Seeing Irish troubadour Cian Nugent play a phenomenal solo-guitar set at Barboza Friday night once again has forced me to dredge up that groanworthy topic: people in the crowd TALKING VERY LOUDLY during a musical performance. We’ve been over this before. In 2012, I posted this rant on Line Out, and it will likely ring true... until we fuck up the power grid.
Obviously, chattering at a high volume during a quiet set is a huge asshole move. The concept of being quiet during performances is one humans should’ve learned in elementary school, but apparently it’s a lesson that needs to be drilled into thick skulls week after week, well into adulthood. You’d think folks old enough to get into a bar and who paid money for the privilege would also pay performers and their fellow attendees some respect. But nooooooo. Their sense of entitlement to engage in inane conversations supersedes all. Even if you’re involved in a deep existential discussion, you still deserve a face slap. Take it outside, Jean-Paul Sartre. (The only convo I allow in this circumstance is if you approach me with great free music or want to give me money. Priorities!)
Sure, one always feels the urge to shush or give the evil eye to these boors. But doing so usually results in charges of you being an “uptight asshole” and other forms of derision. Plus, when a good 30-50 percent of the audience is offending, how do you get ’em all to STFU? You can’t. Moreover, you cause yourself to miss out on the performance while trying to quash their rudeness. In the case of the Cian Nugent show, the problem couldn’t be solved by moving somewhere else. I was already near the front of this small venue; all the chatterboxes were behind me, but their droning could be heard throughout the club.
In that 2012 Line Out post on disrespectful music-venue crowds, I wrote, “I feel like this concept needs to be repeated on a weekly basis to everyone everywhere.” I guess people haven't really heeded that advice. Inconsiderate dopes will always be with us, especially when alcohol figures into the equation. We’ll never completely eradicate this nuisance. But I implore the readers of this blog not to be part of the problem.