WTF is with people at live shows?

chris m.

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What I hate more than anything at today's live rock shows is that young people stand on their seats, so unless you have a front row seat, or you stand on your seat, and you're taller than the person in front of you, you can't see anything. I used to go to live concerts all the time in the late 60's and 70's, and people generally didn't do that back then. These days, you have to go to a Michael Buble concert to see people sitting through most of the show, and the tickets just cost too much to deal with that.
An example of the reverse-- being almost "too polite". I had a friend in grad school who was very tall-- around 6'5". When we would go to the movies or live shows he was very concerned and felt guilty about possibly blocking the view of anyone behind him so he would usually end up at the very back of any venue, especially if it was a venue where people have to stand. Another option was to slump down real low in his seat if there was sufficient leg room. He just couldn't stand the idea of diminishing anyone else's view.
 

421JAM

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For one thing, there are no young hippies. Anyone under the age of 60 calling themselves hippies are frauds. Real hippies were not made after Vietnam ended.
Real hippies are not supposed to be trashy or unkempt. I was ashamed to see how they left Woodstock so trashed out, but my personal opinion is a lot of that was just tourists wanting to act like hippies and be irresponsible and care free just to see what it was all about.
Real hippies, the kind that live in small groups in rural areas in cabins and teepees, are more respectful. At least the ones I grew up around were very environmentally aware and psychologically stable. I suppose there were some small clusters in some of the cities. I had some very good experiences in Oregon and northern California back in the 70's, and the food was really good, too.

Ok fine. Jam band people.
 

Boxla

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I think a lot of people who go to shows and act like that did not pay a penny for their ticket. Many way to get free tickets. We can't assume all attendees paid to get in.
 

Matt Sarad

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Hippies are such frauds. I had a similar experience at a Medeski Martin and Wood concert. It was in a park as part of the Atlanta Jazz Festival and the group of young hippies in front of us would not shut up. We asked them to please be quiet so we could hear the music. Instead of being more quiet they ended up leaving, and left behind an entire six person picnic worth of garbage.
She wasn't a hippie. Early 20s maybe. Very attractive,well dressed, drunk or stoned and just plain rude
 

Blazer

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Here's my irks with live performances

As a performer.
- Soundcrew who know poop from Shinola, I once played a show where the background music was still playing through the stage monitors as we already started playing.
- Roadies who know crap from Shinola, my old metal band Slavantas played a gig in Germany and our roadie went over the knobs of my Marshall with one sweep with a flat hand turning everything down, ruining my settings. And from another time, I use solid state amps and just as we started our first song I noticed that I had no sound from my amp, turns out the roadie had pulled my plug out halfway. On both occasions he clarified his actions as having seen people do that and mistakenly assumed that it was standard practice.
- Musicians who know waste from Shinola, I attended many jam sessions since playing with unfamiliar people forces me to think fast and keep on my toes. But Jam sessions also attract people who own a guitar for fun and have no musical ear or sense of rhythm, there's nothing more frustrating than trying to play with somebody who CAN'T play.

As an audience member.
- People with cell phones trying to film the whole thing, come on, you're AT the damn thing, enjoy it.
- Audience members chatting among each other. No joke I was at a Captain Beefheart tribute concert where a singer with a Tom Waits-like voice was singing an absolutely STUNNING version of "Well" and people were talking right through it, even laughing out loud. SHUT THE HELL UP!
I later learned that it comes from people meeting each other online and seeing each other in the flesh for the first time at the concerts and can't stop babbling to each other.
- Seeing bands who know dump from Shinola. Bands who can't deliver, have no concept of keeping an audience entertained, who wallow in their "greatness" and pose themselves off to be bigger than they are. An audience KNOWS bull$#!* when they see it you know.
 

soundchaser59

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I've only been to one concert where nobody talked and nobody sang along, everyone just sat there listening, eyes wide and jaws dropped, and the place was crammed packed to capacity, I think it was maybe 8 or 10 thousand.

It was the Yes "Tales From Topographic Oceans" concert.

Most of the concerts I went to back in the 70's and 80's here in Nebraska people would only talk between songs. There were a few singing along but they were easy to avoid. Some of the best crowds back then were at concerts like Yes, Starship, Doobie Bros, Elton John, even the Clapton concert was very well mannered, as was the Dan Fogelberg crowd. The more noisy obnoxious crowds showed up to gigs like ZZ Top, Edgar Winter, Mountain, James Gang, Steve Miller. The worst one for me was The Eagles concert just before Glenn Frey died. I also had to deal with endless talking at the outdoor Joe B concert last year. But the more recent Styx concert last year I got lucky and was surrounded by people who didn't make a peep cuz they wanted to hear the tunes and drill in on Tommy Shaw.
 

ChicknPickn

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Well, I have to gently disagree with those who say that a concert is a raucous, rowdy event where it is to be expected that folks will be getting their yah-yahs out. There was the suggestion that, if one is looking for a quiet and orderly place, one might consider a golf course rather than a concert.

So what I say is that, if you want to get good and wasted, and hoot and holler to music, why not turn on the sound system in your den, or in the back yard, and do the puke boogie there? You'll certainly bother fewer people, and neither you nor your hapless neighbors will have spent money for this performance.

On the other hand, as we all know, it takes only one jackanape to degrade a musical performance for an entire auditorium of listeners. Why not conduct yourself as if you had minimal consideration for your fellow fans, so that EVERYONE enjoys the show?

Rant over. I think I needed to get that out.
 

northernguitar

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Lotsa good concert gripes in here. I tend to agree. I’ll add in people who want to turn a concert into family night. If you don’t want your kid exposed to smouldering ganja, don’t bring them.
 

Spox

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What I have had happen to me at two concerts I can think of was the support act talk through the main act.

One was a gig by a band called Ballboy and during their set the support, Dawn Of The Replicants, came to where me and my then squeeze were standing watching the band, sat with their backs to the stage and had a long and loud conversation. I ended up asking them to **** but the squeeze really disapproved of me being in any way confrontational with anyone who was compromising our optimum enjoyment levels of any given event.

The second was a gig by Mogwai and Arab Strap in a really small venue, tickets were like gold dust. I was with the same ex squeeze. Another band, Trout, had finished their set and whilst Arab Strap played sat on the edge of the stage with their backs to the band chatting to each other until staff told them to FO.
 

Blue Bill

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1sb8bj.jpeg
 

Blazer

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I've listened to 100's of bootleg concert recordings. The crowd chatter is always there, even back in the 60's - 70's. Hell, the Beatles couldn't hear themselves for the girls screaming. However, if you found one from overseas (Japan maybe) that was not the case.

Where's that thread about everything being too loud?
1dh9wy6lipy31.jpg

One of my favorite pictures of the Fab Four ever taken, because it shows just how primitive live shows were in those days and how ...OPTIMISTIC... their backline was.
0a88436af1127b14f56ff2ccd6455ce0.jpg

That very same show photographed from the front of the stage. Note for example the fact that there are no stage monitors as those simply didn't exist yet. No mics in front of the amps.

in fact it was two years later in 1967 when the Monterey Pop festival was taking place that we saw and heard the first modern rock show, when it comes to proper PA and stage sound.
1447783206434
 

sixstringbastard

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Perhaps concert goers should be strapped to their electrified seats, with ushers pressing the BAD button if someone misbehaves. The seats would also have a hamster drinking container filled with very expensive venue beer.

Or... Maybe not.
 

Flat6Driver

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1dh9wy6lipy31.jpg

One of my favorite pictures of the Fab Four ever taken, because it shows just how primitive live shows were in those days and how ...OPTIMISTIC... their backline was.
0a88436af1127b14f56ff2ccd6455ce0.jpg

That very same show photographed from the front of the stage. Note for example the fact that there are no stage monitors as those simply didn't exist yet. No mics in front of the amps.

in fact it was two years later in 1967 when the Monterey Pop festival was taking place that we saw and heard the first modern rock show, when it comes to proper PA and stage sound.
1447783206434
I'd seen the overhead, never the front on. Cool! .
 

loopfinding

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I didn't (and still don't) see the danger in it. I've attended many many concerts/shows/sporting events in my lifetime with no phone because well, we didn't even used to have them.

there have been plenty of disasters or medical emergencies at events. too many to list, and some i have been witness to. many as a result of the proprietor's negligence or the bystander effect. you can't just have faith in people's goodness or everything to work out.

being able to contact emergency services as quickly as possible or locate loved ones who have gone missing or are having a hard time, among other things, is important. idk what the point is making it unnecessarily riskier just cause of the perception of "we got on fine back in the day" or because a phone offends one's sensibilities.
 
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Matt Sarad

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When we were in the last row at the Hollywood Bowl in '72 for the Dead and 2018 for DeadCo, it was sort of a long distance party. Dancing, talking and such were tolerated.
Back in '72 a guy hooted and howled the entire night. Luckily, we were stoned and didn't have the strength to complain at 16 years old.
 

Si G X

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I went to a gig yesterday (wed) it was great .... the only phones I saw were people taking a quick picture, which is fine. Good atmosphere all round really. It felt like people were just really excited to get out and see live music again.

It was a really great loud sound without being uncomfortable and very reassuring to see a couple of Marshall half stacks on stage too.

To be honest this is 99% of the time my experience of seeing bands, I don't really recognize most of the stuff mentioned.
 

ChicknPickn

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I went to a gig yesterday (wed) it was great .... the only phones I saw were people taking a quick picture, which is fine. Good atmosphere all round really. It felt like people were just really excited to get out and see live music again.

It was a really great loud sound without being uncomfortable and very reassuring to see a couple of Marshall half stacks on stage too.

To be honest this is 99% of the time my experience of seeing bands, I don't really recognize most of the stuff mentioned.
Hate to say it, but civility is probably more the norm in England than in the US. At crowd events, anyway.
 




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