|Let me guess, you kids are off to see Saxon, right?|
Probably the most frequently mentioned, and staggeringly common metal fashion faux pas, is going to see a band perform live, while simultaneously wearing that same band's shirt at the show. It's one of those unwritten, common sense rules that applies to all concert attendees. You just don't do it. Regardless, you're always going to see "that guy" there, standing around with that glazed over, clueless look on his stupid face, completely oblivious to how furiously the entire crowd is judging him and his poor selection of rock apparel. Let's all agree that nobody wants to be "that guy".
It would be a mistake to think that this is just another nonsensical fashion rule like not wearing white after labor day. There is a perfectly logical explanation behind why you're a chump for wearing your Sodom shirt to a Sodom show. From a metal fan's perspective, when you put on a band shirt, you announce to all eyes that see you that you are a fan of that band's music. I shouldn't have to tell you that. What other reason is there to wear a band shirt? Even if you're like most of my readers and just flat out disagree with me by default, you have to at least be able to agree with that very simple fact.
So let's think about this: You stood in the ticket line at subzero temperatures for over an hour, you paid anywhere from $10-$100 for the ticket to get in, and you're sacrificing your entire evening to suffocate in the body odor of hundreds of men piled on top of each, so you can get a good look at this band playing music in person. I think we have all collectively gathered that just by being there, you like the music. So why bring in the additional visual aid? It couldn't be less necessary. You just look foolish.
If you're going to a metal show, proper upper body attire goes as follows: A shirt of a band you like that isn't playing. That way, the other metalheads there can know what you enjoy outside of the venue, and you can possibly discuss it during breaks in the acts. At the very least, your fellow headbangers can tap you on the shoulder, point at your shirt and show you their horns of approval. Just be wary that you don't wear a shirt of a band that isn't true metal, ergo sucks. I once saw a guy at an Amon Amarth show wearing an Avenged Sevenfold shirt. I don't have to tell you upon seeing that how thoroughly I didn't talk to that guy.
Like with all rules, there are the exceptions. First off, if you got the shirt from the merch table early in the show, we'll all know it, and it's cool to throw it over what you already had on. This has been up for some debate, but if you don't put it on, you'll just be standing around holding it like a tool. Second, if you have a particularly rare t-shirt of the band's, such as a tour shirt from a long time ago, (let's say over a decade) that is also acceptable and will be appreciated. There are limits to this however. For instance, nobody is going to believe you attended Iron Maiden's World Slavery Tour if you're a 17-year-old.
I know a lot of people hate reading what I have to say, but I take the time out of my life all in the efforts of making sure you don't make yourself look like a jackass. Take note.