There seem to be quite a bit of complaints by the reviewers about shows over the weekend. Both the reviews from the Westword Backbeat blog for Wilco and Vampire Weekend pointed out and made it at least noteworthy the amount of talking going on during performances. It has long been one of my pet peeves. Me? For the longest time I think it sucks, is obnoxious and rude to those who actually give a shit about the performers and the fact that they are up there pouring themselves into it. If you aren't interested in seeing them perform and for you... go home, put the cd on in your stereo with ear cans on and talk them ok?
Even a few weeks ago I was at a show at Dazzle and in the main room to boot... one of the performers girlfriends chatted away for the ENTIRE second set of the show with her gal pal. I have it on video. Seriously, I know you may have seen the band a bunch of times, but seriously to sit in the front row the entire set and talk? In Dazzle where it is pointedly a "listening room" blows my ever living mind. Shame on you... you should know better. I even gave MY gal pals the stink eye when they pulled out their cell phones and started posting to Facebook that they were there. There is a level of decorum and it annoyed me.
Everywhere I moved to at the show on Friday (we were at Wilco) there seemed to be distracting conversations everywhere. I wanted desperately to go up to this gaggle of boys and ask them how much they paid for their ticket. See this is actually what I would have said: you paid $70.00 for the pleasure of seeing Wilco in their only Colorado performance of the year, drove 3 hours probably, are staying at a hotel for $100 bucks tonite, or camping even perhaps and for that estimated $200 bucks (not including all the beer and food you have eaten and drunk) you insist on standing here, yelling at one another about fishing and drinking beers. Really? Couldn't you do that maybe further back in the beer tents or something? Why must you do this in the middle of the field.
Now... there were some chicks doing the whole hippy sauce dance that was distracting, but they were having a hell of a good time, they would break to sing along with Jeff Tweedy, they would break to hug one another, they would break to look over to make sure that their bags were still on the recycle bins, but damn those girls barely spoke two words the entire time they distracted us. THAT was a pleasure.
I am guilty of a little talking during shows too... mostly and even on Friday night I did lean back and pull F to my side and ask into his ear what one or two of the songs were. They were songs off the first album that I just couldn't place. But pretty much.. that was about it.
The security dude held a conversation at one point with two chicks that was wholely sidetracking, he even chatted with some chick whose flask he took away. It just seems rude.
These little parking tickets exist (and yes I own a set because they are in fact really funny) but I think I am going to have to design a set of concert tickets / show tickets /performance tickets and have them at the ready. Because I am seriously very much ready to try and take on the monster. I can make them in little tear away booklets from the company that makes the "parking tickets" or less expensively at Vista Print. Either way... I am going to do it. I might not hand out my business cards at shows as much as I thought I would, but that is because I really am not a photographer and taking pictures of stuff at shows is a hobby, but this might just be a new avocation.
And I totally get the fact that sometimes things just have to be said. Seriously I do, but an entire conversation should be moved out of earshot of those there to hear the music.
I will never forget being at the Calexico show at the Gothic theater maybe a year and a half ago or so... and some girl stood there, said she is so "flippin" excited to be seeing Calexico and then proceeded to talk about her weekend the entire time. We moved to the other side of the room, where there were much shittier views but the people there around us were enjoying the show.
I guess the point really came across at the UMS this summer when in between songs at the HiDive, when I was seeing Munly and the Lupercalians (WHO ARE AMAZING & will be at Benders next week), while Munly was tuning his banjo, this really drunk (but very happy to be there guy turned around and started talking to me, asking me when I last saw them, if I knew about 16 Horsepower, how much did I love Slim Cessna's Auto Club... and ON and ON and ON). At one point (and this totally could be a coincidence but.....) Munly stopped talking, sat there for a second and I swear to gawd, glared in our direction. Trust me Mr. Munly... I never want to see that face again because you looked PISSED, trust me I was too. I wanted to hear you and your group play, not listen to this bro, I mean I ran across Broadway doging traffic to get in there and not miss it, giving up a spot at 3 Kings (gladly I have to add). That look alone put the fear of gawd talking at shows in me let me tell you. I wish I could have captured it because I would have put it on the cards... it was scarey as hell and totally appropriate. I thought Munly was going to curse me forever... at one point I mouthed "I am so sorry". I hope that he saw it because I was mortified. I had to move again, from my prime picture taking and show hearing spot because the guy wouldn't quiet down.
So... the point is: Please be considerate, if you have something to say... certainly say it, but quickly and relatively quietly... but should you want to have a chat, a conversation or dialouge move it away from the main area, there is always room in the back of a venue, near a bar or something where it is much more appropriate.
Oh! and if I hand you a "shhhh card", I am trying to not be rude.