How to Behave at Quiet Shows: Shut Up and Put Your Phone Away

Categories: Music Etiquette

Observer-sigur-ros.jpg
Meagan Puetz
Maybe give the guy a moment, yeah?
Now, we all know concerts, quite aside from genre, come in varying degrees of loudness. There are the kind of gigs (has anyone here seen Unsane?) where, even if you shout as loudly as you can directly into your friend's ear from an inch away, they will not be able to hear a word you're saying, due to the blood trickling from their ears. There are the medium-level gigs, like a pleasant indie band or a rock band that doesn't quite rock, where you can make yourself heard over the din.

Then, there are the quiet gigs, where the stillness is kind of the point of some, if not all, of the music. The sort where if the noise stops, it's an artistic break in the song, not the end of the song. Yet, I find myself more annoyed at these concerts than at almost any other concerts. These are the gigs where the loud, obnoxious idiot really comes into their own. Take a loud, obnoxious idiot (LOI for short) to a Slayer gig, and not only will they be utterly drowned out, if anything they'll add to the overall atmosphere. Take them to a Sigur Ros gig, though, like on Monday night, and they will be a person for whom a new circle of Hell needs to be invented.

See also:
-Sigur Ros at Verizon Theatre, 4/8/13: Review and Photos

It's one thing to shout between songs. One lady at Sigur Ros took it upon herself to shout "I LOVE YOU JONSI!" in between two songs, while the band was changing over instruments. It's quite another thing to shout this a further three times, and then continue to do so while the band are starting up the next song, using a tiny, fragile xylophone, that now had backing vocals provided by a love-struck harpy. Does she expect Jonsi to cast aside his guitar and bellow back "I LOVE YOU TOO, STRANGER! I WAS UNSURE AFTER THE FIRST TWO DECLARATIONS OF LOVE, BUT BY THE FIFTH ONE I WAS SURE THAT YOU ARE THE ONE FOR ME! SCREW AMBIENT ICELANDIC DRONE-ROCK! LET'S MAKE A LIFE FOR OURSELVES TOGETHER! LET THIS BE THE DAY I FOUND MY LOVE, RIGHT HERE IN DALLAS, TEXAS!" I mean, Jonsi's English isn't that good, and he's too classy to say that last bit just for the cheap applause it would no doubt garner, but clearly this is what said lady was aiming for.

Another man decided that breaks within songs, where instruments were clearly holding notes, a common indication that a song is not over, were an excellent chance for him to shout "WOOOOOH!" and thus have everyone be aware of his appreciation for said fragile, quiet held note. Here is a quick guide about how not to be these guys.

Daniel Hart - "How Can Love Be Wrong" from charlyneyi on Vimeo.

Let the man whisper something, for goodness' sake.

• SHUT THE FUCK UP. Nobody wants to hear you. If you are of the opinion that you have something of interest to say really loudly, then you don't have anything interesting to say. If you were even mildly considering shouting "WOOOOH!" during a quiet song, punch yourself in the face until you break your own nose, because you deserve to have to tell the doctor that story.

• Do not interact with your iPhone. It's common sense to not photograph or film these gigs, because everyone around you is trying to have a quiet, peaceful moment, but even if you're bored, try to refrain from getting your phone out constantly to check your Facebook, because the glow of that is just as annoying for everyone.

• The kinds of artists who play these gigs are normally pretty fragile creatures. Try to refrain from booing them. You'll break their little hearts. Give them a hearty round of applause, between songs of course.

• Don't wear bright clothing. That yellow tracksuit you were considering will make you look like a really stupid lighthouse, cutting through the gloom of black clothing. I guess it might make it easier for your friends to find you.

• Mosh pits are not something that should be caused by a mandolin breakdown.

• Conversations are best saved for a moment when the thing you've paid to see isn't happening right in front of you.

• Drink a stout. These kinds of concerts are solely populated by people who prefer stout drinkers. If you know the ABV and some facts about the brewery, you'll probably get laid. Don't ask me why, I'm just an observer.

• Now is not the appropriate time to sing along, unless your singing voice is, well, fantastic. It probably isn't, though.

• If the gig is seated, as such events often are, standing up intermittently for no particular reason is a fantastic way to ensure that those around you are plotting your demise. It doesn't matter how funky that sitar line was, just stay seated. Standing ovations after songs are fine.

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31 comments
garlandsucks
garlandsucks

thats what you get for trying to be cool by going to things like "sigur ros" and "rodriguez", quit being hipster lemmings and like music because you like the music not for the "cool kids" or the hype.  If you go to douchebag shows you will have a douchebag time. dumbasses

MBM99
MBM99

Is this a standard article that DC9 and Rolling Stone and every other music rag trots out whenever one of their hipster columnists has a bad time at show?  I would venture to guess that the only people that read these articles don't exhibit this behavior at shows, so you're really just trolling us so we'll bitch in your comment section.  Don't troll me bro.

Even Ritchie Whitt had more variety to his posts than this constant "How to blah blah blah"  bullshit.

Regards,

Fucking Troll.

Judith Cruz Villarreal
Judith Cruz Villarreal

I had to tell some 2 british men & an asian lady to "shut up, shut the fuck up" at Sigur Ros on Tuesday. they were drunk & kept on talking & laughing so loud. Not long after that another person told them to "keep it down.....please be quiet".

Ken Roberts
Ken Roberts

I do wonder if there would have been less inappropriate woo-ing at the Sigur Rós show if it had been seated. I could have also done without the marijuana smoke, which happened to come from the same backwards ballcap wearing jackasses who were talking through much of the show. Well, only one was literally wearing a cap backwards, but they all were in a figurative sense. Despite that, Sigur Rós was one of the top 4 live shows i've ever attended.

JaimesonPaul
JaimesonPaul

Sigh, the Rodriguez show that I covered back in October proves that age is not a barrier to this type of behavior. The poor opener was talked off the stage, some lady kept yelling "I love you Sixto!!!!" over and over till I shut her up with a "I love you yelling lady."

Remember folks, it's ok to shame idiots, especially at shows that are meant to be taken in.

jonfromtjs
jonfromtjs

actually, yes sigur ros WAS like going to the meyerson.  at its best it was wagner-esque. the DSO should be so lucky.

Matt Lindner
Matt Lindner

It's depressing that this has to be said time and time again, but it's certainly worth saying.

Bryan Coonrod
Bryan Coonrod

unless only 2 people show up to the show that makes it a quiet show..had a singer yell at us one night for being to loud because we were ordering drinks at the bar.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

The Girl you speak of must be the Grand daughter of the girl who who kept yelling Play Take it Easy at the TCCC during the Eagles Hotel California concert back before most of you were born...

Nictacular
Nictacular

"Don't wear bright clothing."

:-(

kathy.eisele
kathy.eisele

thank you.  it is disrespectful to the artist to behave in such a way.  if you want to catch up on what's been going on with your friend for the last 7 years maybe you should call them before the show and chat or go out front.  i'm astounded at the people who pay $$$$ to chit chat with friends and ruin everyone's time.


eric.timmons1974
eric.timmons1974

Any show that happens at Verizon Wireless Theater is not the same as enjoying the symphony at The Myerson! Many people respond to music in different ways and Gavin should probably stop going to live shows if he feels self absorbed enough to pay attention to and judge those around him rather than simply enjoying the show. This story was a waste of megabytes and I lost IQ points simply by clicking on the link.

Anna Trimm
Anna Trimm

Ah, the Girl Who Loved Jonsi and Wanted To Have His BABIIIIEEEEZZZ!!!! I was 3 rows away from her. I told her he was gay, and that she needed to sit down and be quiet. She told me I didn't love Sigur Ros. But she also quit yelling, and wandered out at some point. Drugs are bad, kids. Don't do drugs.

Chad Davis
Chad Davis

I came || close to knocking the phones out of the hands of the two girls in front of us at Sigur Ros who filmed the *entire* show, holding the cameras above eye level. They were even together. One could have shared the show with the other.

doug.robinson
doug.robinson

"Why in my day", we sat in the dark and listened to crickets. "And that's the way it was and we LIKED IT!"

ashlrich23
ashlrich23

@garlandsucks And what if you're attending these shows because you like the music, and not for the cool kids? 

JaimesonPaul
JaimesonPaul

@MBM99 Bringing Richie Whitt into this is the ultimate troll move. Bravo.

cleaver.gavin
cleaver.gavin

@MBM99 Do you think you can write us a blog entitled "How To Spot A Troll" and a follow-up "How To Troll"?

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@eric.timmons1974 That seems harsh. There is no shortage of inconsiderate assholes in public venues. I, for one, enjoy knowing that others feel the same way about these assholes.

garlandsucks
garlandsucks

@doug.robinson its not in my day, its "at my type of shows this bullshit happens very infrequently or not at all", go to bullshit shows and experience bullshit people and happenings

MBM99
MBM99

I think I just did?  Bitching about baiting us to troll while also trolling?  Cut and dry.

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