Stop talking at concerts

Stop talking at concerts
By Jarrett Bellini | @JarrettBellini | April 19, 2016

"Get off my lawn."

The transformation is complete. Where once stood a vibrant young man full of energy and excitement, now stands an irritable bore with old, shriveled gonads and a full reserve of nasty side-eye for my fellow humans. 

If we can even call them that. Humans.

I've been broken. Shattered. Torn apart like a grasshopper in the hands of a young Phil Spector. 

And it's all because you can't stop talking at concerts.

For a long time I viewed cell phones as the one true scourge of the modern live music experience. I steamed and huffed at every raised device brightly illuminating that which shouldn't be seen.

Which is to say: The top of your stupid head.

But I'm better now, having come to peace with the fact that this is simply the world in which we live. Some of you will forever feel that weird societal pressure to Insta-snap or Tweet-a-vine a pixelated blur of stage light to your Face-a-gur.

If that's how you want to remember your concert experience - as a series of never-to-be-seen-again photos buried within your smart phone until you inevitably have to dump those images to make room for new ones that you'll also never see again - have at it.

But, in the process, please just shut up.

I've actually put some serious thought into this major pet peeve of mine - thus wasting valuable life hours that could have otherwise been spent reading or exercising or bathing - and have expertly determined there are five different conversation scenarios that occur at concerts.

Between Sets

As a rule, whenever the house lights are on and there's nobody on stage, feel free to chat away.

This is the time. No topics are off limits. And, depending on how much you are willing to share with the world, personal volume is completely unregulated. Go nuts.

"So - long story short - the doctor says I should really try to keep Sriracha away from my genitals!"

Outside the Music Room

If, during an active performance, you find yourself no longer within the main concert area - maybe in the front lobby, a hallway, or the smoking alley - you are officially in a conversation safe zone.

This category also includes the bathroom where, oddly enough, spirited dialogue among strangers is encouraged. 

"Dude, I really don't mean to look. But, is that ... Sriracha?"

At the Bar or Merch Booth

Here, for the sake of commerce, talking is both necessary and permitted. However, if the band is on stage, this is when we have to start taking volume into consideration.

The whole audience doesn't need to listen to you shouting at the bartender.

"Do you have any Sriracha?"

"For your beer?"

"Um, yeah. For my ... beer."

Between Songs

This is sort of a gray area. Technically, the show is happening, and you shouldn't be talking conversationally. But in this particular moment there's no actual music. 

The guitarist is tuning. The bass player is having a smoke. And the keyboardist is shooting heroin.

As per the rules.

So, during these lulls, personal conversation - though not encouraged - isn't completely prohibited by the laws of common decency.

"I feel like this is an appropriate time to inform you that I may soon be needing medical attention."

"Sriracha again?"

"Sriracha again."


OK. Now we're getting to the heart of the matter - the very thing that is slowly driving me insane. 

Here, the band is on stage. They're playing a song. And you start talking to Larry.

Of course, Larry can't hear you clearly over the music, so you have to yell at him from a foot away.

"It's burning so bad! Like the fire of a thousand suns!"


It's super easy. Cheer. Clap. Whistle. Dance. Mosh. Take off your shirt and expose your boobs during a power ballad.

Hell, take off your shirt and expose your boobs during a fast song. Or an instrumental. Or ... in the lobby.  

(Really, anywhere is fine.)

Just be considerate and limit the talking.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have fun or catch up with friends. I'm not even judging the bold decision to smother your beanbag in hot sauce.

We all have our little hobbies.

I'm just suggesting - nay, pleading - that you be more considerate to the artists and those around you during the actual performance. 

And it's up to the rest of us to keep each other in line. 

There will be plenty of time to talk about pointless nonsense when the show's over and you immediately log onto Insta-snap or Tweet-a-vine or Face-a-gur.

Or whatever it is the kids are doing these days. 

Just as long as they get off my lawn.


steve shapiro said...

Amen, brother. Errrr…I mean grandpa.

Evan Casey said...

There are plenty of organic, free range and local hot sauces available on the market to smother sus juevos these days. I'd hope, in light of your requests, that you'll consider this oversight.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! It's so bad these days that I'm considering handing out "STOP TALKING" cards. said...

من یک ایرانی هستم که همیشه باید به گذشته خودم افتخار کنم ولی بعضی اوقات خدایی اگر قبول کنیم قدیمی همه چیزش خوب نیس مثلا تو این هانگ های سنتی فقط اون آهنگ های سنتی قدیمی ولی شاد خیلی خوبن و حتی برای ما خاطره ساز شدن با این سن کممون و این خلی خوبه و به شماهم پینشهاد میکنم ک گوششون کنید.