June 19, 2009

In better shape than the Phoenix Coyotes

I haven't always been Phoenix's biggest fan - I tend to associate them with their "weirder" stuff from the 'Lost in Translation' soundtrack. which gets me thinking about nepotism, and how their songs were on that album because the lead singer's married to the movie's director, Sofia Coppola, and eventually I wind up getting mad at Francis Ford Coppola for giving us Nicolas Cage - but over the last few weeks, in preparation for their concert on June 18 at the Paradise, I've been studying up. And I like what I hear - it's upbeat without being too sugar poppy, and there's some really addictive percussion (keyboard counts as percussion, right?). Their new, wicked highly acclaimed album 'Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix' gives me some of what I love about Delta Spirit - music you just have to move along to - and also a slight tinge of Modest Mouse, maybe?

Anyway, I'm clearly not a music critic, and I couldn't tell you what most of their songs are called, but it was a good time. HOWever, they were also guilty of two of my biggest concert pet peeves:
  • A backdrop advertising their new album
  • A reserved area for family & friends, way too large for the amount of people there, and filled with chatterboxes who couldn't be paying less attention to the music that the rest of us spent good money to get in to see.
It's just so not necessary. What else do I hate at shows? Well, funny you should ask, I just happen to have made a list. Aside from the pretty unavoidable (ticket fees, wrist bands that pull at your arm hair, overpriced beer and when the band doesn't play my favorite song), here are the things I really can't stand:
  • When, un-beckoned by a band member, people clap along to the music.
  • All forms of canoodling by fellow concert-goers.
  • People who yell out requests for obscure songs from the band's unreleased first EP to prove how they're such big fans.
  • When the band makes zero attempt to interact with the audience at all (I'm talking to you, Jack White).
  • The lingerers who stand exactly two inches behind you just waiting for you to make any move that might let them step closer to the stage. Seriously, if I can feel your breath, you're too close.
  • People who don't turn off their digital camera screens.
How nitpicky am I being? I'm curious about the rest of the world - what really gets on your nerves when you're at a show?


My Irish is Up said...

Some of these are in the "unavoidable" category, but if I'm gonna rant, I'm not going to edit myself.
1. I agree about the "family and friends" but here in the desert most of the venues are owned by the casinos which are owned by the Native Americans. Which is fine. Except they give free tickets, down front, to dozens and dozens of people who don't even know who is playing (but it's a free ticket, so I'm gonna show up and talk on my cell phone and shout out to my friend three rows back and ten seats over until she hears me.)
2. What is it with tall people and their need to always sit right in front of short people like me? Geez, the nerve.
3. Middle aged (and older) women who a) show WAY more skin than anyone wants to see, while they b) stand up and shake their booty so everyone seated behind them can see no one on stage, but every milkshake she has ever eaten, wigglin' and jigglin'.
4. "Convenience" fees. Whose convenience might I ask? I'd gladly be inconvenienced enough to walk to my mailbox for $7.50 (or more) per ticket.
5. Overproduction. Geez gang -- we like your music on the radio and coming out of our IPOD's and we can't see you at all. So why do we need strobes, fireworks, and lasers when we come to HEAR you in person. Crap, we're all so far from the stage it could be Pee Wee Herman up there for all we know, so we sure would enjoy hearing you more without all the phony pyrotechnics.
5. Bathrooms - swine flu,regular flu, viruses, etc., you are going to charge us this much money and run out of soap and paper towels? Every bathroom should have a full time attendant there to keep them clean and stocked.
6. At music festivals -- for goodness sake, spread out the venues and do some creative scheduling so the artists playing wonderful Bluegrass aren't being drowned out by Carrie Underwood trying to entertain the troops in Iraq all the way from Indio, without a phone line.
7. A great performance does not become better as it gets louder. A good performance only sounds worse when it gets louder. A bad performance becomes more and more unbearable the louder it gets. In other words, louder is not better.