So, my partner and I love music, and we go to see live music whenever we can. This past weekend was a big one, Cat Empire on Friday and The Sunnyboys on Saturday.
Both shows were general admission, so you know right away that means standing for the whole show, and with popular gigs, you’re not going to have a lot of elbow room. But that’s part of the deal, and if I don’t know to expect that now, at 40, then I should turn in all my marbles and stay home.
So you know, you take it all in stride, and look forward to the music. That’s the whole reason you are there anyway, right?
Or so I thought.
It’s the reason WE were there. Can’t say the same for everyone else.
Sure, you may be shoulder to shoulder, wall to wall, for a couple of hours, but there is still some basic etiquette to observe…so here’s a few examples of “that guy” that we ran into over the weekend….please, stop the madness!
The Stoned Guy
The Cat Empire was a free show at an outdoor venue in Melbourne. Great weather, great night, and the 1,000th show for the Empire. Awesome. You know when it is free it’s going to be packed, and this was definitely the case. All the same, most folks still tried to give their neighbours a little breathing space, after all, you don’t stand still when the Empire is playing.
So all was great, until The Stoned Guy entered my personal dance space. Well, he more than entered my personal dance space, he almost crawled into my pocket.
Picture this, even though the venue is well full, there’s still the luxury of about 3 feet in front of me. I know it’s not going to last forever, but it was cool at the time. So, enter The Stoned Guy. Maybe 19 years old, too cool for school, sunglasses at night, you get the picture? He’s got three feet of real estate in front of me to make himself comfortable, and he chooses to stand directly in front of me, with the back of his shoes ON MY TOES. Honestly. Being, well, let’s just say, a little bit altered, he continued, over the next few songs to lean back into me, until he had separated me from my boyfriend in the crowd. At that point I told him we were swapping places, and physically moved him. I don’t think he had any idea that I’d moved him over about three feet.
The Drunk Guy
Same show, it’s a great night. The band is having a blast, the crowd is having a blast. And, being as it’s a milestone for the band, the lead singer decides to have a little chat with all of us. EVERYONE is listening except for ONE guy, who is talking at the top of his lungs to a group of people he apparently just met that he was so excited to have met (we all know, everyone at the show heard the whole thing), and, being drunk, we all heard it a bunch of times. So, I have no idea what the band was talking about, and I know way more about the drunk guy in the middle of the crowd than I want to.
Ugly Shirt Dude
This was the next night, at The Sunnyboys. As my boyfriend put it, this guy was clueless when he bought that shirt in the 70s and he’s clueless now. He’s a variation of The Stoned Guy, but adds to the space invasion by forcing me to stare at the back of the ugliest shirt I’ve ever seen (and I grew up in the 70s, so I know what I’m talking about here). He hit the whole row of people that I was in, because we would all get sick of it, and tell him to move somewhere else. I mean, I’m not tall by any stretch – I’m a whopping 5’3″, and this guy was easily over six feet, because it wasn’t just the short people in the crowd that couldn’t see past him. He would just plant himself right in front of you, cross his arms and stand there, like a statue. You didn’t even get the benefit of him dancing around a little bit to at least get a glimpse of the band.
The “Oh Hi!!!” Girl
She actually reminds me of Big Bird, but it wasn’t her physical appearance that puts her on the list. Our theory is that she’s a groupie, she certainly seemed to know a bunch of Musos in the room, but she wasn’t in the VIP section…so who knows. But she wasn’t there to see the show, she was there to be seen seeing the show. I think that she only ever looked towards the stage by accident as she swivelled her head around looking to see who she might see. I swear, every time someone crossed through the crowd, she would light up and pull them over for A CONVERSATION. DURING A LIVE SHOW.
Of course, it’s hard to hear people talk during a live show. BECAUSE OF THE MUSIC. THAT WE ARE ALL THERE TO HEAR. So of course, she needed to talk louder, and repeat the same thing over and over….I think I missed two whole songs as she was having her little reunion right in front of me for a while. Finally she moved away from us and closer to the sound booth where she got told off by another person who was actually there for the band. Imagine that.
Honestly, if you want to have a conversation, get the heck out of the middle of the venue. It’ll take less time, you’ll probably only have to say everything once, and the rest of us can get on with enjoying the music. And if you’re greatest aspiration is to be a statue, why bother going into a crowded place where no one can appreciate your ability to stand so still for so long? Find a nice park or courtyard where you can be noticed and appreciated for your skill, but stop standing in front of me.
Please, if you go to a show, don’t be that guy. Be mindful of the folks around you so that everyone can enjoy the show, and get a little groove on. It’s not that hard. Really.