RANT: People Need To Learn to Shut the F*** UP!!

  • Okay, sorry, sitting alone at home and I need to vent. Last night I went to see Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) and Brendan Perry (Dead Can Dance) play live in PDX. The show was great, at least in theory. But, as always, there were so many people talking, and talking loudly, that I went out of my mind. A more violent person would have taken it to the next level, but I just stood there and tried to ignore it, which was impossible.

    However, in addition to the talking there were some relatively new behaviors I noticed:

    1. People recording parts of the show with their smart phones and then posting them to Facebook RIGHT THEN.

    - Okay, not totally new, but more prevalent than ever. The Facebook thing just killed me. Do people not realize that holding a bobbing, illuminated screen up in front of other people in the dark is really distracting? People likely wouldn't shine a flashlight in someone else's eyes during a show, but that is effectively what they are doing.

    2. One couple adjacent to me recorded a song and then AUDIBLY PLAYED IT BACK during the beginning of the next song as they huddled around the phone to watch.

    - WTF? Again, hello, there are other people around you trying to watch the performance on stage. You can't wait to check out your new bootleg until AFTER the show?

    3. One guy in front of us was not only talking loudly but was offering a note-by-note critique for his buddy: "Did you hear him drop that note there? Oh my god the drummer totally came in late for that break."

    - Really? Are you kidding me? Take notes and write about it on your blog, f*ckface, but don't share it with the rest of us who are trying--TRYING--to get lost in the music and the vibrancy of the live performance, dropped notes or no.

    4. People taking flash pictures during the show (I assume these were smart phones).

    - How many times do people need to get photos with the over-exposed blobs of the heads in front of them and an underexposed stage in the background before they understand that this technique doesn't work? Your cell phone flash does NOT have a 50 foot range. But my eyeballs sure know that your flash fired, and fired, and fired. Thanks for that.

    (Did I mention that tickets were $30? I foolishly thought that this would weed out some of the yahoos and it would mostly be fans in attendance, fans who paid money to see artists they like, fans who respect the artists enough to keep quiet. WRONG!!!)



    So....I am on the verge of swearing off live shows. I just can't take the rudeness. Are people incapable of remaining silent during a performance? Are they incapable of just enjoying the moment without recording it and posting about it? Are people really THAT unaware of how rude they are being, or do people just not care?

    Or I am just an old crotchety guy who needs to get over it?

    /rant

  • @Raj
    "...same here except people aren't listening to my music or posting pics...
    HA!!

    cat Stevens used to stop performing un til people shut up.

  • @antiphon - couldn't agree more - i'd have been just as annoyed...still despite the morons, guthrie and perry sounds like a great gig - two of my long time musical heroes - i'm intrigued were there playing together or doing their own sets?

  • people are a problem for sure. Thats why we need big loud speakers to drown out the fools, and big glaring light shows to cover up the flashes of their cameras. Plug in your earplugs, go stand as deep into the crowd, and enjoy. Thats how i get by...

    ...the sex on the jacket though, that's just icky...

  • ^+1
    louder sound
    crazier lights

  • spot on, couldn't have described the sheer craziness of the human condition any better myself. I went to a gig in London recently and was amazed by the same stuff you describe. Recording video of the show that you are actually attending RIGHT NOW!

    I work with mentally unwell people for the day job and this is a clear cut case of dissociative behaviour.

    Massive 15K rigs needed with huge bass bins to kill any type of conversations.....enjoy the show people, Facebook later

  • @knecht: It was a double bill, but Guthrie was clearly the opener, although he did come back out to play "Song to the Siren" with Perry's band. Both sets were great despite my annoyance with the crowd. Brendan Perry's voice was strong as ever. I was shocked, actually. Not gravelly, not weakened by age. He was amazing.

    @everyone: glad to hear I'm not alone in my gripes. I probably WILL go to more shows, mainly to support the artists, but I might have to bring a paint ball gun with me next time....

    It is true that louder shows drown out the numnuts. Subtle shows, though, are tough.

  • 'paint ball gun'

    Close, very close range ;-)

  • Easy to solve.A Mic with on-off switch.Then just talk into it and hold it infront of the pa.Switch on-off while blowing-talking into it for max feedback.This usually works.

  • I never got into the live show scene - I used to go often to classical music and orchestra to enjoy the live music, or to bands that just perform, but the whole get together drink beer and be loud while listening to a show really escape my understanding.

    Whether you dance to some music or sit/stand and listen - but the whole social, sharing etc. that's enjoyable in a bar or a cabaret, but not for performance.

    People have a really hard time to shut up - often because if they can't feel self important they feel worthless - they still want to be THE show even if there is something greater that is happening...

  • The glow of the cigarette lighter has been replaced by that of the smartphone.

    A few months ago I saw both Phoenix and the Pixies at the same venue a week apart. The Phoenix crowd was was almost - to a person - all phones-in-the-air and talking. The Pixies was far less so. In short, I blame the kids!

  • No I'm totally with you. I haven't seen some of the behaviors you listed, but that would be annoying.

    I guess it might be just that I go to more punk/hardcore shows than anything else and so for the most part people care about that music because it barely manages to survive.

  • I've been a fan of Mike Doughty (formerly of Soul Coughing) for years, but he earned a special place in my heart when he kicked some "fans" out of a show for talking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2F-KE3bQ2E He caught a bit of slack afterwards from the online community, but seriously fuck the talkers.

  • http://youtu.be/jIMLaIieko0

    haha, but anyway, I can understand recording the show, because it's cool to be able to tell your friends "look at what I saw, don't you wish you were there too? ya that's right, you missed out". I can honestly ignore the shiny screens, but then I can ignore a lot of things.

  • Thats rude people having sex on your jacket. you would think that they would wait till you put it back on.

  • i went to a stars of the lid gig a while back that was totally ruined by fuckers loudly bladdering through it.

    people are a pain, no mistake. :)

  • through stars of the lid? wow. i saw william basinski in april; no talking, fortunately, but someone was using a dslr right behind me with a mighty loud shutter... my buddy asked him to stop shooting, which he did and apologized for afterwards. it all depends, i suppose.

  • Politely asking people to be quiet is a mixed bag, I've found. Some of the time people will apologize and remain quiet, but the rest of the time people will get belligerent and challenge you by getting louder and more obnoxious. I'm never sure when to risk it, because once challenged the show is nearly ruined for me and I might as well head outside with the offending party and have it out. (That's not really my style, but it's how it feels.)

  • for me, a big problem that I think is connected with this is the fact that the live scene is happening in the bars mainly. and it might be because the only people wo really have any economic interest in concerts besides the band itself is the bars and the alcohol-industry, wich makes live-shows reliant on people buying drinks, and drinks does certain things to certain people that I don't think fits the context.

    so for me a good solution to the problem would be to move the live scene out of the bars, but then who'll pay for it all? damn!

  • it totally depends on the venue and crowd. the SOTL gig i went to was on the and their refinement... tour so there was a lot of hype around them then and people showed up with no real interest in the music.

    shame. also the venue has a large bar at the rear where the bar chat carries right into the gig venue. really not ideal.

    that said, i've been to some amazing venues where a culture of shut up and listen to the music is de rigeur and for the right band/artist it can be really special.

  • @oletorjus: since the economic downturn in ireland the last few years, there's been a real resurgence in DIY music gigs which are really invigorating to attend. people still BYOB, but the focus is totally changed from the medium to large gigs where bums on seats and bar sales is the order of the day.

    promoters also have less overheads in venue hire, so can afford to be more adventurous.

    add a a small and very enthusiastic crowd, and more often than not you'll have a great night that's all about the music, like it should be.

  • @oootini: that's great to hear, actually. hope that development continues, and hail the econimic downturn!

  • I agree that the booze factor plays a large roll in the conduct of the crowd. From what I've seen these venues probably make more from liquor sales than they do at the door.

    I was lucky enough to see Low a few years back and despite their slowcore sound there was NO ONE talking in the stands. Amazing. You just never know.

  • PDX Roseland=Worse crowd ever.

  • big music festivals with big sound like Shambhala are definitely fun, imo. Although im very much into the smaller venues. I'm looking forward to hitting up Motion Notion up in drayton valley, a few thousand people, big firepits, good times. And PK sound is once again bringing out their absurdly large sound, so thats good. I suppose once you shell out the bucks for a real system, the necessity requires making sure they're always in use...

  • going to an ambient fest in seattle next month. only 100 tickets sold. in an old church. looking forward to this and anticipate an attentive crowd.

  • Looks like Apple's trying to clean up after some of this:
    http://espresso.backstage.com/2011/06/new-apple-software-prohibits-live-recording.html

    But, in patenting the technology behind that fix, Apple has ensured it will never catch on in other smart phones.

    (...unless I'm misreading. Maybe they've just patented the server end of it, but the client side's open?)

  • @>0, christ, that sounds like a horrid addition to the world. Kill it with fire.

  • I doubt I will ever go to a large live performance again.

    Last one I went to, although we were high up and seated, everyone was standing.... OK no big deal.


    ... Then it seems 50% of the audience decided to smoke pot, and yell, and just be annoying. Yes, apparently you and your tool friends are from Hooksett NH, thanks for letting everyone in a 50ft radius know this.

    Best thing I found, is if you want photos of a live show (larger venue anyway), check out flickr a few days after the show and type in the band and town and often you will get a professional photographer who uploaded quality pics.

    It's official, I'm old.

  • I witnessed a very stern Morten Qvenild tell the audience to quiet down at an early Susanna and the Magical Orchestra gig in London and have huge respect for him for doing so. He was polite but firm - And he had a point, why bother being here if you're not interested in the music?

    Reversely, one of my friends (honest, it wasn't me) let rip audibly at a Philip Glass performance in Glasgow in the midst of a completely silent and attentive audience and we had to flee from embarrassment.

    There are two sides to the coin.

  • I consider my rant one-upped. Much rant respect!

  • @ str8 - you are on to something; people seem to just be really fucked up and stupid = this is causing a hell of a lot of problems (...!)

  • wow. thats a rant.

  • we are indeed in the presence of a master. Respect, dawg.

    Anyone seen 'Waking Life'? Great rant in it that i pictured while reading str8s piece, big loudspeaker on the car, spittle flying, face steadily turning redder, and redder...'you think it's a game?!?' priceless...

  • I was sharing my concert complaints with a friend and she replied with this:

    "As for concerts, [people] can be the stars of their own show as they Tweet their whereabouts, post their real time pictures of where they are and have their own followers who give a rip."

    Stars of their own show--but the villains of mine.