I went to a gig last night. I go to a lot of gigs. Generally, I enjoy them. Generally, I go to small gigs, attended to by avid music fans, who enjoy and respect the music, and the musicians.
Sometimes, I go to gigs that I don’t enjoy as much. This is never due to the musicians, or the music being played. Of course, sometimes the music is not my taste, or not something I would listen to again, but I always respect the musicianship and care these individuals have taken to practice and prepare a set. Hell, sometimes I think some singers purposefully sing out of tune, but do I behave like a stroppy teenager and moan about it throughout their performance? I do not.
I wanted to vent really, about gig etiquette, and sometimes the lack thereof. Let me break this down to my top pet peeves.
Talking. OK. This one will be controversial, I know this straight off. But you do not talk during gigs. You just don’t. Especially if it’s a queieter gig, a gig that does not have a loud drum kit, or screaming singer. Especially not if there are not many people at the venue and we can hear every word you say. This is what happened last night. The band in question last night, was unfortunately a drummer down, so they committed to playing a beautifully toned down set; just two guitars and a singer. It was bloody glorious. Until this chick started talking about her dinner choices to her pal.
I always wear ear plugs at gigs, I go to far too many not to protect my ears. I could still hear them, even with the music, and my ear plugs. I could still I’ll hear their incessant chatter. Don’t do it. This goes for massive venue gigs too. If you’re going to talk, go to the very back where you won’t piss people off. The only time it’s ok, is to proclmain how much you are loving the music, or to have a quick, “oh my god this is my favourite one” fan girl moment. That’s it. And it should never take more than 20 seconds, if that. If you come to a gig with me, and talk, you will be ignored until the music has stopped.
If you must, talk in between songs.
Dancing. Just don’t do it in a small gathering when no other soul is dancing. I love to bob as much as the next person, but as soon as you start invading someone’s personal space, you’ve gone too far. I remember going to see Jimmy Eat World play at the Barras in Glasgow last year, a gig I had been waiting years for. I had the perfect spot, the perfect company, and the perfect beer in my hand. Then, tweedle dee and tweedle dum started dancing. She had hair down to her waist, of which nearly whipped me in the face when she head banged (also, Jimmy Eat World is not head banging music). Her brother (they looked waaay too similar to be dating) proceeded to dance in a circle, arms flailing, standing on my toes about eight times. Nobody else was dancing. I stood my ground, literally, and refused to move. Oh I’m sorry, did I bump into you? Too bloody right I did you annoying twit.
Ordering drinks. Decide who is buying, what you’re buying, and if you have cash, before the music starts. Have a system in place. Rounds, buy your own, kitty? I don’t care. I just don’t want to hear your negotiation with each other about who bought the chips because then they shouldn’t have to buy a drink. In your own time people.
Cameras. Who doesn’t have a camera phone? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t own a smartphone with a camera. They’re great. Capture the moment, relive a cool experience. I get it. I really do. I love a wee gig snap as much as the next person. But I limit this to one or two. I once went to a gig at which the lady in front of me took a photo approximately every thirty seconds. Maybe more. She watched the whole show through a lens. And it meant that I practically did too. I actually resorted to asking (politely telling) her to put it down, twice. This goes for flashes on cameras. Do you really think musicians want to be blinded, and put off their jam by your flash? For you to then, undoubtedly, turn around with a hand over your mouth, a smirk and say “oh I’m so sorry”. Buuuullshit. Check the flash is off. Please, for their sake and mine.
Phones in general. It’s like using your phone at the cinema. You will feel eyes bore into the back of your head when your super bright screen (hello, do you not know how to turn this down? Also, night mode) is catching everyone’s eye and distracting from the beautiful sound. We survived without them for YEARS. You can survive two hours. I promise.
Am I alone in this? Am I being overly sensitive?