Nadia Elkharadly: Concert Killjoys

Nadia LogoHave you guys been listening to Indie 88 yet? (88.1 on your FM Dial!)  The station launched just a few short weeks ago and has quickly become my favourite radio destinations.  Now that their announcing staff are rocking the airwaves all day and every day, my morning drives are all that much better for having another non shock jock listening option. Along with being inoffensively entertaining, Brian, Matt (of the Russian Futurists) and Candace (formerly of q107) often have some fun questions to pose to their listening audiences, inspiring us to laugh, cry or just think from time to time.  Earlier this week I was driving to work and listening to my new favourite station, and the Indie 88 morning crew had a great discussion going on the topic of show fouls.

Indie 88-1What’s a show foul you ask?  It’s an action, or set of actions, that in essence, foul up a show, or show going experience.  Candace had experienced a fairly typical show foul: the constant talkers.  To what I’m sure was a chorus of knowing nods happening behind steering wheels and near radios everywhere as Candace described having her night a comedy show be disrupted by a pair of overly chatty girls in the row behind her.  And of course knowing that everyone in their listenership has had a similar experience, they opened the phones up to some good old fashioned sharing time.  Since I was observing the safe rules of driving, I wasn’t able to call in to share my similar sob stories.  But of course, going to as many shows as I do, I definitely have a few “types” to contribute to this list, and thanks to this column I have a place to share them!

Loud and Constant Talkers

loudtalkerIn general, talking at shows doesn’t constitute a show foul.  Concerts, while primarily and listening experiences, are also social experiences.  Most people go to concerts with a friend or three, so some chatter is always to be expected.  However, it’s those people that seem to think that they haven’t left their house to go to a concert, that think that they’re in the comfort of their living rooms where loud and obnoxious conversations are perfectly acceptable, that can truly ruin a show for everyone else.  Loud, drunken yelling or rambling, coherent, incoherent, or whatever; it’s rude, it’s annoying and it’s distracting.  Nothing anyone has to say is so important that it can’t wait until between sets, or that can’t be said in a low tone directly into a conversation partner’s ear so as not to disturb the rest of the crowd, or detract from what’s happening on stage.

People on their cell phones THE WHOLE TIME

cellphoneatconcertI freely admit to falling under this category from time to time.  Covering shows constantly means constantly writing reviews, and constantly writing reviews means constantly needing to remember things about the shows I attend.  These things include but aren’t limited to particular songs played, crowd reactions, kicky stage banter, and even just a few words to capture the general mood or vibe of the entire show experience.  I’ve never been someone with a particularly good memory, so my biggest aid in this process is my Blackberry.  The handy “Remember” app lets me write down my thoughts, feelings and reminders in a neat and tidy way, and sine the phone lights itself up it’s head and shoulders above the oldschool notepad and pen method (not to mention that I have TERRIBLE penmanship).  But those people who aren’t working, yet don’t seem to let their phones leave their hands, or their eyes leave those screens truly confuse me.  If you paid good, hard earned money to attend a concert, why not actually ATTEND the concert, by being present and engaged?  I completely understand the need to snap a photo or two, no matter how blurry or grainy they may be.  Even the occasional tweet or facebook post to share your excitement via social media can be acceptable, as long as the phone returns to the pocket or purse from whence it came for the majority of the show. And while an annoying phone screen obstructing other showgoers view may be obnoxious, the latest trend of entire iPads and other tablets being held up for photo or video taking purposes is on a whole ‘nother level of annoying.  Also, the hell? Leave the iPads at home people, and just hang out and have a great time with the rest of us.

The couple that ignores the show to make out the whole time

couplemakingoutWhile I completely understand that great music can be an aphrodisiac, ignoring an entire concert to make out with your date/boyfriend/significant other is a pretty big show foul.  When I saw Mumford and Sons (when they were fall less annoying) at Coachella a couple of years ago, the thing that I remember most, aside from the incredible, goosebump inducing performance, was the couple just over to my left that sucked face during the ENTIRE PERFORMANCE.  I had fought my way through a very tough, very tightly packed crowd to get to that particular spot to watch the show.  It wasn’t right up front, but it was close enough.  So to have a couple be so very oblivious to a performance that so many people had travelled, pushed and shoved their way to see was fairly insulting.  Even in a less intense, non-festival setting, flagrantly disregarding the crowd around you and the act on stage to play tonsil hockey is super irritating.  So while I totally respect getting turned on at a show, save the PDA’s for a time where you can turn the P for public into a VP for very, very private.

Moshing for the sake of it

mosh-pitThe concept of moshing isn’t a new one, but the older I get, the less I care for it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been at a show where the heavy, hard rock vibe is so intense that you can’t help but thrash to the music, but there are been far too many times where guys who don’t seem to care who’s on stage start moshing just to be assholes.  You know those types, the guys that barely seem to know there’s a band playing, who just look around with a mischievous glint in their eyes and then literally start throwing their weight around for the sole purpose of…I really have no idea what.  Along with being super annoying, depending on how drunk or how large said mosher can be this can actually get pretty dangerous.  So keep the moshing to a minimum, it’s not the nineties, and we’re not teenagers any more.

Those people who looked bored and miserable

kirsten-stewart-boredThis is probably the worst show foul anyone can commit.  Unless you’re having the very very worst of bad days, there is no reason for you to look like you’re being tortured because you’re at a live show.  For most people going to a show is a fun and entertaining way to spend a few hours.  Having a sourpuss in your immediate vicinity can be a total buzzkill.  No one’s forcing you to be at that show, so if you’re not having a good time, leave, and take your buzz killing bad mood with you.  (fun fact – when you google image “bored and miserable” Kristen Stewart’s picture comes up with alarming frequency.)

Share your worst show fouls below in the comments!




Nadia’s column appears every Wednesday

Contact us at:

DBAWIS ButtonNadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.

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One Response to “Nadia Elkharadly: Concert Killjoys”

  1. VonRiesling Says:

    Last week a row of slightly drunk chatty women behind me at the Greek Theater made me wonder if they just don’t understand the difference between a concert and a club.

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