OK, I wrote this rant, then took it down, then thought “What the hell – people need to educate themselves how to act in public if their parents didn’t” , and edited it until it is a bit clearer . I’m going to try to make a point here, in a way that doesn’t make me seem unduly spoiled or angry, because I’m not spoiled or really angry. Also, I’m grateful to be able to perform music and get paid, and play for people that actually give a shit and listen. I just happen to have a website, so I can rant once or twice a year between posting fotos of weird old men on the street or stupid misspelled signs on restaurants, etc.
An intimate performance is a two-way interaction between the performer and the audience. If either party breaks the implied social contract, it all falls apart. Also, I say this not because I’m hurt (there will be other shows for me at least), but because I know as an audience member I’d have been sorely pissed-off at the situation the other night. This is what leads me to say the following, after experiencing this situation more than a few times in the last year…
Our Auckland, NZ gig had all the makings of a great show – a sold out venue, empathetic and talented sound engineer (seriously, best sound of this leg of the tour so far as far as I’m concerned), comfortable stage (a hot room, but that’s because it was SOLD OUT), and an awesome, loving crowd – but there had to be ONE GUY right up front yelling the whole time, ruining any chance of setting an atmosphere.
Like Michael Jackson in “This Is Is”, i say this ‘with love’ (L.O.V.E.), what is your fucking problem? You vociferously claimed to be some kind of “biggest fan”, you even got there early so you could get a spot right in front of the stage, then proceeded to yell (YELL!) off-key through every quiet song like you were in your bedroom with headphones on, especially between phrases or in silent spots – oblivious to the hundreds of other people in the room trying to hear, THEN had the gall to yakety-yak with your buddy and girlfriend the rest of the time - loudly. It was quieter at the damned World Cup.
Everyone in the room hated you. The only reason nobody booted you or called you out as a goon was that they had too much class to ruin the vibe, the way you ruined it for me… singing along out of key at the top of your lungs so everyone within 30 feet who paid good money to see (and hear) a show heard your shitty caterwauling instead of the singer on the stage (at the QUIET ACOUSTIC MUSIC SHOW, hello?). That made it really difficult to concentrate, or sing in time & on key. Thusly fucking up my/our vibe and preventing the performers from giving other people what they paid for.
Again (with L.O.V.E.), I know you love Mark (we heard you yell it, 30 times), but sometimes you gotta shut the fuck up – it ain’t a pub show with your buddy on a stool playing Margaritaville. And being lit ain’t an excuse, that was just you being more you. Now get in your Camaro and go home and learn how to be a professional public citizen. What you did was the equivalent of farting in someone’s face who booked a fancy dinner reservation weeks in advance and sat down to an expensive meal.
OK, I’m done – I don’t expect (rock) shows to be like going to see Picasso at the Met or being in a library, all hush-hush, but respect the other people who also dig the music. I don’t come jump in front of your TV & block the view when you’re trying to watch Jersey Shore.
Other than that, I really enjoyed the show.
Nothing against people that own Camaros, or New Zealanders. There are plenty of louts all over the globe who should also read this. Agreed?
I found out today that the guy was causing some row with our tour manager after the show, so much that security threw him out literally on his ass (he fell and landed on his ass). So justice was served, with a side order of charity (in the form of our TM not bashing his skull in).