Thursday, April 10, 2014

Was I THAT guy?

Okay, Christian, simple question:

You’re at a concert. The kind with music that falls between rock and pop and folk and indie (or whatever the kids are calling it these days) and jam-band. The kind where some people are sitting but most are standing. You’re standing among them, sometimes moving your body with the music (or whatever the kids are calling ‘dancing’ these days).

Is it okay to talk to the person you went to the concert with?

Christian: This is not a simple question. There are many factors involved and I will need a lot more information before I can give you the correct answer. First off what did you have for dinner before the show?

Pat:   Not sure. Bourbon and Cheetos™, I think. That doesn’t sound like my typical dinner, but those are the two things I remember consuming that night.

Just to be clear, unlike many other people, bourbon and Cheetos™ turns me into a joyful and compassionate member of the community...not a sloppy drunk.

But all of that is beside the point. Would you talk or not?

Christian: I needed to know what you ate so I could get an idea of where your breath was at. If you had a bunch of garlic tacos or something I would say you should be limiting your talking to anyone for a few days. But bourbon and Cheetos seems fine.

How large of a venue was it?

Pat: Smallish. About 300 people. And to be clear, it was mostly a rockin’ show. There was one song where the band left, and the singer announced that he was going to try a particular song a capella, as he’d done at it the previous two shows with the band and it didn’t sound right, so “this time I want you all to be real quiet so that I can see if it sounds right.” Or something like that.

I kinda’ hate it when performers do that stuff. To be clear, I did not talk during that song. Can’t say the same for the rest of the show.

C’mon, man. You were in a band. You played shows. How did you feel about your audience having a good chat while you were strumming your heart out?

Christian: I think I need some more clarification. Is your concern that if you talk you will be offending the band? Or are you concerned of annoying the person you are with? Or are you concerned of annoying everyone around you?

Just to warn you. Most likely you’re annoying someone.

Pat:  Yeah, and at this point I should probably take it out of the hypothetical and let you know that I DID talk, I DID annoy someone, and I think I WAS that guy.

The exact words exchanged were:

Annoying guy:  So, umm, are you two planning on talking throughout the entire show?

Me:  Well...yeah, I think so.

Annoying guy:  Oh,  that’s kinda’ lame.

Annoying girl (not related to annoying guy):  Yeah, it’s really annoying, you know.

Me: (silence)

Still, I don’t think that’s fair. I thought there was an understanding that concerts were fair game for open conversations. If the band isn’t holding your attention then you may converse. Do you see it differently?

Christian: First off, those people sound like hipsters. Were they hipsters? If so next time just say that you heard some local thrift store had a ton of vinyl and they’ll be running off to their fixed-gear bikes to buy records and be out of your hair. Or just spray them in the face with some mace.

Secondly, having been in bands and having played many shows, seeing two people have a lengthy conversation during our show wouldn’t be ideal. But it would be better than having them just walk off. Or having them spray me in the face with some mace.

If they were the opening band they might have been offended. If they were the headliner it’s probably not as bad since you obviously were sticking around to hear them. However if this band claims to be any sort of rock band at all, then they are at fault for this whole situation. If people can still hear conversations being held while they are playing then they are no rock band.

Let me guess, they were a sissy rock band*?

Pat: Yep. They were a pretty hard-core, to-a-tee-fits-your-definition-of-a-sissy-rock-band rock band. Nice job...very descriptive!

And you know what? Since we started the cordial and informative back-and-forth on this post, I’ve been to another concert--one where I was very interested in seeing the performer, in a small, intimate venue--and there was a group of dipshits nearby conversing throughout the whole affair, annoying the shit out of me and proving to myself that, yes, I was THAT guy at THAT concert.


Do you know if there’s a public online forum where one can go to be absolved of their concert digressions?

Christian: I wouldn’t know. I’m not THAT guy.


* Sissy rock band is the style of music where the band claims to be a rock band and has the traditional rock band instrumentation (electric guitar, drums, bass, etc.) but for some reason only plays slow to medium tempoed songs with very little energy and absolutely no hint of any raw emotion or angst. My go to example is Death Cab For Cutie.

39 comments:

  1. If the music was any good and the band played with any passion, you wouldn't be able to talk during the concert, would you? It would be too loud. When I heard you went to a "sissy rock" concert, I thought for sure you went to see Nickleback. Any time there's a performance happening, people should be appreciating the performance, not talking. You definitely were THAT guy. Eh, chalk it up to being drunk. That's a pretty good catch-all.

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    1. Yeah I say the band is as much at fault as Pat. And I'm drunk right now.

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    2. Going to see Nickleback tomorrow night. Pretty psyched.

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  2. I realized recently that I too was THAT guy. Not THAT guy at concerts, though. In my case it's even worse. I was THAT guy at movie theaters. I didn't even know I was doing it! Not until I was "shushed" by the young lady in front of me the one time. The shame!

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  3. And that is why I hate concerts.

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  4. The other important thing at these sorts of shows is for the two 6-foot-2 buddies to stand directly in front of ME. Preferably stand directly in front of me and then proceed to check their texts for the whole show, just moving his head around enough to ensure that I can NEVER see the band.

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    1. I'm on the tall side so I've been guilty of this many times. Does it make it better that I'm aware that I'm ruining the show for the people behind me?

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    2. Pretty sure that's not me. At 5'7" I am rarely blocking anyone's view except my own.

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  5. The concerts I used to go to would require your lips on my ears to be heard.

    Not sure that was good for my hearing...

    Pearl

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    1. Yes the consensus seems to be that the band should be held partly responsible for this. Stupid "sissy rock" bands.

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    2. Sorry...but that sounded kind of sexy, Pearl.

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  6. Oy vey. I hate concerts. The loud, blaring music, the crowds, the oppressive stuffiness that can only come from a bunch of people all gathered together in one place like that...ICK! No thanks!

    I'm afraid I have to agree that you were definitely being THAT guy in this instance, however, now that you're aware of it, you can be sure to be more obnoxious next time. If you're going to be THAT guy, you might as well go all the way. :)

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  7. The kind of concerts I go to, you could kick someone in the head and still not be THAT guy. You must be a massive lame-oh to be able to hear things at your little baby concerts.

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    1. Anytime I'm around Pat I try to play some heavier/noisier/more rocking music. He says he likes it but I can tell it make him kind of nervous.

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    2. Shh! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyL-iJQSk5A

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  8. What Pickleope said. I've never gone to a concert where I could actually hear people speak. In order to say something to the person next to me, I'd have to lean in close and shout directly into their ear drums.

    So... just taking a shot in the dark on who you saw, but how was The Fray? They were killer, right? That elevator-music style of piano rock just always get my geriatric bones a-movin'.

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    1. Not funny! My band was at least 3% more rockin' than The Fray!

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  9. I don't care either way if someone is talking during a show, but I think it's super rude for tall guys to stand in front. I makes me want to kick their shins. Pat, I certainly hope that you didn't do that too.

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    1. Again...5'7". That's all I got.

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  10. Bourbon and Cheetos... That sounds familiar to me. If the band isn’t holding your attention then you may converse. Well, that depends on whether or not you have an attention span that's worth calling it an attention spam and, second, it depends on whether Austrian folklore type stuff isn't more your thing. If it is, I understand your need to talk but it's a bit unfair to expect the band you we're supposed to be listening to to be, well, entertaining. Um...

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  11. The only concert I have been to recently was a district orchestra concert with 300 kids playing. I was talking to a friend during a reconfiguration and another aquaintance next to her informed me that I was being very loud. I still have no idea what that person was trying to listen to. The only thing that kept me from being THAT mom at that concert was that I was not bragging about how well my 2 of 300 kids were playing...totally counts right?

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  12. I have a tendency to talk at concerts whether anyone can hear me or not, but then again, I'm kind of an asshole. I'm usually talking to myself anyways, which, I suppose I could do in my head instead, but I crack myself up, so at least if I talk to me out loud and then bust up laughing I don't look quite as insane as I could.

    I also talk during movies. I like to point out ridiculous things that I find funny that nobody else seems to notice.

    Maybe that's why people don't often invite me to go out in public with them...

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  13. I would just generally spray everybody in attendance with mace. But that's my go to response for all human interactions. Would you like fries with that? MACE! Hi honey, I'm home. MACE! Does this look infected to you? MACE! Do you know why I pulled you over? MACE!

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  14. Once I was in Seattle with my husband and a huge guy was talking in front of us at a show. (To preface: I, too, had dined on bourbon and Cheetos prior to this. Minus the Cheetos.) I thought about asking him to stop talking during the show, but then decided the best course of action was to wind up my arm cartoon-character like and punch him in the back. I then pointed to my husband when the guy whipped around to see who had punched him. I'm kind of adorable like that.

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  15. If a group sucks that much that after having induced bourbon and cheetos I want to chat with my friends, while said bourbon and cheetos attempt to digest in my innards, versus wanting to dance (ie,me or said bourbon and cheetso) or sing or listen or any of the above whist puking up my bourbon and cheetos because the music rocks me that much, the group does not earn your undivided attention. Neither did this comment. But I'm curious about the bourbon cheetos combo. Not curious enough to try it.

    Thanks for making me laugh. You always do.
    xoRobyn

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  16. See also "The Shins" "The Fray" and 90% of all music played on the radio. Screw those posers, if you make them angry then maybe they will be motivated to write music above elevator grade.

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  17. I was in a band for many years and I have to admit, it bugged me when people had full on conversations close to the stage. Back of the room, that's fine. People used to have epic, belly laugh-full conversations during performances of heartfelt ballads. The worst was this one show we did in Nashville where a guy in the front row got up and left the room every time it was my turn to sing lead. I actually commented on it to the audience it was so weird

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    1. Oh god, Elpoo...pray tell what band you were in. I REALLY hope I don't have bad karma from one of your shows too!

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  18. You should have said, 'No, YOU are annoying!" Take THAT, annoying girl and guy.

    I feel it's completely fine to talk at a concert...I mean, if you can actually hear and decipher what the person next to you is saying, I say go for it! It's not like you are in the deep, dark depths of a quiet movie theater.

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