Sit. The Fuck. Down.
--Posted by E
Went to a concert last night. Roger Waters
, former bassist for Pink Floyd, performing the entire "Dark Side of the Moon" album as well as a bunch of other Pink Floyd songs and material from his solo career. It could
have been a great show, but there were "problems." Hence the following rant:
I really like Pink Floyd. I think I have all of their studio albums. I even have a weird, Dub instrumental remix CD of "Wish You Were Here" that was done by some confused, stoned fan of theirs who works in that genre. I've been a fan of The Floyd for... yeesh, more than thirty years now. One of my favorite albums of theirs is "Animals." As you may know, it has 3 allegorical songs about animals --intended to draw parallels with the primarily negative characteristics of certain social strata amongst humans. It's a dark, scathing sort of album, filled with cynical commentary on the hierarchical structures of Western Civilization.
So what is it about the song "Sheep" from that album, when you hear the first chords of it during a concert, that makes you jump to your feet, clutching your plastic bottle of Budweiser with one hand, and your timid, submissive-looking girlfriend with the other, and sway back and forth slowly throughout the ENTIRE FUCKING SONG? It's not a love song. It's not a "we live in a world of unicorns and rainbows" song. So what the fuck makes it a "stand up and sway slowly" (out of tempo, I might add) sort of song?
Maybe said concertgoer was raised in the Ukraine, still has only a vague grasp of the English language, and thinks: "Is good song. Remind me of happy time as boy when I herd many sheep for Agricultural Collective in my home town of Gjurdzyk." No other possible explanation makes sense.
Four thousand years ago, give or take a millennia or so, the ancient Romans stumbled upon the architectural concept of the amphitheater. The seats closest to the stage are lower, with the seats gradually rising in elevation the further back they are from the stage. The Romans undoubtedly began constructing their amphitheaters to mimic the advantages provided by natural geological formations that, due to their shape and acoustics, made them excellent locations for performances or public oratory.
The advantage of this, as I said above, is that the natural acoustics are excellent, and all of the patrons have a clear view of the proceedings on the stage. However, all of these advantages are easily negated by individuals standing up --thereby disrupting the line of sight and acoustics for people who prefer to remain in their seats.
Also, the seating arrangement in an amphitheater places one in close contact with one's fellow concertgoers. So when said fellow concertgoers consume more beer in two hours than they have since their frat house days twenty-some years ago, and then spend the ENTIRE FUCKING CONCERT standing and talking (well, yelling actually) during the songs they don't recognize, and "singing", loudly and off-key, during the songs they actually do recognize, it tends to detract from the concert experience of others who are seated or (godammit!) standing around them.
So while I'd like to think that there is a very special circle of hell reserved for child molesters, people who pee on public toilet seats, and concertgoers like those described above, I prefer the idea of, shall we say, a more immediate and visceral
People who stand up during concerts should be disemboweled.
Not later --after some sort of trial or presentation of evidence-- right then and there at their seats. I suggest utilizing roving pairs of large, ruthless men in red windbreakers with rubber gloves and carpet knives, patrolling the aisles, looking for "Standers". If you stand up during a performance, you'd better have just accidentally dumped a hot beverage in your lap or be on your way to the concessions or bathrooms, or else you're gonna spend the rest of the concert whimpering quietly to yourself and trying to stuff your intestines back into your abdomen. I would guess that after attending one or two concerts patrolled by the guys with the red windbreakers with big "D's" on their backs, there would be very little need for belly-slitting on an ongoing basis. Just the presence of the "D-Teams" would be enough to keep things nice and orderly.
I'm not entirely without compassion. I think there are certain concerts (primarily ones that I don't attend) where that standing/dancing crap should be allowed --say, perhaps concerts by Mariah Carey and her ilk, rap groups, "boy bands", that sort of thing. You go to one of those, you know what you're in for. I'm even willing to concede the encore(s) to people who wish to stand --having stood myself during encores to indicate my appreciation to the artist for their performance. Perhaps there should even be areas set aside at venues for people who want to stand and boogie, play air guitar, sing along (without being prompted by the artist to do so), or clutch their significant others and sway --without fear of being set upon by The Disembowelers. It seems only fair since each of us experiences music differently. But those people should be relegated to the areas of the venue with inferior acoustics and sight-lines since, after all, those features seem to be of secondary importance to them anyway. And they should be charged more for admission to those areas. Why? Just Because
Also, of course, if the artist (damn them) actually encourages the patrons to stand during a rousing, up-tempo song or poignant, lighters-in-the-air ballad, the D-Teams will have to stand down --perhaps sitting or facing away from the audience to indicate their off-line status. But when the band switches songs you'd sure as hell better sit down or you're gonna wish you'd brought a whole lot of sterile gauze and a morphine syrette with you.
It's also tempting to make exceptions for numbingly-attractive, scantily-clad, unaccompanied females gyrating singly, here and there, but the criteria by which these particular patrons would qualify for exception would be too difficult to quantify. So, in the interest of fairness, they're gonna have to sit down too. Besides, my wife wouldn't let me look at them anyway.
Okay. I feel better now.