Rock concerts are a rite of passage for many people. Rock concert bring in millions of dollars of revenue each year. Fans of different rock bands can bond through their association with the music. T-shirts that display this loyalty and cohesiveness are a way to express who we are, but one must take caution when picking the perfect shirt for a concert.
T-Shirts from the Band You are Seeing
Only wear a concert T-shirt from the band you are seeing if the concert featured on the shirt was more than a few years ago. Wearing them too soon can make you look like a poser, but showing that you saw a concert a long time ago makes you look like a dedicated fan.
You can also wear a shirt from a band in the same genre of music as the band playing. Heavy metal T-shirts are OK at a Mudvayne concert, and pop-rock T-shirts are appropriate for a Brittany Spears concert, for example.
Ironic T-shirts and T-shirts of Obscure Bands
Ironic T-shirts are appropriate, such as wearing a Kenny G shirt to a Metallica concert. People can easily see the humour in this.
If the T-shirt is from a really obscure band, it can be cool to wear a shirt from a band of a different genre. Try not to get too far afield, though -- some people might recognise the T-shirt no matter how obscure it is, and wonder why you're wearing something that makes no sense.
Unless you saw Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix or the Beatles live in concert, their T-shirts are frowned upon at rock concerts today. These shirts have been worn so much by people who just want to make a fashion statement that true music fans feel they are being trivialised.
Never wear a T-shirt from a band or side project that any of the current band members were a part of. The focus should be on the current band and their work.
Avoid T-shirts from a band that has had an issue with the band whose concert you're attending. This would include feuding bands and bands that hired a former member of the band that is playing.
Wearing autographed T-shirts looks childish, and wearing a T-shirt from the concert you're attending over the clothes you arrived in is the ultimate rookie mistake.
Other Appropriate Shirts
If the venue is indoors, you will probably be quite warm in short sleeves. If the concert is held in an outdoor venue you might get chilly. Therefore, you can wear a long sleeve T-shirt or sweatshirt under your concert T-shirt or carry a coat or jacket. T-shirts with pockets are great for tickets, lighters and other things you may want to hold on to.
If you don't wear a T-shirt, wear a style that would fit the artist's own personal clothing style. This might include a sweatshirt or a button down that is not tucked in. You can wear a tank top under the button down if you wish.
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