A few weeks ago, I write a Sunday piece about the newest distraction/aggravation at concerts – people who spend the majority of the show not actually watching or listening, but filming on their smartphones or, yes, tablets.
Now that the summer concert season is winding down, I’m curious about what else drives you batty at shows.
Is it the person behind you inexplicably “whooooo-hooooo”-ing not only between songs, but DURING them, so instead of hearing Steven Tyler or Jennifer Nettles – the artists you paid to see – you’re instead left with nothing but a pierced ear drum?
Or how about when you score those seemingly enviable aisle seats, knowing that at least you’ll have a little breathing room on one side, but forgetting that being on the aisle essentially makes you the gatekeeper for the row?
That was my experience at the Bruce Springsteen show in Philadelphia. Sure, it was great to be able to edge a few inches away from the rest of the people in my row, but it also meant that, at a minimum of twice per song, I was sliding one way or another to let someone in or out from or for a beer run or, later in the show, from or for a bathroom break due to said beer runs.
At the Duran Duran show at Chastain Park Amphitheatre last month, I was fortunate enough to have excellent seats close to the stage, but they were also in the first row of a cut-through lane.
A couple of times during the concert, I tried to take 30 seconds of video to post on this blog to accompany my review (since I was working media, I was able to step to the side to do it). But, as you can see in what I’ve posted below, I couldn’t even grab a 30-second clip without numerous concertgoers wandering by (three in 30 seconds, in this case, and it was during one of the band’s biggest hits, not the usual, “New song – time to leave!” maneuver).
I feel myself starting to sound like one of those, “Back in my day…” people. But the truth is, “my day” wasn’t THAT long ago, but long ago enough that I can remember people attending a concert because they were interested and invested in the artist onstage.
They weren’t carrying on inane conversations better suited for after-work bar gatherings or texting their mother/boyfriend/co-worker/friend/cable guy/hairdresser just to say, “Hey, guess where I am?!”
They weren’t rudely whipping out recording devices and impeding your view of a show (because, um, right, recording devices and cameras were not allowed in venues – my 11-year-old self waited in a very long line after a Rick Springfield concert to retrieve my confiscated camera).
And yes, where there is entertainment, there is beer and I’m all for it. But even the occasional drunken buffoon was guzzling because it complemented the concert experience – it wasn’t an extracurricular activity to trot to the beer line.
So enough from me- I want to hear from you about your biggest concert-going annoyances. Sound off below.
Three people in 30 seconds! Those are some attention spans!