"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Saturday, April 16, 2016

an old person's rant

Now this is a concert I wish I had attended. Besides the fact that Rosetta Tharpe is awesome, amazing and stupendous (and well dressed, I might add) look how civilized/respectful the people in the audience are!

Eddie and I have been on a concert-going rampage of late. (Our first concert was Loggins and Messina in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in the fall of 1972 IN THE GYM!) I wish I knew how many nights of live music we've shared since then, but trust me, it's mucho. That concert in Oshkosh was crazy and fun because everyone was high and in love and we were young and knew every word to every song being played. It was a love fest. Joints were passed up and down the rows, and we all came together and loved one another. Right now.

The last two concerts we've been to were Boss Bruce and Sir Paul. Both events were held in humongous arenas. They were slickly produced and cost lots of money to attend. I love both these guys, and they rocked it long and hard (they are 66 and 73 respectively!!!). Our seats were good. But I found myself watching the giant screens that were on either side of the stage all evening. That was mainly because everyone stood during the entire performance, and I couldn't see over/around the folks in front of me. So I had to look up most of the time at the screen, resulting in a cricked neck and this thought: couldn't I just be watching this at a movie theatre or at home? Well, you say, but then you would lose the experience of the huge sound and the pulsing of the bass and the pounding heartbeat of the drums. Well, here's where I'm going to sound like an old fart: both concerts were so loud that I was temporarily deaf for several hours afterward.

So, in this new age of concerts...

A: I hate the fact that you have to stand the whole time.
B: I dislike the fact that I end up watching the performers on a large TV screen.
C: I feel I have to choose between ear plugs or deafness, and I can't imagine paying to hear live music and wearing things in my ear to mute the sound.

But, guess what? There is something even worse happening at concerts these days, folks. CELL PHONES!! Everyone has theirs out the whole time. They are holding them up over their heads taking pictures (further obscuring the view of people behind them) or they are scrolling through the pictures they've just taken. At the McCartney concert, the guy next to me was actually texting and TALKING on his phone throughout the entire show. What? Sir Paul would sit down at the piano and play a ballad, a hush and darkness would fall over the crowd (though they still didn't sit down) and the light from this idiot's phone shown forth like a beacon in the night, his head bent over it as he pecked, scrolled and talked away. Finally, Eddie said something to him about it, and all he got in response was "F You, Man".

I love music. I love live music. I've been going to (and photographing at) concerts ever since the Supremes glamorously/majestically held court on stage at the University of Kentucky concert hall in the late 1960's. I'm going to hear my idol Bonnie Raitt tomorrow night. And we have tickets for other concerts coming up. But I think I'm done with the large venues. I'd say I'm just too old, but then I remember that so many of these performers are older than I am.

Bring back the days of Rosetta Tharpe kinds of performances!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree. I was at Jethro Tull and a guy talked so loud on his phone throughout the show. I final completely lost it and said something and I was the bad guy, the nut. At Tom Petty 3 guys stood in front of us with their phones on filming and texting continuously. We were not on the floor so no need to stand. I said something and got a "get the fuck out of here old man". At today's ticket prices or at any price it's disturbing. It really ruined both shows.