Concert Fouls No. 15, 27 and 64: Because, Sometimes, It's The Venue That's To Blame...

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As we've noted in recent weeks, there are a good bit of things that a live-show patron can do to keep other concert-goers from enjoying a given show. All too often, these things are carried out with an air of obliviousness that's probably just as offensive as the actual concert foul itself is.

In certain cases, however, it's the venue that screws things up.

Yes, it's true. For the most part, these fouls are committed with a great deal more innocence than the ones that have been brought to DC9 thus far. But these issues are still preventable for the most part. And, most importantly, the blame still lays at the attitudinal feet of the concert-goer, not the venue themselves.

Of course, even if certain variables make a foul almost impossible to prevent, that doesn't make any less of a foul. In that vein, we look at three issues we have with certain area concert venues after the jump.

The smoking section at the entrance of the Granada Theater, the Kessler Theater and the House of Blues: This one is by far the most innocent of the bunch, and far be it from us to proffer sermons against lighting up. Hey, sometimes a brother (or sister) just needs a smoke. But given that many of this area's top rooms have their outdoor smoking sections located at the main entrance to the building, a couple of issues present themselves at each and every show in said venues. For example: You're at a highly-anticipated, heavily attended concert at The Kessler, the House of Blues or the Granada Theater and the show's not quite started, so the outer area of the entrance is more populated than the inside of the venue at that time. To gain entrance into the building, one must plow through a fog of musty cancer clouds before walking in, and, of course, re-enter the monolithic death dust when leaving for the night. Again, only so much can be done about this; the buildings are designed the way they are, and people have the right to smoke as much as people have the right not to. It's just an unappetizing way to begin, or to end, a great show. Thankfully, there are plenty of places where non-smokers aren't made to be greeted and good-nighted with a Surgeon General's warning label.

The televisions being left on during sets at The Loft: This one is where the venue and many of the patrons share the blame pretty equally. This past November at The Loft, the French-Canadian outfit Plants & Animals were working their way through an enjoyable, if slightly over-earnest, opening set for Frightened Rabbit. Meanwhile, Your Texas Rangers were on the verge of winning a key playoff game against the hated Yankees. Since the many flat-screen televisions surrounding the small room were showing the game, many of the folks there were watching the innings pass closer than they were the band performing. Watching the game is one thing, but when the cheers and high-fives began to take over the room -- and drown out a performance in the process -- it's embarrassing. In an understandable display of frustration, the band's very French-sounding lead guitar player pleaded with the venue's personnel to turn the television off and for the attendees to enjoy the show that he likened to a "first date with Dallas." A similar embarrassment occurred a couple of Saturdays ago when The Sons of Bill were in the middle of their set-closing song while opening for Roger Clyne. As the band worked through a moving version of their signature tune "Joey's Arm," the televisions behind the bar near the stage showed Josh Hamilton crank a walk-off homer. As jubilant cheers and raucous shouts of "Yeah, BABY!" made their way to the attention of lead singer James Wilson, it was hard not to feel bad for the young band. In a good-natured, but I'm-really-serious-even-though-I'm-acting-like-I'm-joking kind of way, Wilson chided the crowd and made sure they knew that he knew they weren't paying attention. I'm a sports fan, but again, such a display was embarrassing. I love seeing shows at The Loft. I think that the folks there know how to put on a really great show. And, hey, that room has perhaps the best smoking section in all of north Texas, thanks to their outdoor patio deck's striking view of downtown Dallas. Here's one tip, though: When a band is playing, turn the televisions off. That way, the people that care more about a ballgame are forced to exit the room and go to the Jack Daniel's Saloon downstairs.

The Chatty Cathy's By The Bar In The Back Of The House of Blues: Nah, never mind. That one's too easy and is way too lost of a cause.
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17 comments
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todd
todd

Half of what's wrong with this world is people who don't know how to behave in public.  The other half is all of you, telling all of us, that we do not know how to behave in public. 

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

Anyone who thinks Dallas crowds are not chatty are part of the problem.

Darryl
Darryl

Another case of the granada doing it right. In the lobby, the tv shows the rangers game so folks like me can sneak out of the main room and catch the score. never liked the tv in the mainroom at the loft. they should wall off that bar a bit more and just show the game there. never had a problem with the smokers in front of the granada either. they kind of add an old school ambiance to the prefab fakery of most of greenville avenue. but all agree abut folks talking during shows. it used to be the worst thing about shows at the gypsy tearoom. remember ryan adams throwing a hissy fit about the talkative dallas crowd?

Stanley Steamer
Stanley Steamer

people don't go out to just see shows, people go out to be entertained. If the venue wants to get people out to their shows during playoff season, they've got to show the game. I thought a chief part of being a good journalist was knowing your audience. Which whether you like or not, are in larger part a bunch of crazy Texan, sport nuts. Would you rather have people not come to the show if they're going to going to watch the game? If that's the case, the venue loses money, the band loses money, yada yada yada.

just to clarify, I read this blog frequently and don't mean to insult your work, I see your point and it's a good one. But this lament is like yelling at a cat for scraching up a couch. The cat doesn't really get it and neither do drunk sports fans and smokers outside venues.

The Pop Music Girl
The Pop Music Girl

Stop being so close-minded, Stanley.  We're not all sports enthusiasts.  In the case of The Loft, for instance, this is a group of people who have paid money to attend a music concert.  The sports fans can easily watch the game elsewhere.  The concertgoers can only attend that event at one place in town, and they've paid money to do so.  Therefore, it makes perfectly good sense to keep the sports TVs off during the concert so as to not distract the paying crowd, nor the performers. 

MattL1
MattL1

If someone's going to be watching a game and cheering during a concert, then I wouldn't want them at the show.  It's incredibly rude to the artists and audience.

Also, there's a difference between knowing your audience and writing so that they agree with you every time.  Writing often involves knowing your audience and challenging them on some of their bad practices.  

LaurenR
LaurenR

Very true about the loft! You don't go to a concert to watch a game, it really doesn't make any sense. And is very disrespectful to the band who is working hard to entertain the people who actually came to enjoy their music.

Alex the Musk Ox
Alex the Musk Ox

Sounds like you need to be attending an opera instead of a rock show, you wuss.

matt
matt

watched the mavs win before the black angels and it was no big deal

Kevin John Gilhooly
Kevin John Gilhooly

Why do people pay good money to go and try to talk over a band? Wouldn't it be easier to just go somewhere else that didn't have entertainment?

Jim
Jim

Stupid coked up beeatches and douchers can't shut their mouths no matter where they happen to be.

MattL1
MattL1

Agree 100% on the TV thing.  If you want to watch the game, don't go to the damn concert.  You can't do both, as one will necessarily take a back seat to the other (usually the band to the game).  It's incredibly rude to the band, and you're essentially paying a substantial cover to watch something you could see for free anyplace else.

There's not a lot that can be done about the smoking thing, especially at older venues that have no room to expand their outdoor spaces.  

As for the back bar at HOB, they should just seal it off and make it the smoking area.  2 birds, meet one stone...

unfair
unfair

The Loft does it right.  They put their patrons first.  If their is a hugely important and locally relevant game on like during the Mavs playoff run, they will keep the tvs on and try to structure the set times so that the main act goes on after the game's conclusion.  One can position themselves to see both band and game, and should have the restraint to not let out a vocal cheer mid-song. Fist pumps are perfectly acceptable at any time and can take the place of racuous cheers.  Sorry but you are dead wrong on this one.  The faux pas you are describing is 100% on the concert goer, not the venue.  

Music Lover
Music Lover

*there.

And I disagree with you.  Do you want to see a concert or a game?  I personally prefer concerts, and don't really care much about sports.  So I don't want my evening ruined by people screaming over a band I might have gone to see.  

Kelly D
Kelly D

Sorry, while not the case with the recent show, Plants & Animals went on stage with every TV on in the room. The Loft provided the fans the chance to interrupt the concert. That's not cool, period.

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