Thursday, June 12, 2008

Concert Clods

The whole family went to see REM at Merriweather Post Pavilion last night and it only took a few people to remind me why I don't like rock concerts much anymore. It's not the music, it's the crowd.

Stand All Night Guy. For the REM set, the point was moot since the entire audience stood for the whole show anyways, but there was one guy determined to jump the gun. During the Modest Mouse opening set, about five rows ahead of us, a fairly tall guy decided he wanted to stand for a better view. Nevermind that only ten people in the whole pavilion were standing and none of them were in front of them. Two were dancing in place, so you can excuse the enthusiasm, but this guy just stood there with his arms folded. The second time security came by and asked him to sit down, he got argumentative and waved at the scattered other standers. Then as soon as the security guy was out of sight, stood up again.

Sing Along Guy. Right at the second song he decided that since he knew nearly all the words, he would sing along even if nobody else was. Only he was louder than Michael Stipe and not nearly as in-tune.

Cocktail Party Couples. Two couples our age or older sat in front of us quietly chatting amongst themselves drinking beer and wine. When the show started, they rearranged their seating and the guys watched the show occasionally exchanging comments while the wives went on to face each other and have a conversation between themselves for the entire rest of the show. They didn't look at the stage once and there was intermittent hugging. I couldn't hear myself think over music even with earplugs, but these two acted like they had just run into old friends at the grocery store for nearly two hours.

Drunken Song Requester.
Also known as Sing Along Guy. He wanted to hear "Driver 8" really bad. Between each song he would just yell it over and over again. Finally, about half way through the show, Michael Stipe announced "This next song is by request" and went into "Driver 8". Since Drunken Song Requester was in the last row of the pavilion I was impressed. That didn't stop him from continuing to request it. At one point, he said "I know they already played it" and yelled for "End Of The World" (which never did get played) before going back to "Driver 8".

Elbow To The Head Guy. Okay, this was also Sing Along Guy. My wife is short and can't see over all the people standing, so at a show she often just sits down and watches them monitors. At least three times, Drunken Song Requester managed to knock her in the head with his elbow without any apology. Just before the break before the encore, she decided that she just wasn't enjoying the show and headed to the car early. Soon after she got there, who should have walked in front of her but Drunken Song Requester who had left right as the encore started. I told her that running him over would have been justifiable homicide.

So really, we only encountered a few inconsiderate people but also one Really Obnoxious Asshole. And it only takes one to ruin a show. Let's hope he doesn't have tickets to the Robert Plant/Allison Krauss show tomorrow. I don't want to have to listen to a drunken idiot scream for "Stairway To Heaven" all night.


courtney said...

You will unfortunately have a few "Stairway" guys at Plant and Krauss; it's unavoidable. However, if they play the Zep tunes they played at Mohegan, those heads will collectively explode and you won't have to worry about it much after that.

We seem to be on the East coast concert crossing paths, these days. I'm picking up a last minute R.E.M. ticket for tomorrow night. Amazing what you can get when you buy single seats. How were the National? I'd go see them on their own, so I'm really excited for that band as well.

Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like concert goers are becoming increasingly more discourteous as the years go by. I mean, there have always been the people who sing along, though not louder than the band; drunken song requesters/rock and roll shouters (cue Steven Wright); and stoned dancers. But now we seem to have a lot of people shelling out big bucks to attend a concert they don't even pay attention to and annoying the hell out of everyone around them, to boot. Wil Wheaton had a similar experience at a Police concert recently.

And how do you know what Drunken Song Requester's orientation is? Spellcheck, yello, spellcheck.

Anonymous said...

My personal non-favorite concert clods are The Texters, People Who Hold The Opening Act In Open Contempt Even Though They're Pretty Good, Actually, and The Guy Who Really Really REALLY Like The Band And Is Mad That You Aren't As Pumped As He Is.

yellojkt said...

The National were (was?) very good. Better IMHO than Modest Mouse.

I fixed the inadvertent gay-bashing typo.

One of the guys in the Cocktail Couples sat down during one of the ballads to check his e-mail on his Blackberry. Because he might have missed an important message at 9:45 on a Wednesday night.

Dave2 said...

No blatant comment whoring?

Concerts can be a pain with some of the people who show up, but I'm infinitely more bothered when going to the movies anymore. I used to go to a movie once a week... now it's a couple times a year, if that, because I can't stand the people.

yellojkt said...

You gave me crap about the BlatantCommentWhoring and now you miss it.

Okay: What annoys you about concerts?

Marion Delgado said...

End of the Foobiverse stuff from a while back. Also explains why April and Liz see and listen to the Bad Idea Foobs. And why John is so distracted.

Anonymous said...

I'm short, so I'm resigned to not being able to see well. The talkers are really annoying - I've been known to shush people, not that it always helps. Lately I've been going to old rocker acts and people have actually been pretty polite, or even fun. Can't wait to hear about Plant/Krauss.


Alex said...

What is it with Merriweather, people are always stand during the headliner? I've been to a few shows there and while I like to be able to sit, I'm not even sure why they bother with seats at that venue.

Anonymous said...

Hey--this is PC from Celebritology blog comments.....

I am most certainly not the crazy drunk guy that was screaming for Driver 8. (In fact I wouldn't have cared one way or the other if they played it--it was just part of a bet my friend and I had re: what songs the band would and would not play.) --Plus i'm a girl (and was most decidedly sober due to food poisoning earlier in the week).

That being said, I feel your pain--I would have wanted to do some bodily harm to that person as well. (Did I mention there were talkers during Let me in that I wanted to stab in the eye?)

yellojkt said...


I didn't mean to cast aspersions. I didn't think it was you since you had also complained about yakkers. There were some odd similarities, though. The song that Drunken Guy sang so loud to was "Bad Day" which you said you knew nearly all the words to.

Thanks for coming by my blog.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Why is it that people seem to think concerts are all about getting drunk rather than listening to great music? We had some real winners in front and in back of us at the Lightfoot show Wednesday night.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. I will admit, grudgingly to singing Bad Day a bit loud, but mostly to my friend :).

As for coming to your blog--no problem, I enjoyed the above post.