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Marissa Lingen

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Only maybe one point for it not being Free Bird [Nov. 22nd, 2015|09:31 am]
Marissa Lingen
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Friends, today I am here to talk about a serious issue affecting all of us. Or at least all of us who go to concerts, or possibly listen to concert videos on YouTube.

Will you stop shouting song titles at singers while they are performing.


Just stop.

They know what songs they’ve done, or if they’ve forgotten, you shouting one isn’t going to make them suddenly spontaneously remember enough to perform the song credibly. If they only have one or two big hits, they especially know those. They know they are the big hits. They are aware. They may make a joke about it. This is almost certainly not because they think they only wrote one worthwhile song. No. It is because they know that yahoos like you only know the one.

On the other hand, if you are a hardcore superfan, shouting the titles of really obscure songs will impress no one. (Said the person with an obsessive memory who also knows those songs, who likes many of them, and who is still not impressed.) Sometimes an artist will solicit requests. That is when you get to shout titles. Otherwise there are many urges you must stifle when you venture into public with the rest of us, and this is one.

And in particular stop shouting song titles two or three songs into the set.

Seriously. Stop. Give them a chance to get their feet under them. Give them a chance to get to it, for the love of Pete. Possibly the song you want to hear fits in perfectly four songs into the set they had in their head. Five songs in. Possibly the song you want to hear is a great set closer–that happens a lot with crowd favorites. If all you want to hear is “Major Hit: the Only Chart Topper,” they run the very real risk that if they walk out and play it first, you will be restless or possibly just leave.

But if you sit/stand there and shout it every time they stop singing? This is at least as disruptive. Cease.  Desist.

We have this lovely technology that allows you to make a playlist. It’s called–follow me here–a playlist. What it is not called is a live concert. Those work differently. You do not get to fast forward through the bits you do not like; you do not get to pause when you have to pee, and above all you do not get to demand all your favorites in order of what you remembered liking just now.

I love the Cedar, I truly do. You can get varied hippie snacks (often falafel) and chai and locally brewed beer, and no one grabs your butt at a concert unless you brought them along and asked them to. All hail the Cedar. But sometimes the intimacy of the Cedar venue makes Cedar audiences into–and I say this with all love–entitled buttheads. Do not be an entitled butthead at the Cedar. Do not be an entitled butthead at any venue. If you are excited to see an artist, you may shout, “Woo!” “Yeah!” is also acceptable. I suppose if it is a rock-ish sort of show, “We love you, [artist’s given name]!” might be within bounds, but this is likely to disconcert folk artists, especially if they have moved to this area and gotten used to it here, so possibly stick to, “Woo!” You can’t go wrong with, “Woo!” Practice with me: “Wooo!” This is how you channel your excitement about possibly maybe hearing That One Song or maybe not.

John Gorka may be from New Jersey and not expect too much, but I’m from Minnesota and we have standards.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux


From: sheff_dogs
2015-11-22 04:27 pm (UTC)
It's an odd thing how concert behaviour varies from place to place, though the shouting out of titles can be a problem anywhere. When we lived in Sheffield one of the things that amazed me was how people talked throughout concerts. I remonstrated with someone behind me once and was told 'oh you've obviously never been to a Roy Harper concert before, it's where you catch up with people you haven't seen all year'! And this was after Roy Harper had actually asked the audience to shut up! He's mostly not a quiet performer, but his quiet songs have all the more power, like the one he wrote about his grandfather's twin who was blown to pieces next to him in the trenches of WWI which his grandfather had nightmares about for the rest of his life. I had been to Roy Harper concerts before and no people hadn't been so f****g rude, it was just a thing about Sheffield audiences whatever the type of venue. It really was so bad that we would choose to drive the hour to Manchester rather than watch the same concert in Sheffield.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2015-11-22 04:35 pm (UTC)
My golly how awful. I would want to kick them.
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[User Picture]From: tool_of_satan
2015-11-22 10:59 pm (UTC)
I have nothing to say here except "I agree" but I wanted a chance to use this icon.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2015-11-23 02:26 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: reveritas
2015-11-23 05:40 pm (UTC)

sorry ;)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2015-11-23 06:42 pm (UTC)
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