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The Modern Concert Experience

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The Modern Concert Experience

Postby Into the Void on Sun May 16, 2010 1:46 am

...usually leaves me both hating the experience, the environment, and humanity in general. Why in the FUCK can people not put their iphone away for just 45 minutes? I just returned home from a show featuring an artist on the Kranky roster and I swear 40% of the audience were looking at their smart phones the entire time. The couple sitting next to me were neither speaking to one another nor listening- just looking at their phones the entire fucking time. Not just occasionally- it was really the entire time. What can they possible be checking that can't wait 45 minutes!?

I made the mistake of going to a Grizzly Bear show last year and there were two young-ish girls in their mid-twenties there. Throughout the opening bands I noticed them sitting down against the wall, texting the entire time. When Grizzly Bear came on they got up, shoved their way to the front (spilling my girlfriend's drink in the process), took some photos with their iphones, then went back to their spot against the wall and resumed texting throughout the rest of the show. And I have to guess the next morning they updated their facebook pages or what the fuck ever to let all of their "friends" know that they were "cool" enough to attend a Grizzly Bear concert. Never mind that they didn't listen to the show or even pay attention to it. I feel so old complaining about "kids today" but goddamn...it's just brutally depressing observing people not understand the basic concept of actually experiencing things while they are happening. I don't understand it at all. If you want to be on the internet or text your friends all night stay the fuck home.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby yaledelay on Sun May 16, 2010 2:13 am

Dear people with fucking I-phones please try playing with that shit in front of me while I am rocking out, your I-Shit will get drenched in beer or worse stuck in my fucking pants...
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby nameless Drone on Sun May 16, 2010 2:30 am

I think Yale just made a breakthrough remedy here?

Someone fucks with their gadget in such a way that distracts? Swipe it and stick it in your pants, continue rocking.

What I will go on and mention, something that bugs me lately, is a really certain circumstance, but it is when there's a sizable crowd for something, they hear an opening band and they are generally "buying in" and digging it, but for some reason there's this wide dispersion towards the stage because they seem concerned if it is "OK" to like what they're hearing, even if most of them seem to really dig it. Like I said, totally anecdotal, but it is frustrating to actually see that many humans noticeably in a state of indecision. The "Cool"er the neighborhood, the more likely. (I'm looking in your direction, Wicker Park archetypes.)
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby yaledelay on Sun May 16, 2010 2:46 am

nameless Drone wrote:I think Yale just made a breakthrough remedy here?

Someone fucks with their gadget in such a way that distracts? Swipe it and stick it in your pants, continue rocking.

What I will go on and mention, something that bugs me lately, is a really certain circumstance, but it is when there's a sizable crowd for something, they hear an opening band and they are generally "buying in" and digging it, but for some reason there's this wide dispersion towards the stage because they seem concerned if it is "OK" to like what they're hearing, even if most of them seem to really dig it. Like I said, totally anecdotal, but it is frustrating to actually see that many humans noticeably in a state of indecision. The "Cool"er the neighborhood, the more likely. (I'm looking in your direction, Wicker Park archetypes.)



I didn't just do it here I did it about 5 years ago I have wiped my taint with many a un-suspecting eletronic phone device... and fuck you if you have to smell my ball sack every time you make a call, don't be texting while I am doing my thing...
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby DrAwkward on Sun May 16, 2010 3:11 am

Into the Void wrote:I made the mistake of going to a Grizzly Bear show last year


There's yer problem.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby Marsupialized on Sun May 16, 2010 3:18 am

I don't give a fuck what people do. Wanna sit and fuck with their phones? More power to them. It's weird, but we live in a weird world. People got the OCD with this electronic shit, it's fucked people's shit all up. Scrambled their waves and whatnot. It's not gonna go away, so whatever, people are crazy now. I figure I'll just stay away from most of them and I'll be ok.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby Arson Smith on Sun May 16, 2010 4:03 am

You certainly don't need an iGadget to be an asshole at a show.

The one time last year I was in yr Elbo Room (checkin out yr PRF bandz), there was a sizable douche and douchette cluster who insisted on standing in a big conversation gaggle *right* at the edge of the stage, in some kind of semi-circle, with the majority of their backs turned toward the stage and just BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-ing away - so fucking gross... they could have easily faded back to the rear of the room at least, but no. I can't even imagine how self-absorbed you have to be to march right up to the stage, turn 180 degrees, and then stay there the whole time, jabbering your face off about fucking nothing.

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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby chairman_hall on Sun May 16, 2010 4:12 am

Arson Smith wrote:You certainly don't need an iGadget to be an asshole at a show.


This.

I think the whole iPhone Facebook thing is quite interesting actually, and it doesn't just concern itself with live music. I am pretty certain one of the main reason "the kids" go out these days is so they can put stuff on Facebook about it.

The thing I find interesting is that people are not just experiencing things these days they are actually recording and commentating on it too. Just have a think about it without getting angry about "the kids" for a second. It's a pretty cool thing. Imagine "the kids" having iPhones at Woodstock or whatever other historical culturally significant point in history. All that recorded evidence and instant comment.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby ImDADA on Sun May 16, 2010 4:15 am

I like photos but the people I know who are really into photography exclude themselves from almost all real experiences, they're too busy documenting everything. This applies to live music too.

Fine, if it makes them happy.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby squarewave on Sun May 16, 2010 5:45 pm

I was at a private James Brown show where the people at the table we were at would not shut the fuck up. This was DURING the show, when JB was ripping shit up, going off stage, changing outfits, and the emcee was re-introducing him 'ladies and gentlemen, the hadest working man in show business!! Jaaaammmes Broowwwnnn!!'

Cool as shit, except these idiots kept yammering on about business.

I leaned in, and told them that while they may be privileged to see James Brown all the time, this was something pretty special for us, and asked them to please finish their sales pitch or board meeting outside.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby enframed on Mon May 17, 2010 11:03 am

I guess I don't pay much attention to what other people are doing at shows, but if they want to text, who cares. More room for other people who actually want to see the show. Watching an entire show isn't important to me, hearing it is. I'll usually watch a couple of songs being played, get an idea what's going on up there, and then sit and listen. Perhaps the girls texting were actually listening, just not watching.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby elmofreech on Mon May 17, 2010 12:26 pm

Bums me out. I get super old-man when I see people do the photo and video thing. "No one wants to see your shitty stage photos anyway!!!" I'm probably just bummed that I have to wade through a bunch awful sounding iPhone captures when I'm on YouTube.

That said, I've sent a number of txts while at shows. Some even to the person standing next to me, and mainly about an opening band being lame. So, yeah, can I really complain? I'll have one of them fancy Droids at the end of the month so I'm sure it won't be long before I'm reading Twitter and watching video during the change-overs.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby Into the Void on Mon May 17, 2010 12:34 pm

enframed wrote:I guess I don't pay much attention to what other people are doing at shows, but if they want to text, who cares.


I don't care what people do either, really. It's their loss. My problem is it can be a distraction to the people who actually do want to watch and listen to the show. For starters because it's a dark room until LCD screens are lighting up to the left and right of me.

enframed wrote: Perhaps the girls texting were actually listening, just not watching.


Right. They were listening very closely while sitting down, tapping away on their phones and talking with one another the entire show.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby enframed on Mon May 17, 2010 12:42 pm

They must have been smokin' hot.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby sawtooth on Mon May 17, 2010 12:47 pm

the texting i have not really noticed but its the JIBBERJABBERING that bugs me. i remember seeing low in the mid-90s before all this i-Shit even existed. you know low, very powerful but very quiet band. audience members, who were there to see low as a HEADLINING ACT, so i'm guessing they were fans or whatever, seemed super-psyched that the band played quietly enough so they could just jibber-jabber not stop wall to wall beginning to end. those of us trying to listen heard low mixed with bla-bla-bla like the worlds worst remix. i wanted to see one of those nice mormon low members get old-school henry rollins and just start busting heads.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby Marsupialized on Mon May 17, 2010 12:47 pm

They paid, they can do whatever they want. Worry about your own shit. The world is full of different people who go about their life in different ways. The last physical fight I got into in my life was at a show at the Abbey pub several years ago, some dude decides he can tell me to quiet down because he is trying to hear the shitty quiet band. I was all the way in the back of the venue, at the bar, talking to the semi attractive El Salvadorian girl I met off the internet, brought to the show and later wildly banged in John George Pepper's kitchen while he entertained her far more attractive friend (who later became my roommate, long story) in his living room. The place was not super crowded and dude had all kinds of places to go to hear the folk rocking besides way in the fucking back by the bar next to me and my Guinness.
He taps me on the shoulder, right in front of the chick I was talking to and says 'You are being really loud, I am trying to hear this band and all I hear is your voice. Can you please quiet down?'
He was wearing sunglasses, inside, at night.
I punched him directly in the center of his face at her urging. As hard as I could. WHAM!
His friends got the bouncers, they heard him tell what happened and proceeded to laugh at him and all but high five me. They made him leave and I enjoyed the rest of the show.
So yeah, if you want to take the risk of getting your nose smashed in, by all means, go on and tell other people how they should enjoy their night off. Me? I will be over to the side, doing my thing, not worrying about other people and what they are doing.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby RSMurphy on Mon May 17, 2010 12:54 pm

I don't care what you do as long as you aren't infringing upon my rights and space to appreciate who I paid to see.

Last time I saw The Residents I had some jerk recording on his iPhone the majority of the time. Dude was right in front of me, had his phone right in front of my face. I'm a tall guy, so his extended arm found his hand right in front of my view. Fucking sucked. And behind me was some asshole who kept talking very loudly and cracking jokes. If memory serves, Arson Smith rightfully dressed the dude down.

Talk all you want, text all you want, take as many pictures as you want, just do it far away from my personal experience of the evening. I mean, like, far far away. Go out of the room if you feel like chatting and the band is prone to quiet arrangements, and if you're taking pictures then try to be as stealth as possible.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby sawtooth on Mon May 17, 2010 12:56 pm

jibber jabbering during some lame folk shit is perfectly understandable
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby Marsupialized on Mon May 17, 2010 12:59 pm

sawtooth wrote:jibber jabbering during some lame folk shit is perfectly understandable


WAY in the back, at the bar, mind you.
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Re: The Modern Concert Experience

Postby DrAwkward on Mon May 17, 2010 1:04 pm

I dunno, y'all. I hear people complain about people talking loudly, playing with their phone, and whatever, and i think, "well, the band should maybe try harder then."

I know what you're gonna say: "but DrAwk, i saw Amazing Quiet Bands A and B and they are awesome but their set was ruined for me by some douchebag talking too loudly." Yes, yes, i get annoyed by this too; we're only human and sometimes we're just not in the mood to deal. But here's a fun story:

Three years ago Superchunk and the Mountain Goats played at the Metro. My first time seeing the Mountain Goats ever. I'd heard a few of their songs and liked some of them well enough, but not in a way that particularly moved me (i don't glom onto the singer-songwriter thing very often, you see, because guy-with-acoustic-guitar is more often painfully boring than not). Anyway, Darnielle's up on stage bringing it, and i'm enjoying the set, but getting aggravated by the douchetastic Metro audience, who are all talking LOUDLY over the Goats' set.

Finally, it's plain that it's been irritating Darnielle, but the dude's a charmingly self-effacing, slightly awkward professional, and he says this before starting one particular song: "i don't want to be that annoying folk singer who asks everyone to be quiet while he sings, but this next song is about a friend who died and it's really meaningful to me," etc. Crowd keeps yammering, which is exactly what i would have done in their position. So here's what happens next:

The Mountain Goats play this song, and midway through, Mr. John Darnielle gives up singing into the mic and decides to play right to the first few rows (the only people paying attention). He walks out in front of the monitors to the edge of the stage, still singing at full volume. And somehow, to my amazement, his voice carries over the din of the audience more powerfully that it did amplified. I'm totally not making this up; this was my perception of the event. In that moment, i was completely transfixed by the dude's conviction, his emotion, and his determination to make himself heard to the people who were there to see him, and fuck everyone else. And somehow i understood the lyrics clearer when he just sang at the crowd instead of into the mic. It was an amazing concert experience, converted me full-boar into a Mountain Goats fan, and none of that would have happened without those annoying, yammering douchebags (who were all there to see Superchunk, so at least they were d-bags with taste).

So that's my advice--put it on the band. They're the ones on stage; if people are distracting you from experiencing the band (and those people aren't, say, walking on your head or whatever the hardcore kids do these days to "fuck shit up"), then the band must not be doing enough to win your undivided attention.

Or, you know, get the fuck over it and realize that kids will play on your lawn because they're kids.
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