I mentioned in the Avett Brothers show comments from last week that I have a firm belief that no matter what live concert you go to, there will always be someone, or someones that will diminish your enjoyment of the experience at least a little bit. I have yet to be proven wrong.
Now, this theory can be applied to any sort of show, whether it is a speech by an author or a movie in the theater, it is destined to happen. It could be the a-hole providing the running commentary throughout the entirety of the movie, as was the case in American Beauty. The super-fan in this instance was a large, freshly Birkenstocked, bearded and bereted man who loudly crunched his washtub sized popcorn throughout the film. But, it was the idiotic comments that he loudly proclaimed at breakneck speed that had me fuming. "Whoa. Oh my god. What's he doing? No way. He's gay?!? Heh. I didn't see that one coming." Funny thing was that I did see that one coming, because I was not too busy listening to myself talk, but unlike my fellow movie patron I did not try to proclaim my thoughts as to what was happening, what had happened or what I felt was going to happen. My current rule is that if someone looks like a movie buff, then we move as far away from that person as possible.
Back to concerts.
The concert prior to the Avett Brothers, was an acoustic show at SoHo by Asobi Seksu, who I love. The show was a much smaller, scaled-down version of their usually deafening live show, and the performance was quaint and intimate. My group and I were enjoying the show, when out of nowhere came a group of older and quite possibly very wasted people. The one man, in what I can only describe as a dance troupe, had long white hair and had an older woman on each arm (admirable), who he would switch between giving little kisses. This was fine until the two women and then two more older women came from out of the shadows and the foursome pushed their way to the front to begin twirling and doing interpretive dances of the songs that they had never heard before. Come-hither motions and back bends abound drew the attention of not just the Asobi Seksu fans, who paid to see Asobi Seksu and not eccentric rich-folk, but the attention of the band itself, who were visibly mystified. I am sure that somewhere, someone in the band made a note to avoid Santa Barbara going forward...the people there are just too weird.
At that particular show, it wasn't just the "recapture our faltering youth crowd" that was being so obnoxious...at least they were enjoying themselves...it was more the racist piece of trash hiding somewhere at the back. The singer for Asobi Seksu, Yuki Chikudate, is from Japan and oftentimes sings in Japanese. In between every few songs, she would tell a little story about their past as a band, or something that had happened on the tour, and it wasn't until about the last three songs that I noticed someone in the back going, "Tee-hee-hee-hee," over and and over again. This was mostly done during any and all quiet parts so that all could hear. I wanted to chuck the asshole from the outside patio to the cold hard ground below, but I never found him. Whoever it was should be sentenced to life with the super-fan from the Avett Brothers show...that would be adequate punishment.
Last year, my wife and I went to see TV on the Radio at the Ventura Theater and made an event of it with dinner and drinks and then on to the concert. The show itself was amazing and TV on the Radio is one of my favorite bands, but of course there had to be nonsense to draw our attention from the performance. For the entire show, just ahead and slightly to the left, was a wasted guy, a wasted girl and another wasted girl...who I do not think that they knew...dancing(???) and trying to get the whole girl-girl-guy vibe going, which is cool in my book, but only when the parties involved are attractive and not flailing about in between us and the stage. I know that I sound like a shallow jerk, but seriously, who wants to see a borderline live sex show with three wasted people with beer guts and ready to barf at the next drum beat? The whole sordid scene reminded me of the HBO show Real Sex, where anytime the story was based in the U.S. our reaction was always, "Whoa my goodness. Yikes. Eww," and anytime it centered on Europeans our reaction was always, "Whoa my goodness. Yikes. Hot." Unfortunately, this show was not set in Europe and the trio were not European. Thankfully, one of the girls was thrown out for being too drunk, and we were able to see the last third of the show without the extreme PDA going down to our left. On the way out of the theater, we passed the angry girl, who was slurringly shouting, "No. No. They would not thlet me backth inth to the thshow. They thaid I wasth too drunkth. Can you belief that?"
Okay, one more, and for this one, I was not even there, but my wife was. The Wife of the Donist and a good friend of ours had years prior to the TV on the Radio show, gone to see Sleeter Kinny at the Ventura Theater and the two of them were talking on the floor in between the opening band and Sleater Kinny. A Michael Jackson song came over the speakers and the two were still chatting away and having a good time, when a high/drunk girl barged in between them and started chiming, "C'mon! You should dance! C'mon. Don't you want to dance? Don't you want to dance?" They tried to ignore the girl, and then tried to politely say that they did not want to dance at that particular moment when she did not get the hint. The girl would have none of it. "C'mon, let's dance. Whooooooo. Let's dance!" Finally, my wife having reached her breaking point, snapped and shouted, "Are you trying to annoy me?!" The girl with an aghast, "Whatever," turned to walk away in search of other dance partners.
I could go on forever on this topic, but will save those little tales for another time.