly, that’s it. Those are the three reasons.
If you think that there are others, let’s do it. Tell me on Twitter.
See you out there (but not in the band shirts of the artist I’m currently watching).
Go out tonight, and any night. Jukely is a concert subscription that gives members guestlist access to hundreds of music events – for one price. Learn more and sign up at jukely.com.