Keep from getting soaked at late-summer shows
Kind of soggy over here today. No surprise. Colorado is notorious for dumping buckets of rain on concert-goers this time of year. Rain doesn't stop the show, though, and it shouldn't stop you. If you're a seasoned concert vet who already has head-to-toe rain gear at the ready, consider this a refresher. If you're one of those folks, however, that we've seen running around in one of those last-minute, makeshift trash-bag get-ups, here are some helpful hints to keep you from getting soggy while still looking chic -- well, rugged Rocky Mountain chic, anyway.
Number-one rule for every show: Bring a raincoat. A cheap poncho will do in a pinch, and if you're feeling charitable, bring a couple extras for others. The wind often makes them fly, though, and I don't want to deal with that, so I invested in a really nice, lightweight raincoat that can roll up and fit in a purse or cargo pocket.
Sometimes you bring it and it doesn't rain a drop, but it's all worth it when you need it, so at the very least, always have one in the car. I also have a sequined jacket with waterproof lining that works great in light rain, as rain rolls off sequins like it does off a duck's back. If you're determined to show off a really great outfit, take note: They even make clear raincoats now.
Besides rain, it can get chilly at night here, especially when it stops raining and you're soaking wet with half a show still to go. Bring a light hoodie or denim jacket for under the raincoat. Oftentimes, you don't even need it during the show, but it can sometimes turn straight cold afterward, and it's good for the walk back to the car, when, inevitably, you run into another group you know and get caught standing around talking. I have seen many people get into a foul mood after a great night because they're freezing while others are hugging goodbye. Having a hoodie is such a simple fix.
I don't like having pants on in the rain, so I do my best to have bare legs if it looks like rain. You know when you use the bathroom and pull your wet bathing suit bottoms up, and they don't fit right? It's like that, times 1,000. Forget getting sopping-wet skinny jeans back on. I go with denim shorts, because when they are wet, they feel sturdy and not like I am totally exposed. If you don't like to feel wet cotton on your skin, there are a ton of different high-tech running shorts and tennis skirts out there that are made from various synthetic materials and are totally cute and work great.
Keep reading for more tips on how to stay dry at the show
As for shoes, in a nutshell, I'm a closed-toe person. Many like wearing flip-flops, then tossing them and going barefoot in the rain. I prefer either a thin canvas shoe that won't get sucked off your foot, like slip-on Vans, or my trusty Nike Air Max just because they look way cool and are so comfy (they do get heavy when completely waterlogged, though, FYI). I've also seen a ton of people wear rock-climbing or river type shoes, and they make a ton of decent-looking ones for ladies at REI or Patagonia. They even make them in Mary Jane styles, if you're inclined.
The other option, if the show is in a field and all this rain means mud, is boots, either durable leather ones that can have mud scrubbed off them, or rain boots. Rain boots get cumbersome, though; throw some little flats in your bag for when it doesn't rain at all so you aren't stuck in them all night.
Another essential is a hat with a brim. Whether it's a tight-weave, floppy straw hat or a baseball cap, you need something to stop rain from splattering in your face when the wind decides to whip it at you sideways. As for non-clothing essentials, bring a trash bag to put your purse or backpack in: Even the most waterproof bags fail on you sometimes, and then if you are on the floor, people will walk around your white bag instead of walking straight into you and kicking over your black or navy-blue bag.
Ziploc bags are also a must. While they make specific waterproof cell-phone pouches, a Ziploc does just fine, and you really save some people's asses if you bring a couple extras. Sometimes you are at a show where lots of people have traveled in from other states, especially at Red Rocks. They need their phone after the show to know where they are going, so just pack some extras and enjoy all the, "Oh, thank you! You saved my ass!" comments.
Some places let you bring an umbrella; the majority do not. Either way, it's buzzkill to block the view of those behind you, who you just know are burning holes into you with their death stare. Just because they don't say anything right then doesn't mean they won't be clowning you on message boards the next day. If you really feel the need to have an umbrella, at least get a kid's one. They're smaller and come in way cooler prints.
Hope this all helped. If you have any tips we forgot, feel free to school us below. Meantime, stay dry on the inner layer, and watch out for electrical storms with those sequins.