Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yes. What Not To Do At A Concert

Michelle touches on some of my pet peeves about going to big arena (heck even small arena) concerts:

The encore is like a parlor trick. “Ok, watch while we say goodbye to the audience and thank them for a wonderful time and then PSYCH! we come back on stage and play again!” Except it’s an old parlor trick. Very old. Everyone knows how this is going to go. You play your last song, which will be your most current radio hit. For reunion tours and bands who haven’t put out an album this decade, it will be your best ballad. The crowd will sing along and everyone will feel good as the song ends and you say “Good night (insert city here)! Thanks for coming! Get home safely! Buy a t-shirt, a poster and a mouse pad commemorating our time together on your way out!” Then the ritual starts. It’s sort of like going to Catholic church where you stand, sit, stand, sit, kneel, sit, stand, kneel, run out the back door before everyone else. The concert ritual goes like this: you says goodnight, crowd applauds wildly as you leave the stage, crowd gets louder after you disappear, feet stomp, hand clap, shouts of “more, more more!” Then – what a surprise! – you’re back on stage singing one of your Golden Hits of Yesterday. This goes on for the next 45 minutes or so, with you doing a song, saying goodnight, waiting for the crowd to get really loud then coming back out until finally, after maybe the fourth time of doing this you break out into whatever your band’s “Freebird” is and the audience goes wild.

Stop it, ok? All that time you spend listening to the crowd scream your name and stomp their feet? Sure it’s good for your ego. But you could have spent that time playing another song instead of making us beg and plead like some musical BSDM game. And then you come out and play that song we all knew you were going to play anyhow. Think about it! Instead of all that empty time spent backstage throwing back a few more beers and grab-assing some groupies, you could have been playing. Instead of probably snickering to yourselves while the older people in the crowd flick their Bics and the kids turn on their iPhone Bic apps, you could have been playing of few your less popular songs. You know, the ones the old school fans like us know all the words to but you don’t play because the kids don’t know them.

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