Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rant: Audience Etiquette

This is going to be a rant. A rant with no mp3s, so feel free to skip on to another post, if you'd like. But if you're somebody who has gone to a concert and had it ruined by some idiot audience member(s), then perhaps you'll understand the bit of rage that's fueling this spiel right now and why I need to share.

Last night I went to a show that I wouldn't normally attend, simply because it was hosted by a radio station I never really listen to, but my friend had won tickets and invited me to go along. Plus, it was at the Varsity, and I quite like that place. Last night's headliner was Hoobastank with guests Saving Jane, Brett Dennen, Parachute, Carolina Liar, and Francesca Battistelli. Take from that lineup what you will.

Now, my friend and I were standing in the very front, just off center, and even though I knew lots of people were busy getting their drink on and there was nary a Converse shoe in sight (save for a few musicians), I thought this audience was going to be a bit obnoxiously rowdy but otherwise decent. And for the most part, that was the case. But last night I did something that I have NEVER, EVER done in my whole concert-going career...

I had to tell someone to be quiet, and I did it with my angry face.

Now, I'm not saying that any of you readers are the type of people to act like this at a concert, but due to my experience last night, I feel like its my duty just to throw Audience Etiquette tidbits out there, just in case you were unawares. So, in the future, please adhere to the following:

1. In general, if you want to talk at a concert, and I mean definite carrying-on-a-conversation type talking where you need to shout to be heard, be as far away from the stage as possible. So, that means if you are in the front row, especially center, don't talk. Listen to the performers that you came to hear.

2. If you are two girls that desperately want to be the living-but-trampier versions of Louise and Madeline from Gilmore Girls and are busy getting drunk, don't shout over the musicians in effort to tell your names to those two guys that just came over to hit on you, especially if you are front and center. Likewise, be weary of what you are shouting, if only because most people around you probably don't want to know your sad life story, Becky (the ex-Magician's assistant) and Liz (who answered the question "so tell me an interesting fact about yourself" by stating her birthday), especially when you make an episode of The Hills seem actually substantive and intellectual.

3. When a musician is performing and you are front row and center, do NOT have your backs to them during most of their set in order to drunkingly shout/talk to the guys hitting on you and to share your baby photos with them on your blackberry for 5 minutes. FOR REALS.

4. When the guys who are hitting on you inform you that they are married and can't wait to get you totally drunk and THEN start hitting on the drunk asian chick that was standing behind you, do womankind a favor and drop their sorry asses.

5. Keep your texting to a minimum. Don't be chatting with multiple people online and trying to include you friends in your chat-happenings with "OMG look what he said! Can you believe that? What should I say back?!?!" and then prop your elbows up on the stage in order to hold your device better for texting so that its practically in between the legs of the musician while your pals gather round to gab about what you should do next. Especially when you're front and center.

6. When any act is on, do not shout for a different act to come on stage repeatedly (for example, do not shout "Hoobastank!" when Brett Denner is in the middle of a song).

7. When the act you've shouted for all night finally comes on, don't start shouting for the one famous song you know by them (for example, when Hoobastank arrives, don't keep shouting "The Reason!" They're Hoobastank. They WILL play that song eventually.)

8. If people are constantly turning towards you and giving you this look , stop whatever it is you are doing and never do it again. (this rule is also applicable for daily life)

In case you couldn't guess, last night at the concert there were a couple of very annoying drunk people that were standing front and center, inappropriately shouting to one another for most of the entire concert. This was an acoustic set, so it wasn't like electric guitars buzzing and creating lots of loud noise, so when they shouted, sometimes they were louder than the performers themselves. And they JUST KEPT TALKING. I finally got so completely livid that I stared them down until we made eye contact and simply went, "Can you keep it down? There's people behind you trying to PERFORM. Maybe you should LISTEN." One girl scoffed back, "Maybe if they were more exciting, I would pay attention", to which I replied with, "well then, don't stand front and center." I was met with rolled eyes, and it took all I had in me not to punch them all in the throat.

So. insanely. disrespectful. I hope I never come across those people or people like them ever again. Anyone else with me on this? Surely I am not alone. Feel free to share your horrible audience moments in the comments section.


Em said...

Well, your rant was much more coherent than my rant from the Brazilian Girls concert: Girls

Anonymous said...

About two years ago at a Beth Orton concert in Philadelphia, some idiot kept yelling,"Sing Free Bird." The moron actually thought he was funny. Unfortuntely these jerks are everywhere.

Lora said...

I just want to affirm your rant! I've never had the guts to stare one of these morons down and say something, but I've definitely seen them at performances of various kinds. I wish performers had cell phone disrupters working when they were playing...