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Thread: Concert Etiquette

  1. #1
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    Concert Etiquette

    I had to post this story, especially after the fun thread we had about what stupid people do at concerts (like yell out "PLAY SAVED BY ZERO!" Dude. They're going play it... Muse, you still crack me up with that one)


    ^BC-MUS-POPNOTES:OC
    ^Another lesson in Rock Show Etiquette
    ^By Ben Wener
    ^The Orange County Register


    Just before Heart finally emerged at Pacific Amphitheatre, I heard the funniest thing: an antsy, 50-something woman behind me, appalled to discover that other attendees were walking about with beer bottles.
    I believe they were plastic bottles, or they were isolated instances of people who didn't want to pay $7 for a Bud Light sneaking cheap stuff inside. I don't think either tidbit would have changed this woman's mortified expression.
    "I just can't believe they let people like that carry bottles around," she said loud enough for four rows to hear. "All it takes is one spark, one argument to flare up, and we could have a riot on our hands!"
    I tried to stifle my laughter but it was just too difficult. All I could think was: Ma'am, you don't get out much, do you?
    But, then, a big portion of the audiences for these shows probably doesn't get out much _ not to concerts, anyway.
    I've overheard grumblings about delayed start times, inflated prices, people yapping incessantly, the video screens not zeroing in on what certain people want to see. Some of it surely stems from everyday fans fed up with routine problems _ we all despise people who shout over the music to be heard. But I bet most of these complaints come from folks who haven't caught a gig in years. They simply decided to splurge by taking a chance on a band whose hits they recall.
    It seems to me this is the perfect time for a primer in oft-disobeyed Rock Show Etiquette.
    Standing up vs. sitting down _ One 45-year-old concert-goer wrote me to say he was aghast to see security insisting girls at that Heart show sit down so others behind them could see. "Sit down at a concert? Maybe these people are too old to go."
    Maybe, but it does depend on the show _ and the moment in the show at that. If these girls were shaking tail-feathers during, say, "Dog & Butterfly," that's plain rude. Shocking as it may seem, people tend to sit for a spell during slower tunes.
    It's really very simple: Apply common courtesy. If everyone in your section is sitting down and you're the only one standing up, you're an inconsiderate jackass _ and all your encouragement to get us on our feet is only going to make us throw plastic beer bottles at you and start a riot.
    Now, if most people are up, but you're adamant about sitting, well, hey, that's OK. You just plunk down and pout like a good whiner. We won't mind.
    Also, don't stand on chairs. I don't care about safety precautions; rip the chairs out for all I care. But it's bad enough that those of us who are shorter of stature (I hit 5-foot-8 if I crane my neck) inevitably end up behind walking walls who should be guarding Shaq. If you get on a chair, then we get on chairs, then everyone gets on chairs _ and then we've accomplished nothing but raising everyone by another foot. If you're that short, wear heels or boots like Paul Stanley's.
    Singing along _ Really, who doesn't love a good round? If you've ever heard a mob holler "Roxanne" back at Sting, you know what I mean: There's nothing quite like thousands of voices chanting in unison.
    But apart from when we're at U2 or Paul McCartney concerts, too many of us tend to be macho types who'd sooner watch a "Queer as Folk" marathon than sing a simple song. Which leaves us with budding superstars (read: boneheads) operating under the delusion that we purchased tickets to hear them sing, for they have an infuriating tendency to wail every lyric at the top of their lungs _ and incorrectly. Invariably they are standing behind me, and have brought the universe's most ear-piercing whistler to root them on.
    There is only one treatment for these tone-deaf twits. It involves duct tape and caning.
    Talking _ The worst offense of all. Just as a movie theater is not your living room, so is a concert venue not your private club where it's perfectly acceptable to yak like a telemarketer on cocaine during any song that bores you.
    How and when did we get so impolite? Look, I know it's a big rock show. I know you came to party and get drunk and go nuts with your obnoxious friends. Have at it.
    But is it really too much to ask that, if all you want for your $40 is to hear Beck play "Where It's At," you keep your trap shut so we can enjoy everything else he offers? Some of us didn't come just for the hits. Some of us would rather hear the quiet acoustic parts than you yelling out favorite titles. (By the way, those little sheets of paper at the artists' feet? Those are called set lists. Turns out they know exactly what they're gonna play before they come on stage! They don't require suggestions.)
    Cell phones _ are nuisances designed for talking to people. Which is obviously not what you should be doing during a show. Like the guy I heard about at the X concert who a half-dozen times answered his phone, only to say, "Dude, I'm at a concert! I can't talk to you right now!" Dude, that's why they invented voice-mail!
    Also, three words regarding hoisting cell phones so that you can take a picture (have you not noticed that they all come out looking like blurry UFOs?) or so your cheapo friends can hear: Knock it off.
    Tell your friends to get jobs and buy tickets. If you must share the experience via technology, have you not realized that the sound is loud enough for you to keep the phone at your waist and still get great reception? It's better reception, actually, than if you hold the phone in front of my face.
    Signs _ are childish and stupid and won't get you backstage. Put yours down before I set it on fire.
    Start times _ "It's already 7:30?! The ticket says 7! Why hasn't the show started?! This is an outrage!" Wah, wah, wah. "Do these rock stars think we have nothing better to do than wait around for them?" Yes, they do. They're rock stars.
    They figure if you want to see "em, you'll wait. This ain't the IMAX, pal. Things never start on time. Tip the baby sitter well and deal with it.
    And if the wait lasts longer than two hours, start a riot by hurling plastic beer bottles.
    ___
    (c) 2005, The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.).

  2. #2
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    Great read, thanks. Yes, I was very impressed by the plastic beer bottles also. Beat the hell out of the CANS that the HOB offered!! While voicing my excitement over the plastic bottle to Bash - the giant security guard spoke his first words, "just don't throw it". No ****?!?! Do I look like I am here to start a riot??

    ~Bathe In A Turning Tide~



  3. #3
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    Originally posted by pippi617
    "just don't throw it". No ****?!?! Do I look like I am here to start a riot??

    Heh heh- and the sign outside the 9:30 Club: "Illegal drugs will not be tolerated."

    But legal drugs on the other hand...

  4. #4
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    I sang along, but no one could hear me, I just enjoyed feeling like I was able to KNOW everything being played. But I know better than to ruin the fun for the person next to me. I have been there before. I had stated that I sang along to every song at the show, but honest guys I was not heard!!! I looked worse than I sounded, an altogether DIFFERENT form of bad etiquette.

    As for moving along with the crowd we all danced in harmony it seemed and had a great time. This old gal didn't groove till the others did.

    I just wish I could have bopped the lady in front of me on the head, she kept turning around to talk to her boyfriend at the top of her lungs just like a 'telemarketer on cocaine'...LOL! priceless. She was too young to really know the band and got bored a lot. I need to work on my glaring evil eye.

    Cell phones, I don't even want to go there, I am sick of the things. They are for emergencies not 'stream of consciousness' moments. Mine is on OFF more often than ON. People have learned that I just don't turn it on, unless I am making the call. They get my voicemail, 99% of the time. If it is that important they'll send a runner.
    I am the winner in any event.

  5. #5
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    well.. I have to agree about the cell phone bit... I was at a concert where this very drunk lady was in front of me and HAD to call her boyfriend and give him a play by play of EVERY SONG.... It was irritating.....

    Though on the other hand ... While I was working at AT&T .. some one accidently dialed in and I got a first hand seat To the Cher concert in Las Vegas...HA!! LOL!!

    Boy, I bet he was sorry to see that bill!!!! LOL!!



    Cell phones, I don't even want to go there, I am sick of the things. They are for emergencies not 'stream of consciousness' moments. Mine is on OFF more often than ON. People have learned that I just don't turn it on, unless I am making the call. They get my voicemail, 99% of the time.


    ..right there with you ..mine is never on unless I am traveling...Nothing irritates me more than people "yacking it up " while they drive.. and I worked in the Industry for 6 years....

    HANG UP AND DRIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by Jeanne Thelen; 07-25-2005 at 10:42 AM.

  6. #6
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    I had my own annoying folks at the 9:30 gig the other night. Some gal. She just had to keep hollering at her posse about how loud The Fixx were. "Are they supposed to sound like that?" she asked. I felt like saying, "NO, they sound much better when you aren't drowning them out, you useless sorority twinkie." This sort of thing is especially annoying because it usually kicks up during the new songs. Oooh, we don't know this one, so it must suck...let's all talk about our beer now...

    Oh well, there is a special level of hell for people who talk during movies, so I suppose many of these concert-going buffoons, including the one behind me who kept shouting, "You're the MAN, Cy!" will end up just down the hall from them.

  7. #7
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    Oh my, you have my sympathies, and you must be a very patient woman. I would have hurt someone by now.

    Originally posted by Jeanne Thelen


    .. and I worked in the Industry for 6 years....

    HANG UP AND DRIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am the winner in any event.

  8. #8
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    That is the truth!

    I had a great laugh reading the concert etiquette posted by fotolinda. I had a lot of those experiences the night I seen the Fixx and the next day at a John Fogerty/John Mellencamp concert.
    The night of the Fixx concert the most irritating moments were these people with the cell phone cameras. You would think they were pro photographers with the way they were aiming the little bitty view finders. It was really funny and after awhile it became annoying as they would cut in front of the people like me who stood for 5 hours to be near the stage. There was another girl just when they hit the stage, pushes her way up places her purse on the stage as if to claim her spot. Where the hell was she all night and where did she get the right to push her way in and knock the persons standing next to me into a tight corner?
    At the John and John concert people actually got into a fight as half the crowd did not appreciate the other half the crowd dancing. (Oh yeah and they were on the lawn.) I heard they got into some kind of fight hitting each other on the heads. I was in reserved seats but had been seated near a wack job. A young guy who claims he goes with the majority of what the crowd does. Well he had a split personality because he became irritable any time someone around him tried to dance. Thank god I was with someone who was in another row that wasn't as lively so we made an agreement to send him in that spot so the rest of us could "rock and roll", If people can't enjoy dancing, being a little loud, and all the other fun perks of attending concerts then STAY HOME!

  9. #9
    I sang along, but no one could hear me
    At a Jackson Browne concert years ago with a friend who loved to sing, the guy in front of him shouted "DO YOU MIND?? I came to hear Jackson Browne sing!!" My friend shouted back "I came to sing with Jackson Browne!!" The guy moved.
    Yes, I was embarrassed. I went to hear Jackson Browne sing too.

  10. #10
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    Okay... Something happened during the opening band,in Milwaukee that made me realize the importance of Concert Etiquette and lead me to some thoughtful reflection of " Hit me baby one more time".....

    As I was watching the opening act at the Rally .. a fairly drunk guy was making some rather judgemental and rude comments ... which I am sure that in his mind were accurate for " a cover band"
    What I saw, was a band that was giving it all, for three hours, non stop....( they were suppose to take a break, but choose not too, remaining in the high and energy of the crowd)....putting their heart and soul into every onze of their being to entertain....For some reason, with this guy behind me .. my mind drifted back to the opening band in San Francisco...I remember, watching this two girl group, as they struggled with various techinal difficlulties during the set, but continued with the " show must go on" attitude, despite the restlessness of the crowd and a guy behind me there, who was making comments that I thought were funny at the time, and even when I relayed them to Alannah by the pool at the hotel the next morning ...but the truth is... they were not... they were just plain rude and disrespectful....It takes a lot of guts to get up there and display your dreams and art to a bunch of people who think they know what you are all about....And everyone who has pursued this dream has been there....and we, as the audience should at least respect their efforts with dignity that they had the courage to go after them ...whether they are new on the scene..... or reliving a "one more time" opportunity to display that dream again.... so I am humbled ..and ask that all my judgement of "hit me" be absolved... Milwaukee was quite an eye opener ....in many ways...

  11. #11
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    cel phones

    Ooo, when they are not used properly! "Extremely way beyond the pale of rudeness"-- what can possibly be so immediately important--short of a real blood-spurting emergency?!
    Kim
    Last edited by msmith1; 08-02-2005 at 01:31 PM.

  12. #12
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    OK, so I took my mom to see Neil Diamond last night at MCI Arena. The whole show, two different groups that were sitting in the row behind us decided to talk throughout the show. At one point I turned around and said "Do you mind? Be quiet!" And one guy replied, "Sweetheart, this is a concert." I replied "Ya think? Shut your trap, I came to hear Neil, not you." They were then quiet, altho the other group wasn't.

    I'm not one to be overly ticked when people are singing near me- at least they're enjoying the show. But both of these groups were having conversations - LOUDLY- while Neil was doing his slower songs. And one woman kept screaming for her husband/boyfriend who was seated a few seats away. Dammit lady- if you want to talk to your squeeze, f------ sit next to him!

    So it made me think back to the last 2 shows I saw in July- both of them The Fixx. And not one of them did someone around me bother me by talking, etc. Even during the newer songs and the slower songs and the seated venue- NO ONE spoke. Geez.

    Now don't go railing on Neil- it actually was a fun show and I got all welled up when he did Beautiful Noise, thinking back to my "youth" when my brother and I would sit in the back well of the station wagon as my parents played various 8-tracks. Beatles "Hey Jude," Petula Clark's Greatest Hits, Neil Diamond's "Beautiful Noise" and Eric Carmen do that to me.

  13. #13
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    My dearest fotolinda:
    I'm writing to express my gratitude for your reminding me to look into Neil Diamond tickets. I had been assigned this task by my brother in law and forgot all about it. I just HAPPENED to look into it on the very day that internet presale tickets went on sale for an added LA show. I just SCORED big time on great seats thanks to you

    Thank you so much Linda
    I appreciate you very much.
    Cheers
    Steve

  14. #14
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    WHoohoo! Anything for a fellow fixture, Steve.

    Think of me when you hear him do Beautiful Noise... Just wish he had done "If You Know What I Mean." But he did slightly over 2 hours, which was pretty cool.

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    I sure will.

    2 hrs?
    Impressive for an old *******

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