Tonight I headed downtown to see The Cardinals in concert at the Palace Theatre
. For all intents and purposes, though, it was a Ryan Adams
concert. His comments from the stage suggest he'd rather have released the forthcoming Cardinology
and last year's Easy Tiger
under the name of his backing band. The label likely insisted that his name has more commercial clout and nixed its removal from the covers. Nevertheless, the concert was booked under the band's name.
Adams had a reputation for being mercurial on stage, at least until he sobered up. The performer up there tonight was laid back and seemed pretty happy throughout the two sets covering nearly two and a half hours, but Adams did take a few moments to address something that I've often thought must irritate artists. When one particularly vocal audience member yelled repeatedly for a specific song, Adams stopped and explained why he thought it was rude, although he did it in an amusing, rather than obnoxious, way.
He hoped that what they were playing was taking people on an entertaining ride and that they would just enjoy the journey. He said that he wasn't up there instructing everyone how to sit in their seats between each song. (I've always thought that screaming for a song is a way to ensure that a band doesn't play it.) As someone who has gone to my share of concerts, I've often been bugged by such concertgoers, who come across as very demanding and/or smug. (Ooh, you know about some rare songs. Points for you, buddy!)
If only this was the most atrocious behavior of people in the audience. Sadly, no. In some unknown way that I have of attracting such specimens, three or four of them took up residence behind me shortly before the concert started. Then they proceeded to talk through the first fifty minutes, frequently cracking vulgar jokes and acknowledging their obnoxiousness. They knew they were annoying people, and they let everyone know that they didn't care. Finally, a belligerent guy in the row in front of me yelled back at them, which quieted them a bit but apparently gave license to the couple in front of me to start chatting.
It never ceases to amaze me that people will go to concerts and behave like they are in their living rooms. Of course, the movies are just as bad. Saturday morning I went to see Eagle Eye
with the thought that the theater would be free of audience distractions. (Half of the film overlapped with the Ohio State football game.) Only five other people were in attendance, but wouldn't you know it, two people pulled out their bright, glowing, distracting iPhones during the film and browsed and texted for as long as ten minutes at a time. One guy pulled his out again as the film reached the pivotal scene. I saw someone else leave around this time, thinking that she was going to complain to a theater employee. Nope. When I left at film's end, I saw that she had just gone to the rear of the auditorium to mess around on her phone. At least she got out of the line of sight.
This kind of rudeness--and I won't get into cell phones in the classroom--to know that it's commonplace and seemingly considered acceptable. If so, common courtesy is dead.
(Tonight does let me strike off another of my greatest concerts never
. Since I don't know if I'd bother to see Oasis if they rolled into town, I'm glad I've been able to check Ryan Adams and Radiohead
off the list after missing shows I had tickets to.)
Labels: concerts, etiquette, rock 'n roll, Ryan Adams, The Cardinals, venting