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Filmspotting Message Boards => Music => Topic started by: MattDrufke on August 28, 2015, 07:56:29 AM

Title: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: MattDrufke on August 28, 2015, 07:56:29 AM
Ok. Quick story about something that happened last night at Billy Joel:

(SET-UP: We're at Wrigley Field. The stage is in deep center field. There are seats all in the outfield. I'm with my girlfriend, her father and his wife. We're in section 223 of Wrigley, which is on the lower level, but pretty far back- maybe 70 rows. We're in the second to last row before the main area of food/beer vendors and exit ramps)

Billy Joel comes onstage and begins with a rocker ("Big Shot"). The crowd is having fun. Everyone in the close outfield seats stand up and begin rocking. Everyone where I am remains seated... except for one woman, about 10 rows down from me. She is in her late twenties (WOMAN A) and (let's call it) dancing: swaying back and forth and waving her arms around. Honestly, if someone made a bad movie that wanted to involve a comedy scene about someone dancing poorly at a concert, it would be this woman. It was laughable what she was doing.

Joel begins his second song, and it's clear that WOMAN A is going to be dancing the whole concert. The people seated directly behind her are clearly getting agitated, so WOMAN B, seated right behind her, clearly asks her if she could just sit down because it's making things hard to see. While I'm not sure exactly what was said, it's clear that WOMAN A said that she would not do that. She tries to go back to dancing, but is now being spoken to by B & B's four rowmates. Finally, A sits down, clearly irate. She spends the next few songs pouting (both in person and on her phone) and glaring back and sharing harsh words with B. (The only sentence I clearly point out is A yelling at B, "Don't say another [expletive]-ing word to me!")

As the night moves on, there are moments when we are all standing (Joel brings out 25 or so members of the military, and we are all on our feet when he closes with "Piano Man" and throughout his entire encore).  But, for most of the show, my entire section (a group of 300 or so) remain seated. There are a few exceptions (two twenty-somes decide to shimmy their way through "We Didn't Start The Fire" & "River Of Dreams"), but not really. This had me looking around the ballpark (specifically the area where people would sit during games) and notice that for the most part people were sitting, except for the rare swathe of people who just did not care. And it made me think about one time when I was in the Riv balcony seeing Ben Folds and I was asked to sit down.

So, who is right? If you're at a concert and everyone around you is sitting, should you remain seated? Or, should you follow your (assumably) alcohol-fueled heart and dance like no one is watching?
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: MattDrufke on August 28, 2015, 08:04:05 AM
My take on it is WOMAN A has to sit down. Don't ruin everyone's view just because you've got the spirit of dance in you.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: verbALs on August 28, 2015, 08:11:37 AM
You gotta get up to get down.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Corndog on August 28, 2015, 08:24:59 AM
Such a tricky question because I think everyone should be entitled to enjoy the concert in their own way within reason, and that includes standing up and dancing. But it's difficult because so many others would prefer to remain sitting and hopefully still be able to see everything. Not really sure there is a right answer in certain settings. That is why I like venues that are General Admission where, if you want to party, you go to the front "pit", and if you want to relax, you hang back on the lawn or balcony if you prefer. I go to quite a few concerts where it is standing only, which takes the question out of it. But with more established artists, the venue is more likely to be a nice theater with seating, or an arena or stadium with seating, making the answer to this question difficult.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: MartinTeller on August 28, 2015, 10:21:33 AM
The answer is C) Go dance in the aisle
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: ses on August 28, 2015, 10:33:37 AM
I get annoyed when the consensus is to sit down and one or two people are up dancing.  Go somewhere like the back or out of the way, where you can dance and not ruin it for everyone else.  If everyone is standing up the whole time, then dance all you want.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: colonel_mexico on August 28, 2015, 10:34:31 AM
Obviously B row has not been to a Mars Volta concert
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: verbALs on August 28, 2015, 10:39:36 AM
Can you stand up at a gig and not dance? Stand still with music playing? Music isn't a spectator sport IMHO.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Jared on August 28, 2015, 10:45:56 AM
In my younger and more vulnerable years I would often find myself somewhat intoxicated at sporting events, and thus I often found myself standing and being loud. If some one asked me to sit down I did. No big deal  8)
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Sandy on August 28, 2015, 11:46:04 AM
Maybe they could divide the friendly confines into sections, like upper deck - glued to your seats, terrace box - intermittent dancing and field box - full on mosh pit!


My observation is if the performer is sitting (Billy Joel's earned that), most of the audience is sitting too. :)
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: verbALs on August 28, 2015, 12:00:04 PM
Intermittent dancing? Is that like robot dancing? You move and then stop for a few seconds? That sounds a bit fascist. Separating the robot dancers. Give em badges in case they try to move!

Maybe they could hand out the mobile number of the people sitting in front of you, when you buy a ticket. You can phone and ask them if they intend to dance at all. You could swap seats! The dancers would slowly drift toward the back!
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: verbALs on August 28, 2015, 12:05:37 PM
It raises another question. Do you know before you go to a gig whether you will definitely dance or not? Do people know they have no intention of moving? Doesn't music move you without you intentionally wanting to dance?
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Sandy on August 28, 2015, 12:10:04 PM
Intermittent dancing? Is that like robot dancing? You move and then stop for a few seconds? That sounds a bit fascist. Separating the robot dancers. Give em badges in case they try to move!

fascism/smashism! It's all free spirited, but intermittent is irregular intervals, so that constitutes awkward dancing, which robot dancing is a sub set.

Quote
Maybe they could hand out the mobile number of the people sitting in front of you, when you buy a ticket. You can phone and ask them if they intend to dance at all. You could swap seats! The dancers would slowly drift toward the back!

 :D

Sounds like a plan. If I were dancing, I'd want to congregate to the other dancers.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Sandy on August 28, 2015, 12:12:11 PM
It raises another question. Do you know before you go to a gig whether you will definitely dance or not? Do people know they have no intention of moving? Doesn't music move you without you intentionally wanting to dance?

I went to a concert once with someone that had no interest in moving or letting the music move him. Such a waste, 'cause it was a fantastic concert.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: verbALs on August 28, 2015, 12:42:15 PM
We'd dance S.  ;D
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Sandy on August 28, 2015, 03:22:45 PM
:))

What was the funnest concert you've been to?



...this is a good question to everyone.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Corndog on August 28, 2015, 03:40:13 PM
Maybe Walk the Moon at The Basement. It was my 4th time seeing them, and each of their concerts is really fun and high energy, but there was just something about the venue that made it awesome. It was right before they hit it real big with "Shut Up and Dance", and The Basement is exactly what it sounds like. This tiny room that packs in maybe 100-200 people if it's lucky. Because it was so small and before they hit it real big, they had no obligation other than to have a great time.

I think my second favorite would be The Lone Bellow, also at The Basement ironically enough. Now, I do have sentiment swaying me to mention this one, as it was my girlfriend and I's first date two years ago. But again, the intimacy of the venue, and the fact that they broke out a 90s R&B cover medley was pretty awesome too. Really passionate, high energy band for they style of Americana Folk Rock too.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Monty on August 28, 2015, 05:30:27 PM
The Bootleg Beatles at The Leadmill, Sheffield. It at Christmas time, I was 18 and had just started working at this company and a bunch of us went on a Christmas booze up around Sheffield and ended up at The Leadmill and the Bootleg Beatles were playing. And they were so CINECASTING good, amazing.

They started of with the mop top stuff and went through the albums complete with costume changes. And they had all the band interplay and all the quotes "Those in the cheapseats clap your hands and the rest just rattle your jewellry." and everything ;D

(http://i.imgur.com/5gbB8P8.jpg)

Desmond Decker played at The Leadmill a week later and he was pretty darn good too!
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: colonel_mexico on August 28, 2015, 06:14:09 PM
A toss up between TMV at the Austin Music Hall or A Perfect Circle at the Frank Erwin Center.  James Iha had long white hair when he jammed with APC.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Bondo on August 28, 2015, 06:14:55 PM
Here's a good standard:

A. Look behind you...is there a seat?
B. If yes, use it. If no, dance away.

A lot of venues I've been at have large areas with no seats and very limited seating. Obviously there shouldn't be an issue here. But if it is a venue with seats, that area is for sitting, unless it is the time when everyone's crying for an encore or giving a standing ovation. Maybe even the first song when everyone's greeting the artist.

On the other hand, I hate standing for long periods of time. One concert I went to involved standing for four hours and then three days later my knee broke (it has been hurting prior to the concert, finally gave after...don't think the concert helped anything). The next concert I definitely got to sit because I was on crutches.
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: pixote on August 28, 2015, 06:16:04 PM
Mumford and Sons started a recent concert by saying, "Stand up if you want to. F--k the people behind you."

pixote
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Sandy on August 28, 2015, 09:39:56 PM
 :D Well, there you have it!



Corndog, I've been on a Lone Bellows jag and am really loving their sound. My favorites so far are You Never Need Nobody (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsnrzr0Bm80#no) and Take My Love (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfsFFtMAA9Q#no). Gorgeous! What a happy memory for you. I'm so glad this concert was your first date!

Monty, of course that was your favorite concert! I can think of nothing more perfect for you, except if I could travel you back in time to July 4, 1966, somewhere along the first base line in Shea Stadium (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVZymDLDeI0#no).

Col., Luckily youtube has concert footage from 2008 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NX0E5EoeFy8#no). Is that when you were there? I recognize Omar and Cedric. :) That's some crazy high energy! I know so little about the band still, but my favorite so far is L'Via L'Viaquez. I know one A Perfect Circle song, so it's my favorite so far too. Weak and Powerless. I also think it may be hard to beat.


Fun evening of music. Thanks for sharing!


Edit! youtube cylced over to APC's 3 Libras. That's a contender!
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: jdc on August 28, 2015, 09:50:08 PM
In general, I prefer to sit in most concerts regardless of how much I may or not move.  I think the most frustrating concert I was at was The Firm (Jimmy Page and Paul Rogers) back in the mid 80s.  It was at the Rosemont Horizon outside of Chicago and we had floor seats.  Buying a scrawny high school kid, everybody else was much taller than I was and stood on the chairs.  For a good part of the show I had to stand on top of the back of the folding chair in front of me and the back of my folding chair to see any of the show.  somehow I managed not to fall and break a leg but back then I would have been sober for the show

I am not likely to really dance at a show, I'm still a little stiff and self concious.


Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: don s. on August 29, 2015, 05:37:37 PM
Was flight not an option?
Title: Re: Concert etiquette 101: To stand or not to stand....
Post by: Corndog on August 31, 2015, 08:51:42 AM
Corndog, I've been on a Lone Bellows jag and am really loving their sound. My favorites so far are You Never Need Nobody (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsnrzr0Bm80#no) and Take My Love (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfsFFtMAA9Q#no). Gorgeous! What a happy memory for you. I'm so glad this concert was your first date!

So happy Sandy! We do really love The Lone Bellow. They are maybe my favorite band to share!