Why I can't go to concerts anymore..or at least rarelly
A few years ago my wife and I swore off concerts after enduring endless fan videos, flash photography, singing, hollering and generalized rudeness. I have found that the smaller the venue and the closer you are to the front, the worse the audience behavior becomes. So we ventured out to two concerts in two years at a large auditorium and sat in the middle to the back. Even then our neighbors could not get off their smart phone videotaping addictions. But last fall I became aware of our favorite singer songwriter, Amos Lee, who would be appearing at the Tampa Theater on March 3. For those who have never been to the Tampa Theater, it is a wonderful historic movie house on Franklin Street Mall in downtown Tampa. Although the acoustics are not great, the venue is intimate the decor is part gothic and part art deco. It seemed to fit Amos's eclectic singing style. I accidentally bought front row seats in my rush to order on-line.
We Ubered it over to Tampa and were getting settled into our seats with popcorn and drinks when the opening act started. I can't remember the guys name but he was good. Unfortunately the audience must have thought they were at a cocktail lounge and kept on talking. I felt bad for the man and he seemed to humbly take it all in stride. After five or six songs there was an intermission and before Amos Lee came out, a security guard warned those of us in the front row that no flash photography or videotaping would be allowed. That did not deter anyone and no enforcement was applied. The worst offender was some woman who just strolled into a front row seat after asking the guard if she could sit there a bit since it was not occupied. He should have said no, (hey I paid top dollar for mine), but he was an agreeable man and relented. She then launched into a non-stop video taping session partially obstructing our view. The guard only took up enforcement duty later when an older drunk man inserted himself between us and the stage and tried to dance. I guess he thought he was at Woodstock.
I suppose this is a cultural phenomenon and we just have to expect public rudeness. People are so self-absorbed anymore that any thought of how their wants and habits might affect others has become extinct. I think it is sad. I probably won't be going to any more concerts soon, unless of course Amos Lee comes back to town.....