A Field Guide to Honky Tonk crowds

In Honky Tonk on 11/25/2009 at 2:33 pm

*** Please note this is an overgeneralization of what I have experienced as a common crowd dynamic per the headliner.  These groups are by no means confined to one type of show, nor are they the only attendees in the crowd.  However, if you see yourself here, maybe consider branching out. ***

‘09ers Alamous heightsii

Appearance: khaki and loafers galore.  Habits: aptly named after an affluent neighborhood, dominantly upper class, older patrons with a taste for good alcohol but not big drinkers.  More likely to toss money than actually hand it to you.  Typically come early and leave before the encore.  Territory: Gary P. Nunn, Pat Green.

Austinites Superus Coolii

Appearance: tattooed hat wearers (male), tattooed red lipsticked trendsetters (female).  Habits:  drinks Shiner and Sierra Nevada.  Never complains about prices.  Frequently asks about recycling.  Territory: Micky & Motorcars, Alejandro Escovedo.

Chanters Can’tGetus Enoughii

Appearance: stiff mixed drink in perpetually raised hand to indicate their adoration of the current song, mostly middle/ upper class ranging between early thirties to mid sixties.  Habits: Loud singing-along and drunken dancing coupled with elbow jabbing of friends.  Territory: Charlie Robison, Robert Earl Keen.

Minor Majority Cokeus drinkerii

Appearance: heavy makeup and minimal amount of clothes with no regards to the weather.  Habits: travel in herds, frequently speak loudly, hug incessantly and demand each other to “wait for me”.  Can be spotted by the restrooms or port-a-potties.  Territory: Eli Young, Chris Knight.

Cranky Octogenarians Lotsus complaintsii

Appearance:  Shiny belt buckles and polished boots (male).  Rhinestones and beauty parlor hair (female).  Identifying trait is crossed arms.  Habits:  Strongly prefer to be formally addressed.  Not afraid to let you know if something is pissing them off.  Terrible tippers.  Territory: Ray Price, Asleep at the Wheel.

Dancers Cutus a-rugii

Appearance:  Similar to the Cranky Octogenarian, this group is normally dressed to the nines.  Very friendly and habitually chatty.  Habits:  Dance all night long with little time for drinking.  Can be spotted asking for more dance floor salt.  Territory: Max Stalling, McKay Brothers.

Irregulars Starus struckii

Appearance: ranges from club clothes to self-modified sleeveless t-shirts.  Habits: This crowd is usually found in bars, not concert venues, but came out to hear someone “t.v. famous”.  Can be found drinking before the show, drinking at the show, fighting, then leaving to drink after the show.  Territory: Gary Allan, Jack Ingram.

Used-tos Oldus daysii / Oncers Beforeus TheyDieii

Appearance: Used-tos are mostly middle class ranging between mid thirties to early sixties.  Oncers are late twenties to late thirties.  Habits:  These two groups often end up at the same show but do not characteristically mingle well.  Used-tos are reminiscing and reliving days gone by, while Oncers are there to see the legends at least once in their life.  Territory: Willie Nelson.

Yeehawers Hellus Yeahii

Appearance: jeans, boots, at least a hint of camouflage somewhere and, more often than any other concert, t-shirt of the headlining band.  Habits: Pumped to be there, sing along to every song and laugh at monologues they’ve heard a million times.  Commonly stay through two encores until the joint closes.  Territory: Kevin Fowler, Randy Rogers.

Keep in mind these groups are subject to weather and previous social obligations.  Some parties are friendlier than others.  Be cautious and speak softly when directly approaching.

Disturbing fact: McDonald’s Chicken Salad has more fat and calories than a Big Mac.

  1. Hmmmm…I guess I’m a “used to”? I don’t really fit any of your (very funny!) stereotypes. I’m almost 40, love the old stuff, but love new stuff too. Maybe I’m just Texan? One thing I HATE is disco country (radio country). I’m more of Willie, 1100 Springs, Todd Snider, Bob Wills, Gourds, John Prine, James McMurtry, Bad Livers kind of gal. I don’t know all the words, and I don’t drink too much. I don’t travel in packs, but I am well educated. I usually stay for the encore!

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