I went to the Hollywood Bowl last night to see the most awesomeness that is TV on the Radio and Massive Attack.
Concerts aren’t really my scene because I don’t do well in crowds but I’ve been trying to do some work at being more open to live experiences.
Last night we arrived early, had a great dinner of cheese, bread, veggies, nuts and wine as the sun set. The venue didn’t fill up until well after the opening act, Gang Gang Dance was done and TV on the Radio was jammin’ away. At that point a group of three filed in behind us (ousting the squatters that had moved over about a half an hour earlier into their then vacant position).
They then proceeded to be noisy in so many disrespectful ways, but I figured they were already trashed and they’d either calm down or get bored and leave. Instead, after checking her voice mail messages on her cell phone and then calling people and asking them to guess where she was, the Brit (yes, she kept announcing that she was from England so I feel free to call her that) decided that she wanted to play a game and kept prodding her friends for something they could do to pass the time.
They tried to start a game of “I Never” but she was having trouble with the rules and that was dismissed in favor of starting up a conversation with the couple next to them about what they kept in their cooler. She convinced the woman to take her photo (even though she explained that it was a long lens meant for taking shots very far away).
Now, I’m sensitive and easily annoyed, but people two rows away and five seats down were turning around and telling them to shut up. It wasn’t until the third or fourth song on Massive Attack’s set that The Man finally turned around and told them if they wanted to talk they should go elsewhere. To which the male in the trio responded that “this wasn’t the cinema!” As if the transient nature of this performance meant that it was more than okay to spoil it for the rest of us. (Then I let my peeved nature get the better of me and flashed some photos of them. I mean, they wanted photos taken of them by a complete stranger earlier, why am I any different? Of course now I know that I can’t be posting them anywhere and I really hate myself for giving into tit-for-tat feelings of revenge.)
They then spent the rest of the concert leaning forward and actually screaming inane things at each other. “Can you see okay?” “Oh yeah!” “I love this song!” and of course lots a lots of “Whoo!” and “Yeah, Baby!” Then getting up and moving around and “accidentally” bumping me.
In then end, I just can’t bring myself to go back to the Bowl … and it’s not the Bowl’s fault, but really, what are we supposed to do? Call the usher? Just as they spoiled part of the concert for me, they seemed to take special delight in turning the concert experience into an opportunity to bully the people around them.
(I hate to say it, but the Willy Nelson crowd was awesome two weeks ago, sure they were smokin’ more weed and hooting a lot too, but they were engaged in what was going on onstage and it felt more like a shared experience.)
Is there a brilliant, witty retort that actually shuts people up? Do I need to flash some sort of badge to silence them? What do you do in these situations?