It’s certainly true that in most proscenium-style auditoriums, the first few rows are not the most coveted, for a variety of reasons but mostly related to not being able to see up and over the front of the stage, hence not really getting the stage layout or being able to see the actors when they are upstage (or the different instruments, in a musical context). See for example the Chicago Symphony Center seating charts below, with pricing strata color-coded.
But in this particular instance, is there more going on? Are the other attendees holding their program booklets, or are those some kind of splash shields? Does the “Extreme” name and the debris in front of the curtain indicate that there has been stuff flying around? So, the front row would be the most vulnerable of all?