Don't click or your IP will be banned


Hittin' The Web with the Allman Brothers Band Forum
You are not logged in

< Last Thread   Next Thread ><<  1    2    3  >>Ascending sortDescending sorting  
Author: Subject: 10 Commandments of concert going

Extreme Peach





Posts: 1075
(1075 all sites)
Registered: 1/6/2005
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 02:42 PM
10 Commandments of concert going

By KEVIN O'HARE

The guy to my left has his cell phone ringing and the couple to my right has taken about 200 pictures of the two of them with the stage in the background. The woman in back of me has been texting her friends through the whole show and that pie-eyed person in front of me just puked.

Welcome to the wild, wonderful world of concert-going, 2009.

You might say that crazy things have always gone on at concerts and you'd probably be right. There were always people at shows who were there to get lucky, get high or do anything other than listen to the music.

But it's worse now. Believe me. I've been to nearly 2,000 concerts during the past three decades and it's never been this bad.

The biggest problem is that more people than ever seem to be at concerts to make the scene more than actually hear the music. For many, making sure that every one of your friends knows you are at the Beyonce concert is far more important than hearing anything Beyonce sings. Getting the Carrie Underwood T-shirt, and wearing it to school the next day is a lot more of a status symbol than knowing whether the star was on-key or off. Showing your buddies the $500 ticket for the Rolling Stones' concert is way more critical than being sober enough to remember anything Mick Jagger sang after the third song of the night.

Being able to say you saw this band or that singer was always good for the ego. Admit it. But there was a time, in a land far, far away, where the concert experience meant something incredibly special, the real-time, soul to soul connection between artists and fans. A time when fans could recite the set list of a Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder or U2 show they attended 10 or 20 years ago, or at least recall the high points of the performance.

Things have been slowly shifting for several years but it finally hit home for me at a John Legend concert at Smith College a few years back.

While Legend was delivering a supremely soulful set, I looked around at all the lights flashing from the cell phones in the crowd. And I started counting. And I realized that hundreds of people in that audience weren't listening to anything the incredibly talented singer was delivering on stage. Instead they were either taking third-rate photos with their cell phone camera (typically of themselves with the stage in the background) or texting their friends ("Guess where I am! OMG!).

That experience eventually led to this list of "10 Commandments of Concert Etiquette." I asked about 30 friends of varying ages to tell me about some of their own best and worst experiences at shows and they gave me some great feedback. You might hate it, you might like it, but if you've gone to enough shows, I promise you will recognize some of the people in this column.

1. Though Shalt Not Get Drunk or High and Stupid Before the Show

No one's against tailgating in the parking lot and no one's against people of legal age enjoying a couple of drinks at a show, as long as they don't get smashed and ruin the concert for everyone around them. I still vividly remember the guy in his 20s with the fabulous seat at the Rolling Stones' show in Fenway Park a few years ago. Totally wrecked when he walked into the venue, by the time the Stones hit the stage he was a slobbering idiot, falling off the extremely expensive 8th row seat he was standing on three times during the first three songs, tumbling onto other increasingly angry people in the crowd. Suddenly, Keith Richards seemed like a model of sobriety in comparison.

2. Though Shalt Not Arrive Late at a Concert and Rudely Demand People to Get Out of "My Seat."

This happens at sporting events too, all the time in fact. What's worse than the two people who show up an hour after the time printed on the ticket, and the guy with a beer in each hand makes his way to where you're sitting, pushes past a few people and shouts "Hey you're in my seat!" First of all, more often than not, you're in the right seat and they've got it wrong. But couldn't they at least be polite about it? They're the ones who are late! How about, "Hi, we got stuck in traffic, but I think you may be sitting in my seat?" It's a lot better approach and a lot less confrontational.

3. Thou Shalt Not Covet the Souvenir Tables More than the Concert

This is a particular pet peeve. Look, everyone likes a cool t-shirt as either a fashion statement or a permanent memory of a great show. Artists these days make a fortune on their souvenir tables. But too many people walk into venues, and before a note is played spend hundreds of dollars on souvenirs just so they can say they saw Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Martina McBride, Kelly Clarkson or others. Actually seeing them is secondary compared with having the t-shirt that proves you were there. With ticket prices as high as they are these days, the t-shirts, programs, posters, etc. are often a luxury. And they're not more important than what happens on stage. Remember, it's still the music that matters, not what you wear the next day to school.

4. Thou Shalt Not Get Angry at Artists Who Fail to Play Note-by-Note Versions of their Greatest Hits in Concert

Look, more than likely, they are going to play plenty of songs you know. They'd be fools not to. But they've also got to do a few songs off their new album because that's what they are trying to promote. And they also may want to improvise on some of the hits just a bit, so as to keep the show exciting for them too.

Concert set lists frequently trigger a huge debate among ticket-holders, a debate that is worthy of a lot more space than we have here. You do deserve to hear some of the music that you would expect. But you are by no means guaranteed that you will hear every one of your favorite songs just because you bought a ticket. And if you are going to see someone like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Alicia Keys or Bruce Springsteen, who hardly ever play the same set list twice, be ready for some surprises. It's part of the fun.

5. Thou Shalt Not Scream Out Requests.

Don't scream out for stars to play their biggest hit the moment they take the stage. That is especially true if you're in a in a small venue where everyone can hear you. Most performers work from a set list and will play their biggest hits. They don't need you to remind them the second they say "Good evening Northampton." You're being obnoxious and you're actually risking getting the artist so angry you may not end up hearing the song at all.

6. Thou Shalt Not Use Cell Phones to Text Your Friends During Concerts, to Talk on the Phone During Quiet Moments or to Take Countless Goofy Pictures of You and Your Date with the Performers on stage in the Background.

This is the big one. It's all out of hand. At a Sugarland concert a while ago, I looked around and it seemed like the entire sold-out crowd was texting someone else, maybe someone in the crowd, more likely someone who was unable to get tickets. "We r at the show! So Cool! Miss U! Cya!"
Good grief. Could you listen to just a few of the songs for just a few minutes? What did they just sing? You forgot what they played? What a surprise.

As for the photos, a lot of people, including yours truly, love photos. Take a couple. Take 10 if you want if the performer is o.k. with that. But more than 100? Of you and your date AT the show? Give it a rest.
And while you are at it, put the cell phone on vibrate.

7. Thou Shalt Not Make Out with Date During the Concert

Bring it to a motel or bring it home. 'Nuff said.

8. Thou Shalt Not Stand and Dance at a Show When No One Else is Standing and Dancing.

This is one of the major great debates among concert goers. I seem to recall a fabulous "Saturday Night Live" skit on this subject years ago. Have you ever been in back of the only person standing at a show while everyone else was sitting? Have you ever asked them (politely please) to sit down? Have you ever gotten the response, "Hey buddy, I paid for this ticket I can do whatever I want."

Well you CAN'T do whatever you want when it means you are blocking the sight lines of other people who also paid to see the show. And if you are standing in front of a smaller person, a kid, or a disabled person, you deserve to be tossed out of the building. No one is saying don't have fun. Have a blast. Watch the movement of the crowd. If people all over the place are dancing, then it's fine to get up and shake your money maker all you want. And if they're not, but you feel you've GOT to dance, then try and sneak to a location where you will not be blocking anyone else's view.

9. Thou Shalt Not Walk Out of the Concert to make a Bathroom Run or a Food Run whenever the band plays something new or different.

Poor Walter Becker. The "other guy" in Steely Dan, equally brilliant but often in Donald Fagen's shadow, had the spotlight to sing one song each night during their tour a few years ago. No matter where they played, when Becker's time came, there was a mass exodus to the bathrooms. Give the guy a chance. Show some respect. When you gotta go, you gotta go, but don't be so obvious.

10. Thou Shalt Not Sing Louder Than the Person On Stage

You may have paid a lot of money for your tickets but that does not protect you from the yahoo in back of you who insists on singing-along (off key of course) to every song during the concert. Here's a reminder: Sometimes the emotional excitement does get overwhelming. But remember - people did not come to the show to hear YOU sing, and, just guessing mind you, but the odds are you are no Don Henley. They came to hear the star. If you must sing-along, do it quietly. And of course there are exceptions for when everyone in the stadium is singing like a European football match and Bono wants it that way.

 
Replies:

Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 8822
(8840 all sites)
Registered: 12/12/2007
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 02:53 PM
quote:
10 Commandments of concert going

By KEVIN O'HARE

The guy to my left has his cell phone ringing and the couple to my right has taken about 200 pictures of the two of them with the stage in the background. The woman in back of me has been texting her friends through the whole show and that pie-eyed person in front of me just puked.

Welcome to the wild, wonderful world of concert-going, 2009.

You might say that crazy things have always gone on at concerts and you'd probably be right. There were always people at shows who were there to get lucky, get high or do anything other than listen to the music.

But it's worse now. Believe me. I've been to nearly 2,000 concerts during the past three decades and it's never been this bad.

The biggest problem is that more people than ever seem to be at concerts to make the scene more than actually hear the music. For many, making sure that every one of your friends knows you are at the Beyonce concert is far more important than hearing anything Beyonce sings. Getting the Carrie Underwood T-shirt, and wearing it to school the next day is a lot more of a status symbol than knowing whether the star was on-key or off. Showing your buddies the $500 ticket for the Rolling Stones' concert is way more critical than being sober enough to remember anything Mick Jagger sang after the third song of the night.

Being able to say you saw this band or that singer was always good for the ego. Admit it. But there was a time, in a land far, far away, where the concert experience meant something incredibly special, the real-time, soul to soul connection between artists and fans. A time when fans could recite the set list of a Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder or U2 show they attended 10 or 20 years ago, or at least recall the high points of the performance.

Things have been slowly shifting for several years but it finally hit home for me at a John Legend concert at Smith College a few years back.

While Legend was delivering a supremely soulful set, I looked around at all the lights flashing from the cell phones in the crowd. And I started counting. And I realized that hundreds of people in that audience weren't listening to anything the incredibly talented singer was delivering on stage. Instead they were either taking third-rate photos with their cell phone camera (typically of themselves with the stage in the background) or texting their friends ("Guess where I am! OMG!).

That experience eventually led to this list of "10 Commandments of Concert Etiquette." I asked about 30 friends of varying ages to tell me about some of their own best and worst experiences at shows and they gave me some great feedback. You might hate it, you might like it, but if you've gone to enough shows, I promise you will recognize some of the people in this column.

1. Though Shalt Not Get Drunk or High and Stupid Before the Show

No one's against tailgating in the parking lot and no one's against people of legal age enjoying a couple of drinks at a show, as long as they don't get smashed and ruin the concert for everyone around them. I still vividly remember the guy in his 20s with the fabulous seat at the Rolling Stones' show in Fenway Park a few years ago. Totally wrecked when he walked into the venue, by the time the Stones hit the stage he was a slobbering idiot, falling off the extremely expensive 8th row seat he was standing on three times during the first three songs, tumbling onto other increasingly angry people in the crowd. Suddenly, Keith Richards seemed like a model of sobriety in comparison.

2. Though Shalt Not Arrive Late at a Concert and Rudely Demand People to Get Out of "My Seat."

This happens at sporting events too, all the time in fact. What's worse than the two people who show up an hour after the time printed on the ticket, and the guy with a beer in each hand makes his way to where you're sitting, pushes past a few people and shouts "Hey you're in my seat!" First of all, more often than not, you're in the right seat and they've got it wrong. But couldn't they at least be polite about it? They're the ones who are late! How about, "Hi, we got stuck in traffic, but I think you may be sitting in my seat?" It's a lot better approach and a lot less confrontational.

3. Thou Shalt Not Covet the Souvenir Tables More than the Concert

This is a particular pet peeve. Look, everyone likes a cool t-shirt as either a fashion statement or a permanent memory of a great show. Artists these days make a fortune on their souvenir tables. But too many people walk into venues, and before a note is played spend hundreds of dollars on souvenirs just so they can say they saw Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Martina McBride, Kelly Clarkson or others. Actually seeing them is secondary compared with having the t-shirt that proves you were there. With ticket prices as high as they are these days, the t-shirts, programs, posters, etc. are often a luxury. And they're not more important than what happens on stage. Remember, it's still the music that matters, not what you wear the next day to school.

4. Thou Shalt Not Get Angry at Artists Who Fail to Play Note-by-Note Versions of their Greatest Hits in Concert

Look, more than likely, they are going to play plenty of songs you know. They'd be fools not to. But they've also got to do a few songs off their new album because that's what they are trying to promote. And they also may want to improvise on some of the hits just a bit, so as to keep the show exciting for them too.

Concert set lists frequently trigger a huge debate among ticket-holders, a debate that is worthy of a lot more space than we have here. You do deserve to hear some of the music that you would expect. But you are by no means guaranteed that you will hear every one of your favorite songs just because you bought a ticket. And if you are going to see someone like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Alicia Keys or Bruce Springsteen, who hardly ever play the same set list twice, be ready for some surprises. It's part of the fun.

5. Thou Shalt Not Scream Out Requests.

Don't scream out for stars to play their biggest hit the moment they take the stage. That is especially true if you're in a in a small venue where everyone can hear you. Most performers work from a set list and will play their biggest hits. They don't need you to remind them the second they say "Good evening Northampton." You're being obnoxious and you're actually risking getting the artist so angry you may not end up hearing the song at all.

6. Thou Shalt Not Use Cell Phones to Text Your Friends During Concerts, to Talk on the Phone During Quiet Moments or to Take Countless Goofy Pictures of You and Your Date with the Performers on stage in the Background.

This is the big one. It's all out of hand. At a Sugarland concert a while ago, I looked around and it seemed like the entire sold-out crowd was texting someone else, maybe someone in the crowd, more likely someone who was unable to get tickets. "We r at the show! So Cool! Miss U! Cya!"
Good grief. Could you listen to just a few of the songs for just a few minutes? What did they just sing? You forgot what they played? What a surprise.

As for the photos, a lot of people, including yours truly, love photos. Take a couple. Take 10 if you want if the performer is o.k. with that. But more than 100? Of you and your date AT the show? Give it a rest.
And while you are at it, put the cell phone on vibrate.

7. Thou Shalt Not Make Out with Date During the Concert

Bring it to a motel or bring it home. 'Nuff said.

8. Thou Shalt Not Stand and Dance at a Show When No One Else is Standing and Dancing.

This is one of the major great debates among concert goers. I seem to recall a fabulous "Saturday Night Live" skit on this subject years ago. Have you ever been in back of the only person standing at a show while everyone else was sitting? Have you ever asked them (politely please) to sit down? Have you ever gotten the response, "Hey buddy, I paid for this ticket I can do whatever I want."

Well you CAN'T do whatever you want when it means you are blocking the sight lines of other people who also paid to see the show. And if you are standing in front of a smaller person, a kid, or a disabled person, you deserve to be tossed out of the building. No one is saying don't have fun. Have a blast. Watch the movement of the crowd. If people all over the place are dancing, then it's fine to get up and shake your money maker all you want. And if they're not, but you feel you've GOT to dance, then try and sneak to a location where you will not be blocking anyone else's view.

9. Thou Shalt Not Walk Out of the Concert to make a Bathroom Run or a Food Run whenever the band plays something new or different.

Poor Walter Becker. The "other guy" in Steely Dan, equally brilliant but often in Donald Fagen's shadow, had the spotlight to sing one song each night during their tour a few years ago. No matter where they played, when Becker's time came, there was a mass exodus to the bathrooms. Give the guy a chance. Show some respect. When you gotta go, you gotta go, but don't be so obvious.

10. Thou Shalt Not Sing Louder Than the Person On Stage

You may have paid a lot of money for your tickets but that does not protect you from the yahoo in back of you who insists on singing-along (off key of course) to every song during the concert. Here's a reminder: Sometimes the emotional excitement does get overwhelming. But remember - people did not come to the show to hear YOU sing, and, just guessing mind you, but the odds are you are no Don Henley. They came to hear the star. If you must sing-along, do it quietly. And of course there are exceptions for when everyone in the stadium is singing like a European football match and Bono wants it that way.




Thanks in general,a brilliant piece

if i may add:
11.Thou Shalt Not pee or have sexual relations in your seat(true story--Beacon--last run!!)
12.Thou Shalt Not use your seatmate as a drum or touch another agressively as an "instrument" in any way(true!!)
13.Thou Shalt shut the Phuck up & listen to the music

no wish to offend anyone,but my passion for the music,the reason for being there, & what the music is & was & continues to represent is spiritually sacred & demands respect,civility, politeness & kindness--if us fans at Levon Helm shows can behave--yes plenty of stoned folk or some kinda buzz on,but civil & respectful...unlike The Band guestbook

 

Extreme Peach



Karma:
Posts: 1408
(1408 all sites)
Registered: 3/24/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 02:54 PM
"Read it , Learn it , Live it "

 

____________________
"Growing Old Is Mandatory , Growing Up Is Optional " ........."Hello ! I'm Wavy Gravy , Activist Clown, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavor And Temple of Accumlated Error ! " - Hugh Romney ........ "My Drinking Team Has A Skiing Problem ....."

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 18640
(18700 all sites)
Registered: 2/9/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 03:03 PM
quote:


2. Though Shalt Not Arrive Late at a Concert and Rudely Demand People to Get Out of "My Seat."

This happens at sporting events too, all the time in fact. What's worse than the two people who show up an hour after the time printed on the ticket, and the guy with a beer in each hand makes his way to where you're sitting, pushes past a few people and shouts "Hey you're in my seat!" First of all, more often than not, you're in the right seat and they've got it wrong. But couldn't they at least be polite about it? They're the ones who are late! How about, "Hi, we got stuck in traffic, but I think you may be sitting in my seat?" It's a lot better approach and a lot less confrontational.




More often than not, this happens because some cheap B*stard has been eyeballing a seat or two that are closer to the stage than his. If it is MY seat and I am late for whatever reason, rest assured, I WILL end up with the seat that I have paid MY $$$ for. Regardless of how much he "quietly" argues his point, or how quickly I can find a yellow jacket.

[Edited on 2/27/2009 by BIGV]

 

____________________


 

Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 8822
(8840 all sites)
Registered: 12/12/2007
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 03:10 PM
quote:
quote:


2. Though Shalt Not Arrive Late at a Concert and Rudely Demand People to Get Out of "My Seat."

This happens at sporting events too, all the time in fact. What's worse than the two people who show up an hour after the time printed on the ticket, and the guy with a beer in each hand makes his way to where you're sitting, pushes past a few people and shouts "Hey you're in my seat!" First of all, more often than not, you're in the right seat and they've got it wrong. But couldn't they at least be polite about it? They're the ones who are late! How about, "Hi, we got stuck in traffic, but I think you may be sitting in my seat?" It's a lot better approach and a lot less confrontational.




More often than not, this happens because some cheap B*stard has been eyeballing a seat or two that are closer to the stage than his. If it is MY seat and I am late for whatever reason, rest assured, I WILL end up with the seat that I have paid MY $$$ for. Regardless of how much he "quietly" argues his point, or how quickly I can find a yellow jacket.

[Edited on 2/27/2009 by BIGV]


good point--if someone swipes your seat,for any reason,they are stealing what you bought--i just think it should be handled quietly and you're correct--via the security or staff people.

 

Extreme Peach



Karma:
Posts: 1963
(1986 all sites)
Registered: 2/27/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 03:32 PM
quote:
"Read it , Learn it , Live it "


Fast times!

 

____________________


 

Peach Pro



Karma:
Posts: 241
(241 all sites)
Registered: 2/24/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 03:46 PM

I have to agree with all your wishes or commandments, with a little change for #8 - standing or dancing when most or all are sitting for my time at the Beacon or in an orchestra.

I have a back that locks up if I sit too long at a concert with small seats. I always make sure I look around when I stand at the Beacon. I am 6' 3", but slim in build, but I know a site line can be a problem when I do stand. I also stand because my cousin's taping equipment is usually in my seat. We try to get aisle seats so I can step out, but with the Dolan cops working the Beacon now, they have made that an issue now also.

I do the best I can for all, but I did pay for my ticket also, so if I stand doing the drum solos because I want to give them the support I give all the rest of the members of the band, I think that is the same like the other commandment about not leaving during a solo by a second or back up guitar player.

I also feel that if you buy an orchestra seat at the Beacon, well buyer beware. It is the best arena that I like to stand at all night. The vibes that the ABB or Mule music put out make me want to stand and give it back to them. If you really need to sit all night, buy a Loge or Balcony seat.

Either way I can't please all, but when we set up the taping equipment, I do offer the people behind me a free copy of the show for any inconvenience that they may have from the mic stand or me standing all night. Most take me up on the offer with no complaints. I do look after others experience and my own also. I can only speak from my times at the Beacon that this has not been an issue till now and I hope that my one show this year for 03/23 will be the same. I will be on the aisle in the orchestra for that night in row N. I will be up all night and I hope this is OK for the people near me.

Thanks for letting me voice my opinion about #8.
Peace and love for all Brothers and Sisters.
Jim

 

Ultimate Peach



Karma:
Posts: 3475
(3476 all sites)
Registered: 3/10/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 03:54 PM
Thou shall not play air guitar or any other non-existent instruments.

 

____________________
We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace. - Michael Franti

 

Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 8822
(8840 all sites)
Registered: 12/12/2007
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 03:54 PM
peace back at ya,Jim

[Edited on 2/27/2009 by dadof2]

 

Extreme Peach



Karma:
Posts: 3578
(1893 all sites)
Registered: 1/22/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 03:55 PM
no one will be puking, celling, talking, srceaming to Gregg, singing, etc. in my moogisifyed living room...

I think.

 

____________________

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 67541
(67902 all sites)
Registered: 11/28/2001
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 03:56 PM
You mean I can't call Lee or text him when they play Soulshine or Rocking Horse? It may not be worth going......

 

____________________

 

Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 8822
(8840 all sites)
Registered: 12/12/2007
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:00 PM
quote:
You mean I can't call Lee or text him when they play Soulshine or Rocking Horse? It may not be worth going......


lol

 

Extreme Peach



Karma:
Posts: 1165
(1165 all sites)
Registered: 8/31/2005
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:01 PM
Thou shalt not be an in-show narrator .
 

Extreme Peach



Karma:
Posts: 1408
(1408 all sites)
Registered: 3/24/2004
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:08 PM
quote:
quote:
"Read it , Learn it , Live it "


Fast times!
Yeah , stuck in my head because I was watching it last week !

 

____________________
"Growing Old Is Mandatory , Growing Up Is Optional " ........."Hello ! I'm Wavy Gravy , Activist Clown, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavor And Temple of Accumlated Error ! " - Hugh Romney ........ "My Drinking Team Has A Skiing Problem ....."

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 26344
(26355 all sites)
Registered: 8/12/2007
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:12 PM
And if you are standing in front of a smaller person, a kid, or a disabled person, you deserve to be tossed out of the building

Thats funny I tend to stand were ever I want especially at club shows. I like being in front of the stage even though the sound isnt as good. Oh yeah Im 6'7 so alot of people r shorter than me

 

____________________

 

True Peach



Karma:
Posts: 14567
(14567 all sites)
Registered: 3/28/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:13 PM
quote:
quote:
10 Commandments of concert going

By KEVIN O'HARE

The guy to my left has his cell phone ringing and the couple to my right has taken about 200 pictures of the two of them with the stage in the background. The woman in back of me has been texting her friends through the whole show and that pie-eyed person in front of me just puked.

Welcome to the wild, wonderful world of concert-going, 2009.

You might say that crazy things have always gone on at concerts and you'd probably be right. There were always people at shows who were there to get lucky, get high or do anything other than listen to the music.

But it's worse now. Believe me. I've been to nearly 2,000 concerts during the past three decades and it's never been this bad.

The biggest problem is that more people than ever seem to be at concerts to make the scene more than actually hear the music. For many, making sure that every one of your friends knows you are at the Beyonce concert is far more important than hearing anything Beyonce sings. Getting the Carrie Underwood T-shirt, and wearing it to school the next day is a lot more of a status symbol than knowing whether the star was on-key or off. Showing your buddies the $500 ticket for the Rolling Stones' concert is way more critical than being sober enough to remember anything Mick Jagger sang after the third song of the night.

Being able to say you saw this band or that singer was always good for the ego. Admit it. But there was a time, in a land far, far away, where the concert experience meant something incredibly special, the real-time, soul to soul connection between artists and fans. A time when fans could recite the set list of a Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder or U2 show they attended 10 or 20 years ago, or at least recall the high points of the performance.

Things have been slowly shifting for several years but it finally hit home for me at a John Legend concert at Smith College a few years back.

While Legend was delivering a supremely soulful set, I looked around at all the lights flashing from the cell phones in the crowd. And I started counting. And I realized that hundreds of people in that audience weren't listening to anything the incredibly talented singer was delivering on stage. Instead they were either taking third-rate photos with their cell phone camera (typically of themselves with the stage in the background) or texting their friends ("Guess where I am! OMG!).

That experience eventually led to this list of "10 Commandments of Concert Etiquette." I asked about 30 friends of varying ages to tell me about some of their own best and worst experiences at shows and they gave me some great feedback. You might hate it, you might like it, but if you've gone to enough shows, I promise you will recognize some of the people in this column.

1. Though Shalt Not Get Drunk or High and Stupid Before the Show

No one's against tailgating in the parking lot and no one's against people of legal age enjoying a couple of drinks at a show, as long as they don't get smashed and ruin the concert for everyone around them. I still vividly remember the guy in his 20s with the fabulous seat at the Rolling Stones' show in Fenway Park a few years ago. Totally wrecked when he walked into the venue, by the time the Stones hit the stage he was a slobbering idiot, falling off the extremely expensive 8th row seat he was standing on three times during the first three songs, tumbling onto other increasingly angry people in the crowd. Suddenly, Keith Richards seemed like a model of sobriety in comparison.

2. Though Shalt Not Arrive Late at a Concert and Rudely Demand People to Get Out of "My Seat."

This happens at sporting events too, all the time in fact. What's worse than the two people who show up an hour after the time printed on the ticket, and the guy with a beer in each hand makes his way to where you're sitting, pushes past a few people and shouts "Hey you're in my seat!" First of all, more often than not, you're in the right seat and they've got it wrong. But couldn't they at least be polite about it? They're the ones who are late! How about, "Hi, we got stuck in traffic, but I think you may be sitting in my seat?" It's a lot better approach and a lot less confrontational.

3. Thou Shalt Not Covet the Souvenir Tables More than the Concert

This is a particular pet peeve. Look, everyone likes a cool t-shirt as either a fashion statement or a permanent memory of a great show. Artists these days make a fortune on their souvenir tables. But too many people walk into venues, and before a note is played spend hundreds of dollars on souvenirs just so they can say they saw Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Martina McBride, Kelly Clarkson or others. Actually seeing them is secondary compared with having the t-shirt that proves you were there. With ticket prices as high as they are these days, the t-shirts, programs, posters, etc. are often a luxury. And they're not more important than what happens on stage. Remember, it's still the music that matters, not what you wear the next day to school.

4. Thou Shalt Not Get Angry at Artists Who Fail to Play Note-by-Note Versions of their Greatest Hits in Concert

Look, more than likely, they are going to play plenty of songs you know. They'd be fools not to. But they've also got to do a few songs off their new album because that's what they are trying to promote. And they also may want to improvise on some of the hits just a bit, so as to keep the show exciting for them too.

Concert set lists frequently trigger a huge debate among ticket-holders, a debate that is worthy of a lot more space than we have here. You do deserve to hear some of the music that you would expect. But you are by no means guaranteed that you will hear every one of your favorite songs just because you bought a ticket. And if you are going to see someone like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Alicia Keys or Bruce Springsteen, who hardly ever play the same set list twice, be ready for some surprises. It's part of the fun.

5. Thou Shalt Not Scream Out Requests.

Don't scream out for stars to play their biggest hit the moment they take the stage. That is especially true if you're in a in a small venue where everyone can hear you. Most performers work from a set list and will play their biggest hits. They don't need you to remind them the second they say "Good evening Northampton." You're being obnoxious and you're actually risking getting the artist so angry you may not end up hearing the song at all.

6. Thou Shalt Not Use Cell Phones to Text Your Friends During Concerts, to Talk on the Phone During Quiet Moments or to Take Countless Goofy Pictures of You and Your Date with the Performers on stage in the Background.

This is the big one. It's all out of hand. At a Sugarland concert a while ago, I looked around and it seemed like the entire sold-out crowd was texting someone else, maybe someone in the crowd, more likely someone who was unable to get tickets. "We r at the show! So Cool! Miss U! Cya!"
Good grief. Could you listen to just a few of the songs for just a few minutes? What did they just sing? You forgot what they played? What a surprise.

As for the photos, a lot of people, including yours truly, love photos. Take a couple. Take 10 if you want if the performer is o.k. with that. But more than 100? Of you and your date AT the show? Give it a rest.
And while you are at it, put the cell phone on vibrate.

7. Thou Shalt Not Make Out with Date During the Concert

Bring it to a motel or bring it home. 'Nuff said.

8. Thou Shalt Not Stand and Dance at a Show When No One Else is Standing and Dancing.

This is one of the major great debates among concert goers. I seem to recall a fabulous "Saturday Night Live" skit on this subject years ago. Have you ever been in back of the only person standing at a show while everyone else was sitting? Have you ever asked them (politely please) to sit down? Have you ever gotten the response, "Hey buddy, I paid for this ticket I can do whatever I want."

Well you CAN'T do whatever you want when it means you are blocking the sight lines of other people who also paid to see the show. And if you are standing in front of a smaller person, a kid, or a disabled person, you deserve to be tossed out of the building. No one is saying don't have fun. Have a blast. Watch the movement of the crowd. If people all over the place are dancing, then it's fine to get up and shake your money maker all you want. And if they're not, but you feel you've GOT to dance, then try and sneak to a location where you will not be blocking anyone else's view.

9. Thou Shalt Not Walk Out of the Concert to make a Bathroom Run or a Food Run whenever the band plays something new or different.

Poor Walter Becker. The "other guy" in Steely Dan, equally brilliant but often in Donald Fagen's shadow, had the spotlight to sing one song each night during their tour a few years ago. No matter where they played, when Becker's time came, there was a mass exodus to the bathrooms. Give the guy a chance. Show some respect. When you gotta go, you gotta go, but don't be so obvious.

10. Thou Shalt Not Sing Louder Than the Person On Stage

You may have paid a lot of money for your tickets but that does not protect you from the yahoo in back of you who insists on singing-along (off key of course) to every song during the concert. Here's a reminder: Sometimes the emotional excitement does get overwhelming. But remember - people did not come to the show to hear YOU sing, and, just guessing mind you, but the odds are you are no Don Henley. They came to hear the star. If you must sing-along, do it quietly. And of course there are exceptions for when everyone in the stadium is singing like a European football match and Bono wants it that way.




Thanks in general,a brilliant piece

if i may add:
11.Thou Shalt Not pee or have sexual relations in your seat(true story--Beacon--last run!!)
12.Thou Shalt Not use your seatmate as a drum or touch another agressively as an "instrument" in any way(true!!)
13.Thou Shalt shut the Phuck up & listen to the music

no wish to offend anyone,but my passion for the music,the reason for being there, & what the music is & was & continues to represent is spiritually sacred & demands respect,civility, politeness & kindness--if us fans at Levon Helm shows can behave--yes plenty of stoned folk or some kinda buzz on,but civil & respectful...unlike The Band guestbook


Hey Effie, are those extra three commandments part of the five that Mel Brooks dropped in 'History of the World'!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L940yIeVZzE

 

____________________
Pete

 

Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 8822
(8840 all sites)
Registered: 12/12/2007
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:15 PM
ROTFLMAO
 

Ultimate Peach



Karma:
Posts: 3636
(3636 all sites)
Registered: 5/1/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:18 PM
If I can't yell Freebird at the start of the show, I don't want to go.

Good list.

Jim, I'm sure you're respectful of others around you, but I'm still of the belief, if everyone is standing, it's ok, otherwise sit down. The fact that your buddy is taping isn't really an excuse . I doubt you're like this, but it often seems to me that a lot of the solo dancers seem as interested in proving that it's their right to do so, as they are in dancing for its own sake.

 

____________________
Walk down on the street and leave, my blues at home

 

Maximum Peach



Karma:
Posts: 7734
(8061 all sites)
Registered: 3/20/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:23 PM
quote:
no one will be puking, celling, talking, srceaming to Gregg, singing, etc. in my moogisifyed living room...

I think.


One never knows what is going to happen in the privacy of one's home

 

____________________
I'm gonna be thankful for this feeling the music brings . . .

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 25201
(25201 all sites)
Registered: 9/7/2005
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:24 PM
I disagree about #8.


Dancing is an appropriate response to music.

Just because everyone else is square, doesn't make it wrong.

Talking during music is the worse thing you can do.

But Dancing is always appropriate even at a oboe recital if you are so moved.




[Edited on 2/28/2009 by spacemonkey]

 

____________________
Keep on Smiling


 

Peach Master



Karma:
Posts: 617
(617 all sites)
Registered: 3/8/2002
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:34 PM
other than the beacon just stick to smaller venues and avoid the Horizon Ampitheaters

 

____________________
live long and prosper but don't sweat the small stuff.

 

Peach Master



Karma:
Posts: 568
(568 all sites)
Registered: 8/27/2003
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 04:48 PM
Attention: Douche bags!

Leave you cell phone in the car!

If you attention span is that short, its probably not safe to leave you home.


 

____________________
Whats so funny bout peace, love & understanding?


 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 18640
(18700 all sites)
Registered: 2/9/2006
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 05:03 PM
quote:
I disagree about #8.


Dancing is an appropriate response to music.

Just because everyone else is square, doesn't make it wrong.

Talking during music is the worse thing you can do.

But Dancing is always appropriated. even at a oboe recital if you are so moved.





If you purchase a ticket for a concert in a venue that has assigned seating....You should be prepared to remain in your seat as a courtesy to others.

If you purchase a ticket for a concert in a "Standing room only" Venue.....DANCE until your hearts content...

It's your CHOICE when you make the decision to spend your hard earned $$$

[Edited on 2/27/2009 by BIGV]

 

____________________


 

Ultimate Peach



Karma:
Posts: 3027
(3026 all sites)
Registered: 12/17/2008
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 05:04 PM
At the Michael Franti show I went to last week I observed a couple breaking the making out rule and one girl who was dancing wildly, but in a way that you knew it wasn't too the music and it was to just draw attention to herself.

Also, the last two concerts I have been to there seemes to be more and more people bring hula hoops to the show with them.

 

Zen Peach



Karma:
Posts: 23373
(23372 all sites)
Registered: 12/27/2005
Status: Offline

  posted on 2/27/2009 at 07:04 PM
quote:

13.Thou Shalt shut the Phuck up & listen to the music


THANK YOU, Effie!!!!

This is my biggest complaint. This should be #1 and repeated 9 more times.

 
<<  1    2    3  >>  


Powered by XForum 1.81.1 by Trollix Software


Privacy | Terms of Service
The ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND name, The ALLMAN BROTHERS name, likenesses, logos, mushroom design and peach truck are all registered trademarks of THE ABB MERCHANDISING CO., INC. whose rights are specifically reserved. Any artwork, visual, or audio representations used on this web site CONTAINING ANY REGISTERED TRADEMARKS are under license from The ABB MERCHANDISING CO., INC. A REVOCABLE, GRATIS LICENSE IS GRANTED TO ALL REGISTERED PEACH CORP MEMBERS FOR The DOWNLOADING OF ONE COPY FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. ANY DISTRIBUTION OR REPRODUCTION OF THE TRADEMARKS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE PROHIBITED AND ARE SPECIFICALLY RESERVED BY THE ABB MERCHANDISING CO.,INC.
site by Hittin' the Web Group with www.experiencewasabi3d.com