Apparently, there's an unwritten law that once an artist drops into the “hushed” range, you are allowed to talk over the music. It spreads like a forest fire too. First it's the people somewhere behind you in the back where people usually talk, but then it moves to the people directly behind you. Then the people right next to you, and then the people right in front of you who are standing two feet away from the person who's singing. And then it sounds like some sort of art piece. Put a really quite singer-songwriter on stage and see how long it takes for people to drown out his music. I know concerts are very much a social gathering kind of thing, but maybe I'm just old school in believing that when someone is playing REALLY quietly you either a.) go outside if you want to talk and you're not into it or b.) watch just as quietly as the person is playing.
So anyway, if you haven't gathered this is what happened at the show at the Jackpot last night. I've always given Lawrence shit for being a town that prefers chatter over music, but there have been shows when audiences have behaved themselves. I remember the Kings of Convenience show years ago, the one where Feist opened and no one had ever heard her and everyone in the jam packed Bottleneck was absolutely still and quiet with the exception of a few “holy shit, she's amazing”s. I don't think it should be selective though. Maybe that's why the Chomp Womp kids play so loud. I mean, that's not the reason I know, but at least no one can physically talk through their sets. That's why I always wanted to play loud in the Kite Tails, because once we played a slower song I could hear the people talking, and I could see the people talking, and it didn't really bother me very much but I did try to make my face contort into a “Bob Dylan singing 'Idiot Wind'” kind of disposition.
We were never as quiet as Blakey Bear though, and I've never, ever been part of such a disrespectful audience. God, I sound like someone's mom...or a nun. But really, I always thought there were rules of common courtesy but apparently no on gives a fuck because at one point, EVERYONE was talking and talking louder and I literally couldn't hear a damn thing Blake was singing. So I left and went outside and just sat. And then I went back in, hoping things had changed and of course it had just gotten louder. It's like, everyone WANTS to talk, but it's not OK until the people next to you are and then well, what's the point of coming to a show if you just want to talk and you don't want to watch the bands? Even if it's not your thing, you can go outside and have a cigarette or go sit in the back. It was embarassing.
I don't know if I can say the same for KC, but I've generally had a better time at shows there. At least during Low everyone sat on the floor and it was totally quiet, so quiet that I could get upset about the a-hole behind me snapping pictures the whole time. It's funny, too, because Jenny and I saw Blake play at Wonder Fair a few weeks ago and it was packed and dead silent throughout his set. Although, everyone there was at least 25 or older, so maybe that's the thing. You put college kids in a bar where they actively go to see bands, and they will talk over the bands. I'm just downright amazed that people would pay to go to a show and then talk through it. And then probably go home and blog about it. Maybe I don't notice these things as much because this was the first show I WASN'T covering for the Pitch since like, October. The first one I'd actually paid to get into, to go and see some newish local bands and just watch music without taking notes and without over analyzing anything. And we ended up leaving after Blake's set because if you stand around too many assholes for too long, you're bound to become one of them.