The Concert Goer

Normally I’ll be posting about conversations overheard, intentionally and sometimes not, instead of posting about something I didn’t want to hear, or wished I hadn’t heard. Normally. Here, for this, my first post, I’ve made an exception. Read on…

Setting: Keller Auditorium, Portland, Oregon, during the Swell Season concert.

Subject: A woman sitting in the row behind us.

Sometimes you aren’t trying to hear anything, you just do. You can’t help it. You even try not to listen and you still can’t help it because she’s there. You try to concentrate on other things, block her out, ignore her. It’s impossible.

You know her. We all do. Though sometimes it’s not a her, it’s a him and honestly I don’t want to prejudice this piece by saying it’s always a woman, it isn’t. In this particular case though, it was a her. She was enthusiastic, she was very present in the moment, she was paying attention, and she was annoying. When we were asked to whistle along, she whistled with all the heart she could muster. When we were asked to sing a verse over and over, she did, and even when the band, and the rest of us, had moved on, she kept singing the verse, as if it was a life preserver and the ship was going down. She was not easily going to give up that preserver. Damn it, it was hers! When we clapped, she clapped louder. When a song was over, she yelled her appreciation. When someone on stage said something funny, you could hear her laughter ringing around the auditorium. Or at least, that’s what it seemed like. Maybe it was just my ears ringing…. hmmmm… could’ve been.

At one point I wondered, can the band hear her? Probably not, but then again, we were only in the first balcony. Not that far away. Yes, it could’ve been possible. I think she thought they could hear her and she wanted them to know she was having a good time. Because, she was most definitely having a good time. Yeah for her.

I tried to get a good look at her after the show was over, but as I peered over my shoulder she leaned over to hug the person standing next to her. She was, apparently, overcome by her experience and exhausted after the two hours she’d put in singing, whistling, clapping, and whoo hooing. Sadly, I was never able to catch a glimpse.

I never have a problem with people who are very into joining in and getting involved. To me it usually signifies a person who knows how to have fun and is not so uncomfortable with themselves that they can’t let go and get into it. I really, actually, enjoy those people. Unless… yes, here’s the unless part, they never give it a break and, and this is a big and, they are a bit too loud. So loud they overshadow what’s happening on stage so that sometimes you can’t hear the band over the fan. That was her.

I will give her credit, she sang, for the most part, on key. She had moments when she strayed off the note, but mostly… not too bad. It’s just that, and this is the point for all you enthusiastic fans out there, we wanted to hear the band, that’s why we paid for the tickets and went to the show. We didn’t pay to hear her…. as much as it seemed that she might have thought otherwise. So listen up all you participators out there. Join in, get into it, and have as much fun as humanly possible singing along all you want… just do it at a respectable level. Do it with regard to those sitting around you. You aren’t alone in the auditorium with the band. There are sometimes thousands of other people with you, who themselves want to have as much fun as humanly possible… listening to the band they came to see. Not listening to you.

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