Flip Flop Flying

Concert improvements pt.3

with 14 comments

Tall people, clappers, and now… me.

This is one major improvement that could happen at concerts. I could have a better attitude. I need to stop getting annoyed by other people. I need to relax more. And I need to stop wanting to go home after a few songs. Last night, we went to see Antony and the Johnsons. It was in the Volksb├╝hne, a very nice sit-down theatre type of place, so all of Berlin’s beautiful people were out in force for Berlin’s, ahem, hot ticket.

I was looking forward to it, and I was quite enjoying it. But I was tired, it was hot. My mind kept wandering: the new Batman and Robinson tenth episode … the work I’m doing this week … that story about the weather that I want to do … if I look over the top of my glasses then through my glasses, back and forth, the spotlights go blurry clear blurry clear blurry clear … hmmm, that guy next to me, when he’s tapping his foot, his leg’s rubbing against mine … oooh, and now he’s whistling VERY LOUD and very close to my ear instead of clapping … ooh look, that bloke down there’s got a beard, too, he looks like my mate Johannes … argh, that couple who sat in someone else’s seats during the break are pissing me off … must stop mind wandering, Craig, enjoy the music … hey, can’t see much of Antony, no lights on him and his hair’s all covering his face … I’m a bit bored … oh, but this song is good … the exit signs are bright … who invented the sound “woo” as an appreciation call? … can I go home soon? … please, no encore, please! … okay, just do one song … thank you.

I need to learn how to just enjoy myself and stop my brain. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time for me to be at a quiet sit-down show. As Hanni said afterwards, it’s the sort of music that’s more enjoyable on your own, anyway. There was one exceptionally lovely moment, though, when he asked the crowd to hum a one note drone to accompany him. (I, of course, was way too self-conscious to hum along.) The sound of several hundred hummers was wonderful, and the first time I’ve heard group-humming since my school days.

Aaaah, concerts; will I ever truly enjoy thee?

Written by Craig

June 20th, 2005 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

14 Responses to 'Concert improvements pt.3'

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  1. It might not be you. It might just be that a lot of the bands out there just don’t cut the mustard live. I’m going to see U2 for the first time in August and I really hope that they don’t let me down. There are conflicting reports depending on the acoustics so worry, worry me.

    I quite like Antony and the Johnsons, too but I’m tall so you wouldn’t like me.

    Rousing noisy music that’s what you need. So loud that you are unable to think. The Manics back in April, now they were LOUD.

    George in Grasse

    20 Jun 05 at 12:33

  2. I have the same problem. Even with bands I am so excited about I can’t contain myself for the week before. I get there and everything is a distraction. Then I just get mad at myself for how ridiculous and shallow the things that tend to distract me are: bad perfume, bad cologne, trying to place accents, personal space issues, etc. I used to do the glasses thing because the lights would bloom into these gorgeous snowflake-like things, but now I wear contacts so they are once again just lights.


    20 Jun 05 at 17:54

  3. Well I get irritated by people moshing (most useless non-dancing ever) and heckling too. Also, I’m going to see Antony & Johnsons in a week here in Bristol! I’m realllllllly excited, hope its good and not full of annoying people !


    20 Jun 05 at 21:14

  4. I’m going to see U2 soon, too. The last time I saw them was 18 years ago. O! how old I feel typing that.

    You have my empathy, Becki. It doesn’t matter how much I want to see a band, I can’t bring myself to ever desire an encore.

    And moshing. Yes, as a glasses-wearer, I’ve never really been into that. Heckling is definitely bad. And shouting out the names of songs is another of my pet peeves. How often have you heard of a band who suddenly change their set-list cos some dork in the audience bellows “Tainted Love!” or whatever. I hope you enjoy Antony, Hannah.


    20 Jun 05 at 22:32

  5. i’m the same at not being able to concentrate on gigs and then getting annoyed at myself. especially if i’ve paid a lot of money for a ticket (although it never happened for Brian Wilson or the Pixes). not sure it’s cos of the band though.

    also, i really can’t enjoy a concert if i know the person who i’m with isn’t liking it.

    James William Kendall Formerly Of Lincoln City

    20 Jun 05 at 22:51

  6. I think there’s more of us like that than you think. If it’s a stand-up concert, I usually just think ‘I’m hot’ and ‘the queue for the toilets is longer than the queue for the bar, and I only want some water’ and ‘now I’ve had three beers becuase it was easier and I really need the toilet’.
    At sit-down concerts I worry that people near me are annoying other people near me, when obviously they’re just annoying me.
    At the moment, I’m typing this getting annoyed by a couple sat outside on a balcony near me. She sounds far too young to be going out with him, but if she’s his daughter, what’s she doing up so late and being so matey with her Dad?


    21 Jun 05 at 00:40

  7. I’m glad I’m not alone.
    Actually, James, thinking back, I was the same during Brian Wilson and the Pixies, I was completely enjoying both of them. Apart from the second time I saw Brian Wilson, when there was a guy behind me singing along a bit too much for my liking.

    I once had a neighbour who was a very lovely chap. We shared a balcony that was divided by a wooden fence. When he said he was happy I didn’t use the balcony much, I became incredibly self-conscious when I did use the balcony, as I could always hear everything he said on his balcony. Even if he was alone, I could here the clinking of glass on table or the in- and exhaling of cigarettes, and the near-silence made it even worse.


    21 Jun 05 at 08:47

  8. erm, haha funny you should mention that Craig, I just met Brian Wilson. In the flesh. He was awesome, much more together than I expected, told the odd gag, got really enthusiastic when someone mentioned Paul McCartney and said he didn’t care what the other Beach Boys thought of Smile because his new band were much better


    21 Jun 05 at 22:46

  9. Dave – if that’s your real name – i got your sms earlier. i was skillfully avoiding replying, but you just had to mention it again, huh?
    I thought I’d be more jealous than I actually am. I’m not sure I want to meet my hero. Glad you had fun, though.
    And Brian knows shit: the Beach Boys’ Smile is 10x better than his and his new band’s version.


    22 Jun 05 at 01:51

  10. Moshing’s great. I first got into music in the punk era and still love all that pogoing stuff.
    As a glasses-wearer I have worked out the solution: take them off. You are closer to the stage so you don’t need them anyway. And you won’t be wearing tight jeans ‘coz they’re so uncool.

    George in Grasse

    22 Jun 05 at 16:11

  11. I used to enjoy gigs without ever noticing the others there. However, since we’ve been going to as many gigs a month as possible, my other half’s intolerance has rubbed on to me. May I add to crap clapping, my main annoyance of talking through the songs. In fact, not so much talking but shouting to be able to he heard, not thinking that everyone else around you will hear you when perhaps they actually paid good money to hear the band instead?


    22 Jun 05 at 17:39

  12. It does amaze me sometimes how much chatter goes on at concerts. Surely there can’t be that many bored music biz people there.


    22 Jun 05 at 19:05

  13. Went to see Antony at the QEH as part of Patti Smiths Meltdwon Fest. Not only did I have to put up with the usual distractions (squeaky leather seats, should I go to the loo and risk missing the best bit etc….) but I also had your blog rattling thru my thick noggin, and so was thinking about the idea of being distracted all the time. Which is even more distracting.


    27 Jun 05 at 14:26

  14. Antony at the QEH for Meltdown was probably my second favourite show of the year (I’m afraid nobody – nobody – will topple Arcade Fire).
    The cover of Leonard Cohen’s The Guests was spellbinding. The sound was crystal sharp. Moreover, it didn’t seem to have any airs of self-importance either, which I was worried about. He needs to do something about getting a better handbag though …

    Ian Mac

    28 Jun 05 at 15:26

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