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Donna Gets it Right ----


Concert Etiquette Versus Drunk in Public

Why do people pay huge amounts of money to see a concert, only to behave like complete idiots in public? I have never understood that.

I was reading something about this very subject just the other day. It brought to mind all of the concerts I've been to in my life, and all of the crazy things I've seen there. I'm sure everyone has their own concert horror stories. Of their own antics, or the antics of others. But this is about how just plain stupid some people allow themselves to get.

I have been to a fair amount of concerts in my day. Rock, country, heavy metal and soft rock. Anyone remotely interested in music knows the difference between each of these types of shows. The only concert where you can't complain about the antics of the concert goers is heavy metal -- what you see is what you get. If you don't like what some metalhead is doing at a show, it's best to just move. Save yourself the trouble and the bail money.

Surprisingly, the people I have complaints about have been at shows by Vince Gill, Chicago, and the Grateful Dead.

The first time we saw Vince Gill was at the Richmond Coliseum; great show with good seats, and luckily no idiots. The second time we saw him was at the Classic Amphitheater on Strawberry Hill, and was a different animal altogether.

Three or four rows in front of us was "Big Pony Tail Lady." And when I say big, I'm not only referring to her ponytail. We had what we thought were pretty decent seats. That was until BPTL decided to stand. Now, we’re talking Vince Gill here. He has a few songs that would maybe require standing and clapping, but not very many. He has quite the repertoire of ballads. During these songs everyone sat. But not BPTL. She stood. And swooned. And screamed the well-known concert standard, "WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!"

OK, Vince is singing “I Still Believe In You”. "WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!" is pointless and stupid. Please stop. She was directly in front of us, swooning and swaying, and (I'm going to quote Olympia Dukakis from Steel Magnolias), "looked like two pigs fighting under a blanket”. I finally had enough and yelled at her and her ponytail to "please for the love of everything that is holy, sit down!" To my surprise, twenty or so people who where also tired of her, clapped and yelled a resounding "YEAH!" I can't tell you what she yelled back at me, but I hope she doesn't kiss her mother with that mouth. She finally sat, right after Vince said "Goodnight, see ya'll next time."

The Chicago concert was where "drunk hungry boy" made an appearance. He was stumbling down each aisle. I couldn't tell if he was actually looking for his seat or if he was just trying to find an empty one. I watched him intently, hoping he wouldn't make to my aisle, and scared of what might happen if he did.

This guy gave new meaning to the word “hammered”. This was a concert by Chicago, mind you, not Judas Priest. But he lit in an empty seat about two rows ahead of me. I watched him swagger, flop down in the seat, shove his hand into an unsuspecting gentleman’s nachos, mumble incoherently, then promptly puke all over himself. Very moving. I have to say though, at least these people usually pass out, and they no longer bother anyone. Except for maybe the smell.

I was told not to expect any trouble at the Grateful Dead show in RFK Stadium. Deadheads are just a bunch of peace-loving hippie types, y’know. Except that most of THESE hippie types were younger than me, high on life and who knows what else. And not everyone was so peace loving. In fact, a bunch of college-aged yahoos were getting drunk and yelling how much the Grateful Dead sucked.

This made no sense. They paid fifty bucks to get into the show and were surrounded by 40,000 faithful followers, so talking smack about the Grateful Dead was poor judgment. They all got the crap kicked out of them. I think I was the only sober person in the entire stadium. I like that, though. Helps me remember how I once behaved, and also keeps me sharp doing what I love best about going to concerts, people watching.

I don't get to many concerts anymore, mostly because getting babysitting for three kids is hard and expensive. But when I do get to attend, I notice that not very much has changed. Most people behave themselves, but there are still those few that feel the need to drink heavily and act stupidly, usually in that order.

Still, they make it fun to watch, as long as it's from a safe distance.

Until next time.....


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