So last night I attended the final Zoo Tunes concert of the season. This event probably had the best music of all of the concerts that Iíve attended this year. So why am I convinced that itíll probably be the last Zoo Tunes show that Iíll ever attend? Iíve got two reasons mostlyÖ
The thing that got my goat (and set the stage for all else that happened that night) was when the cop came over and told me that ďsome peopleĒ had complained that I was blocking their view of the stage, and that something had to be done about it. I have nothing but respect for the professionalism of the cop. He didnít insist that I had to move, or that I had to sit on the ground, or to stand up and dance the hokey pokey. He merely informed me that these people complained, and let me decide what it was that I needed to do. I still wasnít pleased by the situation. My chair wasnít significantly taller or more view obstructing than dozens, perhaps hundreds of other chairs at the concert. It may be that there were four of these type chairs abreast of each other. It may be that Iím a tall pile of manure, and that it was my body elevated by the offending chair that really bunched up these peoples shorts. What can I say? Thereís a cop leaning on me, telling me that Iíve got a situation that Iíve got to deal with. Negotiation didnít work. Compromise didnít work. Capitulation DID work. I went to my car and got a blanket (missing much of the opening actís set in the process). Apparently, the people beside us, also with offending chairs, didnít take to the request to move so magnanimously. There was apparently a lot of huffing and puffing, and silly macho posturing, including a call of ďAssholes!Ē generally directed rearward from our position. Cindy says that she thinks that they just left the concert, and that it wasnít the size of the chairs that offended, but the size of the little minds of the people behind us.
So I brought back the blanket, and proceeded to sit on the ground. Iím too old for this shit, and crippled besides. It was MOST uncomfortable sitting on the ground, and my back suffered greatly for it. It got so bad that I asked Cindy if we could move to some place where we could use the chairs again, and she agreed, having also become most uncomfortable in her ground position. Apparently weíre BOTH too old for this shit.
This brings me to my other complaint about the Zoo Tunes in particular, but live music in general. Another great annoyance that existed in the spot we had just vacated, as well as in the spot that we migrated to, was the insistent and unceasing chatter of the people around us. This wasnít a new problem, as it had occurred to us at the previous concerts that we had attended, but after the aggravation of the chair encounter, Iíd just about had enough, and it preyed on my mind for the rest of the evening. Do I have to ask Miss Manners to just come down into the crowd and start slapping people around? What is it about music shows that requires people to talk so much, raising their voices to be heard over the tunes? Come on people: If you want to chat with your friends, stay at home and talk over the radio. If you want to chat during the music, lean into the person that youíre trying to communicate with and make it an intimate encounter. At the first location, these knotheads were discussing football prospects for the upcoming season. Hardly important enough to warrant the rage that coursed through my veins. I started sliding back on the blanket so that I invaded their personal space. Had we stayed, I was going to turn around and sit facing them so that I could ACTIVELY listen in to their conversation. Part of the reason that we moved was to get away from these morons. Unfortunately, there were plenty of others to take their place. In the middle of the headlining act, I stopped and listened to the crowd noise, and I realized that maybe one person in ten was actually listening to the music. The remainder were all involved in very public conversations with their friends. Whatís the point of attending a music show if the music is secondary? I can cut the kids some slack. After all, Richard Thompson is some old fogey that doesnít rap. They didnít have to pay for the tickets. Their friends are much more important than anything else. I donít have to like it, but at least I can understand the ignorance of the young. The rest of you have no excuse. If you want to talk, go home!
I kept making pepper spray spraying pantomimes, intimating that if I only had a can, theyíd all be having spicy dessert for the rest of the show. Fortunately, for me as well as them, I didnít have any pepper spray. If I ever go again, Iíll be tempted to bring a super soaker water gun. Anybody talks too much, they get wet!
Of course, this rudeness wasnít limited to the Zoo Tunes shows. I attended another concert last week on one of the piers on Seattleís waterfront where I observed the same thing: people talking when they should be listening, or at least dancing. The music there was louder, so it was possible to hear the music over the crowd noise, but it was a close thing.
So grow up people! Think of others just a bit. Or save some money and spend it on phone calls to your friends. Find something else to do instead of going out of your way to ruin other peoples concert experiences!
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This document was last modified on September 1, 2000, and has been viewed countless times.