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June 14, 2012 9:54 AM   Subscribe

Venue sound guys are also DJs. And yes, they take requests. Approach them at your leisure, but it’s best to do it when the band is sound checking because that’s when sound guys have nothing to do.
Oh My Rockness give us some Show Etiquette Tips (Part 2.)
posted by griphus (95 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm sensing a faint patina of sarcasm in the tone of these articles, but I can't really be sure.
posted by eugenen at 10:03 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are some points to be made here, but I wish they weren't made in this passive-aggressive bullshit style.

And anyways, this: 9.) In a band yourself? Great! Bring your band's stickers and put them all over the venue's bathroom walls. This is the quickest way to get "signed." is basically nature's way of covering over all the boogers and other nastiness on the walls, so I'm not sure why we want to dissuade these do-gooders.
posted by barnacles at 10:03 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Band stickers are the only reason the 7th Street Entry bathroom still has walls, which are vital for keeping the sentient herpes colony that resides therein contained.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:08 AM on June 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


Can someone who understands venue sound explain why it is almost invariably terrible when you're standing up front near the stage, especially at mid-size to large-ish venues? Vocals and keys are almost always drowned out, leaving you with an impenetrable din of guitars and drums.

I can hazard a guess about why this is -- you can hear guitars from the on-stage amps (right?) while vocals and keys and some other things are only amplified through the speakers which are often overhead and pointed toward the back of the room. Is that it? Isn't there a way an enterprising venue could fix that, like maybe by hanging 360-degree speakers from the ceiling? I'm always torn between a desire to be up front for bands I love, and a desire to actually hear them play.
posted by eugenen at 10:10 AM on June 14, 2012


The band takes requests, too! It's best to ask mid-song, by gesturing for the guitarist to lean over so you can shout in his ear while he plays, but if you have to, you can wait until between songs. Slayer & Jimmy Buffett are amongst any band's favorites bands during request time. If they tell you that they don't know your request, you'll win them over by strenuously adding "Oh, come on! Just play it!"
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:11 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did you get a festival badge? Great! Wear that badge around your neck everywhere. At all times. Forever.
I live in a small and very conservative college community that is only a few hours drive from Austin and therefore SXSW. These people exist en masse here, and no one has ever had the heart to explain just how embarassing it is for everyone involved.

At one point, I started wearing my student teacher ID badge to local shows to see if anyone caught on. They did not.
posted by Shadax at 10:12 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't really get this one:

If you're a really tall individual and are standing right up front; congratulations! You are statistically more likely to be a "CEO type" than people of average or below average height

If it's saying I have to move to the back because I'm tall, then screw you, Napoleon, we both paid the same price for general admission. Stages are usually elevated anyway, and if it's really such a problem go ask the barman for a phone book to stand on or something. Although I tend to hang at the back anyway, because the last couple of shows I went to the floor had a combination of slipperiness and broken glass that seemed to be inviting certain mosh disaster.
posted by Hoopo at 10:12 AM on June 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Here's an original idea: yell something about Freebird.

It's a new joke and it's really great.
posted by entropone at 10:13 AM on June 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I just shout 'Magic Bus!' from the bar near the end of the set.
posted by carsonb at 10:14 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, in case you are one of those people who can't parse sarcasm on the internet, this:



Venue sound guys are also DJs. And yes, they take requests. Approach them at your leisure, but it’s best to do it when the band is sound checking because that’s when sound guys have nothing to do.


should only be attempted if you are wearing one of these.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:14 AM on June 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Everything old is Magic Bus again, man.
posted by carsonb at 10:14 AM on June 14, 2012


Yeah, you know when SXSW is less than 2 weeks away, because the hard cards are a-flappin' in the breeze.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:14 AM on June 14, 2012


Here's an original idea: yell something about Freebird.

Someone did this, of all places, at a Magnetic Fields show:

Idiot: "FREEBIRD!"
(Silence, then John Woo plays that first, elongated twang. Audience laughs.)
Stephin: "You realize we have to pay for that now, right?"
posted by griphus at 10:15 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


5.) When you hear good music with a good beat, do you like to move your big hair rhythmically? It's common courtesy to first remove your shoes, go to the bar, fill them both with rum, then give one of each to the neighbors directly in front of you and behind.

Is this parodying some rum-shoe-hair-based fetish I am too old and/or clueless to know about?
posted by ook at 10:16 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]



Can someone who understands venue sound explain why it is almost invariably terrible when you're standing up front near the stage, especially at mid-size to large-ish venues? Vocals and keys are almost always drowned out, leaving you with an impenetrable din of guitars and drums.


You are probably picking up residual noise from the stage monitors, among other things. The best place for sound is nearly always somewhere near the sound booth.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:18 AM on June 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Actually, I would love to stage an audience-participation thing at a Big Rock Shew some time so that when the band took the stage & asked "ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?!?" the entire audience would shout back "NO!!"
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:22 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yup. You're hearing the awesome sounds of the things projecting right at your face (guitar & bass amps, drums, horns, etc.) and not getting much (and getting the wrong parts) of anything going 'direct' into the board. Standing against the stage is maximum fun, but not so great for hearing things the way they should be.
posted by mintcake! at 10:22 AM on June 14, 2012


Also: always stand on the back bleachers at Maxwell's. Trust me.
posted by mintcake! at 10:23 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sigh.
Now I'm actually starting to miss that life. Maybe one day I'll get back into it. Hopefully soon.


posted by daq at 10:40 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


47.) If all you can hear is an impenetrable din of guitars and drums, relax. It's supposed to sound that way.
posted by scratch at 10:41 AM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


They forgot the bit where you're supposed to keep up loud conversation with your companion throughout all the sets; this is especially important during mellow numbers or ballads.

dude, if you want to talk to your friend all night, go to a ]{%~ing bar with a jukebox. You're welcome.
posted by smirkette at 10:42 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Venues take the sound deadening qualities of the mass of human flesh in the crowd into account when setting levels. If you're standing in front, you are getting the full blast of all the boosted high frequencies before they get absorbed by all the bodies. If you want great sound, stand in the center rear.
posted by empath at 10:45 AM on June 14, 2012


Oh, you have to pee at [INSERT THAT CLUB IN YOUR TOWN OR CITY. YOU KNOW THE ONE I'M TALKING ABOUT]? Just go anywhere. It's fine.
posted by entropone at 10:47 AM on June 14, 2012


screw you, Napoleon

Lol
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:47 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Re: venue sound guys, requests and Freebird-- when I saw Marilyn Manson in Richmond on the Antichrist superstar tour, the venue played Freebird on repeat for over an hour before the opening act went on. By the end, everyone in the venue was singing along, including all the black-wearing goths.
posted by empath at 10:48 AM on June 14, 2012


The band takes requests, too!

Requesting cover songs from a band sometimes works out really well.
posted by otolith at 10:48 AM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


dude, if you want to talk to your friend all night, go to a ]{%~ing bar with a jukebox. You're welcome.

Who goes to a concert and stands in silence all night?
posted by Hoopo at 10:49 AM on June 14, 2012


I've lately noticed an uptick of doucheatude at shows in the Bay area, and as a result I've become far less tolerant of asshole showgoers.

HEY ASSHOLE SHOWGOER, YOUR EXPERIENCE IS NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN MINE!

IF DOING DRUGS MAKES YOU INCAPABLE OF CONTROLLING YOUR BODY AND LIMBS, TO THE POINT WHERE YOU ARE BUMPING INTO ME REPEATEDLY, DON'T DO THOSE DRUGS THEN!

HOLDING UP YOUR IPHONE TO VIDEOTAPE A SHOW IS NOT ONLY THE LEAST ROCK N' ROLL THING YOU CAN DO, IT ALSO MAKES ME WANT TO CHOKE THE SHIT OUT OF YOU! FURTHERMORE, NOBODY WANTS TO SEE YOUR LOW-QUALITY BULLSHIT, NOBODY CARES THAT YOU WERE COOL ENOUGH TO BE AT THAT SHOW, AND NOBODY AT THIS SHOW APPRECIATES YOUR FUCKING IPHONE IN THEIR FACE!

and this one I'll say without the caps, because it's not immediately common sense, and actually took me years to learn :

The right way to move through a crowd. By Afroblanco.

Rule #1 : If there's no room to put your body, DON'T PUT YOUR BODY THERE.
Rule #2 : Go up the sides, move back and towards the middle. Listen to uncle Afroblanco, he's the ate-up veteran of many of these things. If you follow my advice, you will never go wrong. Move forward along the sides of the crowd, then cut in and move to the back and middle. Visualize of an uppercase letter M. If you do this, you will always find the best spot at a show and you will bump in to a minimum of people. Why? BECAUSE IF PEOPLE CAN SEE YOU COMING, THEY WILL MOVE OUT OF THE WAY. PEOPLE ARE NOT NATURALLY DICKHEADS. However, this only works if you continue to obey Rule #1.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:51 AM on June 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


eugenen: "Can someone who understands venue sound explain why it is almost invariably terrible when you're standing up front near the stage, especially at mid-size to large-ish venues? Vocals and keys are almost always drowned out, leaving you with an impenetrable din of guitars and drums. "

This is a recent thing, and it's mainly because lots of venues now use ceiling-mounted line arrays, and are way too small to actually need that kind of setup.

The physics of line arrays are pretty neat. They project a surprisingly "coherent" cone of sound onto the venue, and specifically perform very well at large distances away from the stage. They also don't project very much sound back toward the stage and performers, which is nice for a couple of reasons that I'll explain in a minute. Unfortunately, that also means that any spectators directly up against the stage also can't hear what's coming out of the speakers.

This is great for the musicians, because it means less "noise" for them, and less feedback for the sound guy. The musicians also have monitors pointed back toward them, so that they can hear themselves. The front row of spectators, unfortunately rarely have monitors pointed at them, despite needing them just as much. Good venues will install some small speakers so that the front of the crowd can hear, although this doesn't always happen; it's tricky to do it in such a way that doesn't risk causing feedback in the vocalist's mike.

Then there's also the issue that bands and sound guys tend to like the guitars a lot louder than they should be, coupled with bands' insistence on using their own speaker cabinets with their amps, meaning that the front of the audience is being blasted by guitar sounds from the stage, while being missed by the vocals/keys coming from the speakers above.

Disclaimer: I was more of a lighting guy. Some of the specifics here might be wrong.
posted by schmod at 10:54 AM on June 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Then there's also the issue that bands and sound guys tend to like the guitars a lot louder than they should be, coupled with bands' insistence on using their own speaker cabinets with their amps, meaning that the front of the audience is being blasted by guitar sounds from the stage, while being missed by the vocals/keys coming from the speakers above.


WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
posted by entropone at 10:58 AM on June 14, 2012


griphus: "Venue sound guys are also DJs. And yes, they take requests."

I've never understood this, but sound guys tend to have shockingly awful tastes in music.
posted by schmod at 11:01 AM on June 14, 2012


The Onion: Nation's Sound Engineers Gather To Talk About Their Ponytails.
posted by schmod at 11:02 AM on June 14, 2012


A very square public service announcement over-explaining the joke in the interest of public safety preventing unwanted stabbings at concerts:

The original post is indeed sarcasm.

Bugging a sound engineer for any reason during a sound check or at any time during the show may get you ejected from the venue and/or shived right between the ribs.

Even if they are indeed sometimes also DJs - requesting songs will also likely get you stabbed. Sound engineers rarely get to hear the music they'd like to listen to on large sound systems, so they've usually have whatever they want to hear between sets fully planned out.

Which is why you're hearing that weird fucked up mix between sets featuring Buckethead, Neu!, Stereolab, Nurse With Wound, Brian Eno, Pigface, Ween, Gary Numan, early Phill Collins, and inexplicably some Michael Jackson - because, yeah, that's actually what the sound guy wants to hear, apparently.

The only exception to "don't bug the sound nerds" is if you're waving many multiples of hundred dollar bills, cute, available and morally loose persons of the appropriate gender of attraction, and/or alcohol or drugs.

This is because the sound engineer nerds get even less action than drummers. Have you ever heard of sound system groupies? Or have you heard anyone saying anything like "Man, the way they tuned that 4 band parametric EQ and delay timing to deal with that nasty roof echo was just amazing."? Well, I mean people who don't have lifetime collections of Tape Op magazine or stacks of Sweetwater catalogs.

The secret is that if you present enough of these magic hundred dollar bills and if it's just a boring, low paying gig then they may let you do almost anything, including playing Jimmy Buffet, introducing the next act before the first one is finished, trying out your stand up act out on the "oh shit, don't eat the brown acid" emergency microphone that every sound guy keeps in the front of house booth and much more, including even twisting any and all knobs even (or especially!) if it makes the annoying lead singer's head explode in frustration when his monitor mix keeps panning all over the stage and he has to chase it down.

These tips won't work if A: The sound guy is into the acts at the show. Sound engineers tend to have low prices but high personal morals, or B: It's his sound system, either rented or owned. Or C: You're an annoying git. Which means you'll probably get knifed anyway because it is statistically likely to be true that you're an annoying git if you're trying to bribe the soundguy to play Jimmy Buffet or Freebird.
posted by loquacious at 11:04 AM on June 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


The Onion: Nation's Sound Engineers Gather To Talk About Their Ponytails.

OK SO I NEED A HAIRCUT STOP STANDING ON MY SNAKE AND DI BOXES
posted by loquacious at 11:07 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Shouting "Freebird" at a Built to Spill show might actually result in awesomeness, as happened in SF at a show I was at years ago.

Also, I will never understand why someone would rather experience a live event through their phone than, you know, ACTUALLY LIVING IT. Note to friends: if you want me to never speak to you again, I recommend recording video on your phone while we're at a show.
posted by mzanatta at 11:22 AM on June 14, 2012


loquacious: "This is because the sound engineer nerds get even less action than drummers. Have you ever heard of sound system groupies? "

(As a lighting guy,) let me say that we had it 50x worse.

Nobody goes home from the concert humming "red, yellow, green, red, green, blue."
posted by schmod at 11:29 AM on June 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Who goes to a concert and stands in silence all night

All night? No. Talking between sets is cool. Call me crazy, I want to listen to the music and not someone screaming a conversation about what f'd up thing John did at work today and how Becky is doing x, yadda yadda yadda during the set. That could just be me, though.
posted by smirkette at 11:29 AM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Its cocks like the guys who wrote this list that make me not want to go to shows anymore. The passive aggressive tone reeks of elitism and comes across as if the writer is annoyed that anyone showed up to the show that he bought the lone ticket for.
Stop griping for f*ck's sake or stop going to shows. No one's forcing you to.
posted by coachfortner at 11:31 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stop griping for f*ck's sake or stop going to shows.

So then you're sticking up for people who act like assholes at shows? The shitbirds who flail around and invade your personal space, hold up their iphones and block your view, and spend the whole show yakking loudly to their friends? Really? You're going to cast your lot with them?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:39 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If the band is wearing in-ear monitors, and a band member is within your reach, definitely try to get his attention by tapping him on the shoulder during a song. It's a welcome interruption.

If the band member is a keyboard player and the keyboard is within reach, go right ahead and play along.

If you decide to come up on stage and dance, bring your drink! While you're at it, treat the guitar player's pedal board as a sombrero and do a little drunken Mexican hat dance around it.
posted by emelenjr at 11:48 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If it's saying I have to move to the back because I'm tall, then screw you, Napoleon, we both paid the same price for general admission. Stages are usually elevated anyway, and if it's really such a problem go ask the barman for a phone book to stand on or something. Although I tend to hang at the back anyway, because the last couple of shows I went to the floor had a combination of slipperiness and broken glass that seemed to be inviting certain mosh disaster.

I'm really short, and I go to a lot of shows, and I get there early so I can be in a position to actually see the show, and inevitably, some tall dude rushes in at the last minute and stands right in front of me, oblivious that he's completely blocked my view that I've fought hard for. And I stare at the back of his head for the rest of the show.

And I'm sure the bartender would laugh in my face if I asked for a phone book to stand on. I hope that was sarcasm.

I live in Austin (a town that's on most tour schedules), and I've been to most venues here, and it's pretty rare to find a sloped venue, and yes, the stage is elevated, but a foot or more height difference with the person in front of me usually negates the elevation of the stage.

All I'm saying is, have some consideration for those around you--don't step in front of a short person, if you see a short person behind you, it would be a nice thing to do to offer that person a spot in front of you, so you CAN BOTH SEE THE SHOW. It's not required, but it's a nice thing to do.

I try to do the same--if I get in late, I don't shove in front of people. I don't take pictures for the entire show, and I try to be considerate to those around me.

I've been to shows were the crowd works together to have a good time--I met a girl who was under 5' tall and everyone moved her up to the stage so she could see, and she totally rocked out. Now, THAT is awesome.

It's tough being short sometimes, and tall people do have advantages.
posted by hotelechozulu at 11:48 AM on June 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


Also, I will never understand why someone would rather experience a live event through their phone than, you know, ACTUALLY LIVING IT.

Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec) summed this up beautifully while calling out someone for recording a show on their phone: "“We're all giving each other medicine. If you weren’t here, you didn’t get the medicine.”
posted by Lorin at 11:53 AM on June 14, 2012


Meanwhile we've got the schoolmarm purist types who purse their lips in disapproval when people enjoy a concert incorrectly. You cast your lot with them?

I've been to a Magnetic Fields concert, and let me tell you, that audience was silent, reverent, and utterly oppressive. The guy courageous enough to yell "Freebird" is my hero.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 11:54 AM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've been to a Magnetic Fields concert, and let me tell you, that audience was silent, reverent, and utterly oppressive. The guy courageous enough to yell "Freebird" is my hero.

Then I actually would invite you to stop going to shows. Quiet music deserves a quiet crowd. Amazing how many people don't get this. Loud rowdy music, it's probably more okay to be noisy. And, I'm sorry, it's never okay to invade peoples' space.

The people who ruined (both!) Mazzy Star shows I went to with their e-tard flailing and constant chattering, they should be banned from concerts for life. Period.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:05 PM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've never understood this, but sound guys tend to have shockingly awful tastes in music.

The post-gig room-clearing CD is actually a revered art form.

When you've got a hard rock venue full of lingering drunk metalheads that you need to clear out so you can wrap cables without having to be regaled with requests to "Fuchhking phhhlay one more, duuuuude! Come onnnnn," you put on a rousing mix of Gordon Lightfoot, Carpenters, Captain & Tennille & 1910 Fruitgum Co.

All By Myself backfired on us one time, though, as we looked around to discover about 10 couples slowdancing as we were putting up guitars & tearing down stands.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:05 PM on June 14, 2012 [14 favorites]


Call me crazy, I want to listen to the music and not someone screaming a conversation

I've never been to a show where other peoples' conversations have been a problem. I'm seldom able to hear someone screaming something at me during a song. I must go to significantly louder shows than you do I guess.

The shitbirds who flail around and invade your personal space

Again, I don't know what shows you guys are going to, but at the shows I've been to, good luck with trying to be near the stage and maintaining "personal space".

People dance and flail about in close proximity to one another while drunk at concerts. Tall people go to concerts. People talk to their friends at concerts, and sometimes loudly. None of this strikes me as a problem, and in some of it is even part of the appeal of seeing music performed at a live venue.

I hope that was sarcasm.

It was. By the way, the vast majority of people are shorter than me. "Being considerate" would mean offering 75-90% of the venue to stand in front of me, every time I go anywhere ever, which puts me at the back. Sucks that you can't see, I suggest moving elsewhere because this isn't a group photo.

tall people do have advantages.

Yes, it's great not being able to find clothes that fit, see out of windows on buses, fit in seats on buses, trains, or planes, duck through doorways, stretch without hitting a ceiling, hit my head all the time, go to the movies without some little shits complaining about your head. The back and joint pain is excellent, and there is no such thing as "elbow room". Oh, the advantages I enjoy! What are they, pray tell? Reaching things on high shelves and not having my view blocked at concerts seem like the only 2 I can think of.
posted by Hoopo at 12:07 PM on June 14, 2012


The mental image of the lead guitar player chasing the monitor mix around made me laugh out loud! Thanks loquacious!
posted by DesbaratsDays at 12:10 PM on June 14, 2012


singer, guitar player - they all look alike...
posted by DesbaratsDays at 12:11 PM on June 14, 2012


Again, I don't know what shows you guys are going to, but at the shows I've been to, good luck with trying to be near the stage and maintaining "personal space".

See, and I'm not even talking about that.

I'm talking about being in a perfectly random part of the crowd, not even particularly close to the stage, and then people do that thing where they "dance" by jumping up and down and swinging their arms around -- I think they used to call that the "noodle dance"? And then they spend the show "dancing" into you and spilling your drink and blocking your view and just in general being a dick.

And I've been to at least 2 concerts in recent memory where someone (one time a guy, another time a girl) was swinging their long hair around so wildly they basically created a hair tornado around them. And I wasn't the only one who was annoyed. Like everyone around them was holding up their hands to block the hair tornado, meanwhile the hairmonster in question was completely unaware of the effect they were having.

And the thing is, I know people will act like that at concerts sometimes, and I usually avoid those concerts. What bugs me is when I go to concerts where I don't expect it, and then I show up and it's a bunch of bro-tards who can't control themselves and where they dance. Glass Candy and Starfucker were like that. And then there's shows where I REALLY don't expect that kind of behavior, and I'm just completely fucking flabbergasted. Like who goes to a Mazzy Star show and spends the whole time shouting to their friends and dancing into people? PEOPLE WHO CAN'T HANDLE THEIR DRUGS OR THEIR BOOZE. And I hate those people. I want them to get fucked up at home where they can't hurt anybody but themselves.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:17 PM on June 14, 2012


would mean offering 75-90% of the venue to stand in front of me, every time I go anywhere ever, which puts me at the back. Sucks that you can't see, I suggest moving elsewhere because this isn't a group photo.

and I'm sure then you're still able to see. I'm just crushed in the crowd. Thanks.
posted by hotelechozulu at 12:27 PM on June 14, 2012


Last show I went to, someone brought a hoop and hoop danced right in front of the stage. and the crowd had to stand back to make room for her hooping, and we she left, everyone was relieved and filled in the space.

People are oblivious.
posted by hotelechozulu at 12:33 PM on June 14, 2012


Also, I will never understand why someone would rather experience a live event through their phone than, you know, ACTUALLY LIVING IT.

I hope you also hate the fact that bootleg videos of small shows even exist.

meanwhile the hairmonster in question was completely unaware of the effect they were having.

Man, suck it up and tell them? Where are you from, Seattle?
posted by jacalata at 12:35 PM on June 14, 2012


Man, suck it up and tell them?

Hah. Actually, I did on one of those occasions. It didn't make her stop, but she did find a different place to stand. After that point, she was someone else's problem.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:37 PM on June 14, 2012


and I'm sure then you're still able to see.

How are you "sure" of that? Put it this way: all of the most desirable places to see a show are going to fill up. "Consideration" dictates I am not allowed to stand in any of these places because I am significantly taller than average and should let people shorter than me in front. For the record, within reason I generally let people in front of me if they can't see. But on a number of occasions when I was younger and less inclined to stick up for myself, I was left with the option beyond watching a show by peering around a post near the back, or from the bar. I stopped doing this because it sucks, and if the price is occasionally snarky comments from people shorter than me I'm just going to start farting at shows then, too.
posted by Hoopo at 12:37 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, the advantages I enjoy! What are they, pray tell? Reaching things on high shelves and not having my view blocked at concerts seem like the only 2 I can think of.

Tall people make more money.
posted by inigo2 at 12:43 PM on June 14, 2012


I hope you also hate the fact that bootleg videos of small shows even exist.

Also, nobody, NOBODY wants to watch someone's shitty 4 minute clip they took with their phone. It's going to be really bad quality, and most likely from a shitty angle or a shitty spot for the sound. I think what we should do is add up the number of minutes people have suffered behind some idiot with a raised iphone, and then add up the number of minutes spent watching that footage. I guaran-fucking-tee you the first number will be orders of magnitude larger than the second one.

People take those videos because it makes them feel cool, and they can brag to their friends how they were TOTALLY THERE. Except -- guess what -- NOBODY FUCKING CARES.

Audio bootlegging? No problem. You're not in my way. Video bootlegging? If you have an actual real camera set up somewhere out-of-the-way? No problem. Being in front of me and holding up your fucking phone for an extended amount of time? DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!!!!!!
posted by Afroblanco at 12:44 PM on June 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Tall people make more money.

It says right in the article it's related to behaviour, otherwise please tell my boss about this scientific fact.
posted by Hoopo at 12:46 PM on June 14, 2012


So essentially someone wrote and article and said in a few thousand words,"Don't be a dick" at shows? Ok, got it. This isn't even Sarcasm 101.

Re: laminates or backstage passes. I was friends with a band and they were really into the laminate thing for their "crew." Even though ALL of their shows were at shitty chicken-wing and beer joints, they insisted that their crew, which consisted of two trailer-trash biker buds, wear these dumb-ass laminates. Yes, because picking out the road crew from all six people at the show would be very difficult.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:47 PM on June 14, 2012


I've never been to a show where other peoples' conversations have been a problem.

Maybe if you only go to loud rock shows... I remember going to Mojave 3 at the Starfish in Vancouver years ago, at a time in my life when spending $15 on a ticket was a significant expense. Except for me and my wife, the entire audience seemed to be there to talk to each other, during the entire show. It got so bad that about halfway through the set, the singer went on the mike and said, "Hey, you guys paid your money so I don't care what you do. But maybe for the sake of everyone else here, you all could keep it down a bit?". No one stopped. I can't comprehend why you would pay good money to see a band and then talk for the entire time that band is on stage.
posted by Gortuk at 12:48 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a recent thing, and it's mainly because lots of venues now use ceiling-mounted line arrays

No. Sorry, but no. It's not a recent thing, and it's got nothing to do with the recent surge in the use of line arrays.

I can hazard a guess about why this is -- you can hear guitars from the on-stage amps (right?) while vocals and keys and some other things are only amplified through the speakers which are often overhead and pointed toward the back of the room.

eugenen is spot on here, and it happens whether the speakers are a line array or not, hung from overhead or stacked up in big piles on either side of the stage, whatever.

Isn't there a way an enterprising venue could fix that, like maybe by hanging 360-degree speakers from the ceiling?

Sure. 360-degree speakers won't work (and don't really exist), but there are 3 common ways to address this problem:

1) "center-fills", which is another speaker or two hung from the ceiling right by the front of the stage, pointing downwards to hit the front rows.

2) "in-fills", a speaker or two on the sides of the stage, aimed so they hit the front rows.

3) "lip-fills", a series of speakers spread across the front edge of the stage.

You actually often see one or more of these approaches in venues that do theater or comedy.

You usually don't see it in rock clubs, especially small (under 1000 capacity) clubs, because money.
posted by soundguy99 at 12:53 PM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've been to a half dozen festivals and too many concerts to count. The last thing I try to think of when remembering those events is all the negative shit that happens.
To top it off, post an annoyingly sarcastic list of all the things that pissed you off at the show instead of what you enjoyed. Why perseverate on that?
Of course, most of these younger people's only skill seems to be to point out what's wrong with the world instead of changing it for the better?

Flame on!
posted by coachfortner at 12:55 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course, most of these younger people's only skill seems to be to point out what's wrong with the world instead of changing it for the better?

Well, considering the young people that made these lists also run a website that aggregates show listings for up-and-coming/unsigned bands and smaller, independent venues in three major cities, they're doing exactly that.
posted by griphus at 1:01 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


When you hear good music with a good beat, do you like to move your big hair rhythmically? It's common courtesy to first remove your shoes, go to the bar, fill them both with rum, then give one of each to the neighbors directly in front of you and behind.

If you go to a rock show and you try to drink something out of a cup while nearby people are dancing exuberantly then it sucks to be you.

If you want to drink, go stand by the bar.
posted by Sauce Trough at 1:01 PM on June 14, 2012


nobody, NOBODY wants to watch someone's shitty 4 minute clip they took with their phone.

In the weeks after a great show I usually troll Youtube for precisely this stuff.

(trolling in the fishing sense, not in the Internet sense)
posted by Sauce Trough at 1:04 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


soundguy99: "This is a recent thing, and it's mainly because lots of venues now use ceiling-mounted line arrays

No. Sorry, but no. It's not a recent thing, and it's got nothing to do with the recent surge in the use of line arrays.

I can hazard a guess about why this is -- you can hear guitars from the on-stage amps (right?) while vocals and keys and some other things are only amplified through the speakers which are often overhead and pointed toward the back of the room.

eugenen is spot on here, and it happens whether the speakers are a line array or not, hung from overhead or stacked up in big piles on either side of the stage, whatever.

Isn't there a way an enterprising venue could fix that, like maybe by hanging 360-degree speakers from the ceiling?

Sure. 360-degree speakers won't work (and don't really exist), but there are 3 common ways to address this problem:

1) "center-fills", which is another speaker or two hung from the ceiling right by the front of the stage, pointing downwards to hit the front rows.

2) "in-fills", a speaker or two on the sides of the stage, aimed so they hit the front rows.

3) "lip-fills", a series of speakers spread across the front edge of the stage.

You actually often see one or more of these approaches in venues that do theater or comedy.

You usually don't see it in rock clubs, especially small (under 1000 capacity) clubs, because money.
"

Good stuff SoundGuy!

We used to side fill with the amps in smaller venues and it worked well. Eventually everyone (bass player included) went with pre-amps or amp modelers and right into the board. Sound guys LOVED this. Part of the problem with guitar players is that if they have a Marshall/Egnater/Dr. Z half stack or full-stack, they want everyone else to see it and insist on having it onstage. Even me and my Super Twin on stage could render small animals sterile for life if the got near the stage. Getting me to even consider a pre-amp (I ended up using a Line 6 X3) was a hard sell. But what an improvement, sound-wise it made for us and the audience.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2012


All of these annoyances are part of the reason I get less interested in seeing my favorite bands once they "break through" or whatever and start amassing a huge crowd. It sounds snobby as hell and "chasing cool" if you tell someone that you don't want to see a band since they've gotten big. But I think it's actually pretty valid when your original memory is of seeing a band in a fairly small group of enthusiastic but very respectful people, and it was a meaningful transcendent experience for everyone including the band members themselves, and then you see them 5 years later and it's just a swarm of loud drunken bros and bro-ettes who don't even care - ironically they're the ones that come off as "chasing cool" because they heard secondhand that the band is hip, and maybe they heard one single, and they're happy to scream at each other for the rest of the set because for them just saying that they were there is the main point of being there, apparently. I don't care if it comes off as snobby, but Arcade Fire, M83 and Animal Collective were among the best shows I ever witnessed 6-10 years ago, and I'll still listen to their new records but now the crowd is so obnoxious that it's just not fun and certainly not meaningful for me anymore. It goes from a kind of spiritual ecstacy to, well, a sporting event.
posted by naju at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


It goes from a kind of spiritual ecstacy to, well, a sporting event.

Not mutually exclusive.
posted by tigrefacile at 1:09 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


In the weeks after a great show I usually troll Youtube for precisely this stuff.

Yeah, I do the exact same thing. It's pretty fun to see a show from an angle you didn't originally see it, even if the sound and video aren't great. Plus, once in a while, there will be a great recording. I've been doing this for years, and recording quality has only gotten better.

Also, because I'm small and therefore usually near the front, I end up in some of these videos. I'm pretty sure I'm in this one.
posted by griphus at 1:11 PM on June 14, 2012


Not mutually exclusive.

That's true. Sporting events don't deeply move me in the way that great art can, but plenty would disagree.
posted by naju at 1:14 PM on June 14, 2012


Trawling, not trolling, if you're talking of fishing or fishing analogies.
posted by deadwax at 1:19 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Afroblanco: "Then I actually would invite you to stop going to shows. Quiet music deserves a quiet crowd. Amazing how many people don't get this."

You can still be an engaged crowd, and respect loud music.

That means, (depending on the artist), it's usually OK to shout nice things between songs, but not OK to talk loudly during the song. A lot of artists get dismayed or freaked out if the crowd is completely hushed for the whole performance.

On the other hand, I was at a Sufjan Stevens show last year, and a guy shouted "Fuck yeah!" when he started playing Casamir Pulaski Day (after a heartfelt introduction explaining what the song was actually about). He actually stopped playing, looked right at the guy, and just said "Dude. Seriously?"
posted by schmod at 1:21 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been to a Magnetic Fields concert, and let me tell you, that audience was silent, reverent, and utterly oppressive.

A few years ago I saw Kultur Shock (think Gogol Bordello) at Neumo's in Seattle. It was a full house, but the audience stood rooted to the floor, staring at the stage as the band threw down its madcap gypsy prog.

Fuck those people.
posted by Sauce Trough at 1:29 PM on June 14, 2012


Oh, hey, does anyone in NYC know of a good email-based show list digest outside of Oh My Rockness, ExcessDB and PopGun (who I think only cover Glasslands)?
posted by griphus at 1:40 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a tall guy and I am painfully self conscious about everything blocking other people's views. So I slouch and I move back and I wallflower and basically I hate going to shows anymore and generally these days just stay home.

I think the breakdown is kind of this:
YOU ARE SHORT. Your choices: A) Be an asshole B) Have your view blocked
YOU ARE TALL. CHoices: A) Be an asshole B) Have your view blocked

...with the main difference being that short people have to actively be an asshole and say "hey jerk get out of my way" and tall people can passively be assholes and just pretend they don't notice the short people. So I guess I have the advantage after all. Yay. That feels just awesome.
posted by ook at 1:51 PM on June 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


soundguy99: "No. Sorry, but no. It's not a recent thing, and it's got nothing to do with the recent surge in the use of line arrays. "

That's not my understanding. According to simulations, line arrays produce sound that is highly directional across most frequencies in the vocal range.

Again, this isn't my direct area of expertise (although I do have a degree in Physics), but the abovelinked article seems to make a compelling point that a line array is going to produce a worse listening experience for spectators in the front of the crowd than a traditional speaker configuration would (even if it's flown...which many old setups weren't).

In fact, they even suggest incorporating a "downfill" speaker into line array installations (Fig. 5) so that the front of the crowd can hear.
posted by schmod at 1:51 PM on June 14, 2012


So I guess I have the advantage after all. Yay. That feels just awesome.

Heh. We're assholes just for being there, I've finally unpacked my tallness backpack and seen the light.
posted by Hoopo at 2:07 PM on June 14, 2012


e-tard

Not cool.
posted by Aizkolari at 2:16 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're tall, I think it makes sense just to exercise some minimal basic courtesy and make sure you're not completely blocking the view of some poor 4-foot person who can't manuever around you. I'm of average height and I still look behind me to see if I'm totally obstructing anyone's view - it's just a basic "am I making things sucky for someone?" check. Why don't more people just politely ask "hey, can you see alright?" to the stranger behind them? There doesn't need to be this exaggerated talls-vs.-shorts war that people are claiming, and you don't have to retreat to the back!
posted by naju at 2:24 PM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look. If I get behind a tall person because I got there late, too bad for me; I'll listen to the show from the back. However, I do take offense when a tall person shoves in front of me right as the show starts, after I've stood there for 3 hours, defending my spot. And it happens a lot. And I thought it was really awesome when the crowd helped that 4'8" girl at the Alcest show get to the front of the crowd, because there was no way in HELL, at any place at that venue, that she was going to be able to see a thing. I don't automatically hate you because you're tall. My partner is mega-woah tall. I go to shows with him all the time, and we usually stand to the side-front, and get there early, and we're both keeping an eye on what's going on around us so everyone has a good time. Back off.
posted by hotelechozulu at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


schmod,

Well, you're mostly right about the characteristics of line arrays - they are meant to have less "leakage" of sound to the sides and rear. But one of the main points of line arrays is that most of them have 90 to 120-degree horizontal coverage, as opposed to the 45 to 60-degree horizontal coverage of more traditional speakers. You can get 90-120 degree coverage out of traditional boxes by putting 2 or more side by side, but then the soundwaves coming out of the two speakers will interact with each other in ways that can cause problems. With line arrays you can get the same horizontal coverage without that interference.

line arrays produce sound that is highly directional across most frequencies in the vocal range.

Not exactly. All speakers are more directional the higher the frequency.

My point is that from the audiences' standpoint it doesn't matter if the sound right at the front of the stage is 3 to 6 db "worse" due to line array vs traditional speaker - either way, they don't have speakers pointed at them, they can't hear the vocals, they are hearing the guitar amps directly in their faces.

WHY they don't have speakers pointed at them has to do with the size & shape of the venue and the stage and some structural factors if you'd like to hang the speakers, and how much money, time & effort someone is willing to put in to aim speakers at them and have the other gear necessary to make those speakers integrate well with the main PA. These are factors that come into play line array or no.
posted by soundguy99 at 2:37 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


you don't have to retreat to the back!

I do take offense when a tall person shoves in front of me right as the show starts, after I've stood there for 3 hours, defending my spot. And it happens a lot

Guys I know you want this to be a simple thing where you're right and I'm wrong but consideration is going to have to go both ways. The comments from people behind you that you've probably never experienced? Do you think they stop when you move back, or is someone else going to say the same goddamned thing once you're in front of them? How about if I am there early and have a great spot? And someone gets there late and asks me to move back because they can't see? Do they know or care when I got there? Being around a crowd of people means you're going to be inconvenienced sometimes. That tall guy you're asking to move may have moved half a dozen times already, trust me the odds are very, very slim you're the first. And it's as easy for me to move back as it is for you to move left or right.

exaggerated talls-vs.-shorts war that people are claiming

No one's claiming this. The article says tall people shouldn't be in the front. I say fuck that, I get to enjoy a show up close sometimes too.
posted by Hoopo at 2:43 PM on June 14, 2012


People take those videos because it makes them feel cool, and they can brag to their friends how they were TOTALLY THERE. Except -- guess what -- NOBODY FUCKING CARES.

I still go back and watch crappy low-fi videos that I took at shows because I have a shit memory and it's nice to be reminded of something cool that I saw once upon a time.

Especially if there's no way that I'm going to see said artist again (e.g. Amy Winehouse @ Popscene in 2007).
posted by elsietheeel at 2:45 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hoopo, I think the short people that get to the show later than you, and stand behind you, and say shitty things or demand that you move because you are tall, are inconsiderate/rude people, and I'm sorry about that.* I've never done that. Those people are dicks. I totally get you. And when you said that you sometimes invite tiny people in front of you, I think that is super nice.

I just hate it when some drunk tall guy basically knocks me out of the way when the music starts and steals my spot that I fought for, and held my pee for 3 hours for, and I'm tiny and can't really say anything, and I just get squished to the back.

People suck. Let's stay home and watch concerts on TV. ACL is awesome on a big TV. hugs, ok?

*that sentence was difficult to structure grammatically, but I hope you know what I mean.
posted by hotelechozulu at 2:59 PM on June 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


heh, yeah hugs--and it has happened to me, too, that all of a sudden I'm staring at the back of someone's sweaty booze-fume head, so I know what you're saying.
posted by Hoopo at 3:08 PM on June 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


>Disclaimer: I was more of a lighting guy. Some of the specifics here might be wrong.<

Mostly right. Sometimes it is the backwash from poorly (over) done monitors and the drums... well unless they are 100% electronic (heresy to most drummers) there is a good bit of that spilling over in the front without mics. Avoims rule (in-ear monitors) but they are not so popular.
posted by twidget at 3:16 PM on June 14, 2012


A few years ago I saw Kultur Shock (think Gogol Bordello) at Neumo's in Seattle. It was a full house, but the audience stood rooted to the floor, staring at the stage as the band threw down its madcap gypsy prog.

Yeah, some parts of Seattle have a major problem with not dancing at shows, but Neumo's is it's own fucked up problem.

Every show I've seen there it's like there's some kind of bad vibe vortex just sucking all the joy and energy out of the crowd. I've danced there, and it felt like forced labor. I've talked to performers who have played there and they've said playing there feels like too much work, like jogging or marching in sand. And I've seen people dance themselves stupid, there, but it's rare.

I don't know what is actually causing this effect, but it's like someone turned up the gravity 2-3 clicks too high and removed half the oxygen in the room. It can't be the overpriced drinks or black walls because lots of places (like Re Bar or LoFi) have that, and they throw great shows all the time.

Last year AtomTM played Re Bar for Decibel Fest and people were dancing so hard I thought they were going to spontaneously combust.

Seattle also has a major problem with people who think they're too cool for school standing around and talking incessantly at shows. It's a bootlegging and music-listening nightmare unless it's noisy feedback guitar pop - which probably explains more than a few local acts over the past few years that have gone on to be nationally or internationally known. They seem to frequently be the acts that are able to play louder than a packed bar full of chatty hipsters drunk on PBR.

However, I've been to a lot of super dance friendly events, but they tend towards the electronic/dance/hip hop side of things. Decibel Festival, for example.

Also if you so much as dared speak during the performances of one of the Optical showcases at Decibel you might literally get escorted from the building because it's more like a classical performance for VERY SERIOUS ambient/noise/drone audio nerds than a party or rock concert and ones head may likely implode from the focused scorn, and the Optical showcases are often held at classy joints like Benaroya Hall or The Triple Door where they actually have ushers.
posted by loquacious at 4:08 PM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is why I try to only go to metal shows (unless I win tickets to something else or Rush is in town). Screaming, yelling, singing, moshing, headbanging, half-full cups of beer (I hope it's beer) being thrown into the crowd, fun for the whole family!
posted by MikeMc at 4:46 PM on June 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


To summarize a few things I've just learned reading through the above wonderful set of threads:

1. Tall and Short can work it out and find inner peace and harmony together.
2. The sound guy with the pony tail is actually far more interesting than anyone on stage. Holy crap - I had no idea. You and the light guy should get all the action.
3. Disliking phone video recorders is o.k.. Until you remember that you hated them while watching someone's crappy phone recording online and realize it was made by the guy you hated last night.
4. Dance Freak and Serious Listener should have dedicated areas (same with talkers and appreciators / drinkers and non-drinkers ). It's like a grid matrix that should be duck taped to all concert floors.
5. The planner people arrive at concerts three hours in advance to get a good spot and the freebirds living in a perpetual now follow their space filing bliss algorithms oblivious to time and consideration of the best waited plans.
6. Go towards front on sides, towards back through middle. So simple. So smart. Good stencil for the back of a band's T-shirt.
7. Feedback, perspectives and the joys and sorrows of concert goers are virtually indistinguishable except for extremes of loud or quiet music.
8. Everyone hates that loud conversation except when they don't hear themselves having it (I suspect everyone at some point in their life has been guilty on both sides of this).
9. People loose their individuality and identity and merge into a relatively simple biomass with a greatly reduced set of neural bi-polar neural pathways to occupy the mind as some other part of it absorbs and enjoys the music. That biomass either loves or hates the cell that 'acts up' or 'shouts out' their singularity. Seldom is it neural on the bold/drunk/dumb.
10. I love the word Perseverate. I LOVE the word Perseverate!

I hope you all feel violated since I just took notes on the magical mystery tour of your collective mind space as you were enjoying that concert. It's classic multi-point-of-view feasts like this that make me guilty of often ignoring links and diving right into the chewy mass of collected comments and dialogue. No one writer could hope to illuminate so much with so few words.
posted by astrobiophysican at 12:05 AM on June 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


correction - "neutral" not neural on that 'shout out' of the bold/drunk/dumb.
posted by astrobiophysican at 12:10 AM on June 15, 2012


Man, to read this thread you'd think nobody ever has any fun at shows ever. I always have fun. I'm not very tall, sometimes I get whapped right in the eye by strange hair, usually I have someone else's beer dripped on me, and those dumb fratboys made me hostile. But I had fun.
posted by scratch at 6:57 AM on June 15, 2012


The sound guy with the pony tail is actually far more interesting than anyone on stage.

I thought so. I married my favorite local band's sound guy (and his ponytail. That Onion article is a favorite.)

Also, I have a lot of fun at shows, but crappy crowd behavior can take a good gig and render it unsatisfying or ruin a not-so-great gig. We went to M83 at Stubb's recently and the bro factor was really high. The local paper said it was a great concert but we couldn't get into it because it was kind of an awful night and people were pressed in too much, and when we retreated to the back, the loud talkers were overrunning the music.

It sounds snobby as hell and "chasing cool" if you tell someone that you don't want to see a band since they've gotten big.

I had exactly the experience you're talking about with Sarah McLachlan in the early 90s. I saw her touring in small venues and she was great. The last time I saw her was in Jones Hall (large, now-defunct concert venue in Houston) and the main thing I remember about the concert was the women screaming at her to take her shirt off (for serious, I have other friends who were at that same concert who remember it the same way). It soured me on her shows; fortunately I didn't like her next album so it wasn't a problem.
posted by immlass at 7:41 AM on June 15, 2012


2. The sound guy with the pony tail is actually far more interesting than anyone on stage. Holy crap - I had no idea. You and the light guy should get all the action.

In the slim chance you're not being facetious - no! Don't do that! You'll upset the order and balance of the universe. The sound and light guys need the stoic celibacy for their craft! Do you have any idea how hard it is to memorize delay timing charts or formulas while getting some? It's impossible!

The last time I saw a sound engineer actually got any action as the direct result of the show they were working on was in 1997 at a semi-legal outdoor rave.

A girl on way too much MDMA for the first time kept, uh, vigorously hugging his leg. Granted, she also tried vigorously hugging the mixing board, the amp rack, a trash can, a picnic bench, a nearby tree and a lit bonfire.

But that guy never recovered. His ponytail grew three times longer, but his dome went bald! The very next day his Pantera tour staff shirt completely unraveled when a thread got caught on a bus and the bus drove off. Never again did he put on a pair of headphones the right way in the dark the first time. He blew out his tweeter phase alignment! Every last one of his fingers grew too fat and knobby to twist the tiny EQ and trim knobs on a channel strip!

I just saw this guy last week. Ponytail dragging in the dirt, dome as shiny as wet glass, no shirt, no shoes. He hasn't worked a board since and he was still talking about that damn show.
posted by loquacious at 7:57 AM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


You wanna talk about celibacy? You should try being the T-shirt vendor on a tour. *sigh*
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:46 AM on June 15, 2012


In the slim chance you're not being facetious - no! Don't do that! You'll upset the order and balance of the universe. The sound and light guys need the stoic celibacy for their craft! Do you have any idea how hard it is to memorize delay timing charts or formulas while getting some? It's impossible!

I think you underestimate the power of guest list and vip passes. The sound guy at the superclub I used to dj at got laid all the time.
posted by empath at 8:55 AM on June 15, 2012


Yeah, so a few people mentioned watching crappy phone-recorded footage on youtube or on their own personal time. And I don't doubt there's a few of you out there, but, just as a thought exercise :

Take every single one of those videos in existence, multiply it by the sum of minutes, and multiply that by all the people standing behind the ones taking the video. That's how much suffering that video has caused. Let's call that S, for suffering.

Now add up all the views on all those videos and multiply that by the sum of minutes. That's how much pleasure it's caused. Let's cause that P, for pleasure.

If you divide the P by S, I guarantee you're going to get a result that's far lower than zero.

Videotaping at a show is a selfish thing to do. So if you do it, could you please be so kind as to, I dunno, stand against a wall, or on a balcony, or a pillar, or a tall person (heh), or something like that? Please do keep in mind that your experience is not more important than mine, or anybody else's.

Also, from my above comments, you might get the idea that I hate shows and always have a lousy time. And that is most certainly not the case. I go to at least one show a month, and most of them are really positive experiences. But it really, really, REALLY pisses me off to have a show ruined by a crappy audience. And I feel like audiences have gotten worse in recent years, or maybe it's because I moved from NYC to SF, and audiences here suck more or take more drugs. Who knows. But whatever it is, it pisses me off.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:14 PM on June 15, 2012


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