Freebird!

Sean and I went to see Wilco at the Greek with a couple of friends on Saturday night, and if you don't know what the Greek is, it's this wonderful outdoor amphitheater on the Berkeley campus; probably the best place you can ever see a show. From the grassy bit at the top you can see the Golden Gate Bridge if you squint, which is something, at least, because you can hardly see the band. Sitting any closer, however, requires a level of dedication to concert-going that I just don't have anymore; my days of showing up early, standing for hours, and delicately stampeding my way to the front using nothing but a wily smile, an apologetic elbow in the ribs, and a well-timed faint are long over, it seems. Just give me a picnic blanket on the grass and a pair of binoculars. Then pour me a hearty dose of prune juice and fetch my cane!

Have you ever noticed, by the way, how many total assholes attend outdoor concerts? I'm sorry for the indelicate language, but there's no other way to say it. Slice it any way you want, but the vast majority of the world's jerks seem to be present and accounted for at any decent live music venue. And wouldn't you know it, they all sit by me.

I mean, it's true, right? Give yourself a point for any of the following you've ever encountered at a concert. (And I'll just go ahead and give myself a point for all of them right now.)

* The couple who talk the entire way through the show. These people didn't come to watch the music, they came to have a chat. The music, for them, is just a background distraction, kind of like a jukebox at a bar. These people will natter on, right behind you, for the entire concert, and by the time it ends, you will know all about why Karen cheated on Dave, that lying scumbag, don't you think he deserved it? Well, sure, but didn't he also hook up with Stacy once? Well, yeah, I guess so, but----wait, why are people turning around and glaring at us? Repeatedly?

* The dude who sings along. He knows the lyrics and he wants you to know he knows the lyrics. Hear him singing those lyrics? He knows them, you know! Did you know that? Can you hear him singing along to them? Never mind, he'll just sing along to them LOUDER!

* The dude who takes it even further than singing along. I once stood next to a man at a Counting Crows concert (alright, come on, it was the 90s) who spoke along with the spoken bits. No kidding. It was like Masterpiece Theatre in stereo.

* The dude who plays air drums. Oh man, can't you feel the beat?

* The dude who stands there with one arm raised above his head, fist clenched, pumping it occasionally. I'm going to go ahead and assume that this guy has a hard time getting dates. Also, experiencing any kind of emotion without four shots of Jagermeister. Right now, though? Right now, this guy is feeling awesome, man! Wooooh! Who's going to the Alpha Phi party when this is done?

* People who are too cool to participate in group clapping. If a bunch of people start clapping to the beat around me, I can always, always, always be counted on to join in; I'm moved by an entire stadium clapping in time in ways I can't fully express. You, however, watching the whole thing contemptuously with your hands folded neatly in your lap? I bet you also wear your sunglasses inside the airport and pretend you just forgot to take them off.

* The dude in the fedora. This guy always sits in front of me. Always. 

An honorable mention should probably also go to the idiots who show up almost dressed alike because no-one thought to check with the other before they left the house. Whoops!

1
Teej
Jun 28, 2009

Is that you wearing cute tennies with jeans? Look at you embracing the tennies with jeans! Well done. (If I recall correctly, this was once an issue.)

I'm with you all the way, re: Guy Who Sings Along and Guy Who Won't Clap. The first one is understandable but annoying; the second is impossible to understand. How can a crowd of people, doing ANYTHING positive in unison, not bring a person to near tears?

(Quick: Add Girl Who Cries During Group Clapping to your list of annoying.)

2
Teej
Jun 28, 2009

Wait. That's not you guys in the photo. Or is it?

3
Chloe
Jun 28, 2009

Oh man, I must have the exact same magnet. I always get the weirdos around me, and typically they're 6'2" and insist on standing (or sitting) RIGHT infront of me and all of my 62 inches. It never fails. Husband cracks up every time it happens.

My biggest pet peeve at concerts now are the people who yammer on their cell phones all throughout it. And of course, they have to yammer loudly 'cuz the music is loud and the person they're trying to talk to can't hear them because they're at a music concert where there's loud music, duh. I mean, maybe if the music is so loud you can't hear who you're talking to that's a hint THAT YOU SHOULDN'T BE ON YOUR FREAKING PHONE. But the hint is never taken. Sigh.

4
Daisy
Jun 29, 2009

I have the asshole magnet too. In clubs, that translates to the following:
(1) drunk guy who dances around with his beer sloshing out of his cup must spill on my shoes
(2) horny drunk couple without any rhythm who just met must hump right behind me and whack into me repeatedly with their off beat gyrations

At music venues, the magnet attracts all of the suspects you named, as well as the obligatory tall jerkwad who decides that standing in front of me and blocking my view is okay. Like Chloe, I'm exactly 62" tall, so when you're 6'2" AND wearing a big weird hat, it's just rude to shove past me and then park yourself in front of me.

The talkers drive me absolutely nuts. Ages ago, I was at a bar in San Diego and the drunk talking people were at the table next to me. They seemed to be on a first date based on their topics of conversation. This girl was yammering on and on and on nonstop. I, on the other hand, was trying to listen to the band. Because the band was playing, this meant that their conversation was held at shouting level. About half an hour into her solioquy, she yelled to her date, "OMIGAWD, THAT GIRL LOOKS JUST LIKE JEWEL! BUT WHY WOULD JEWEL BE HERE?"

My boyfriend and I rolled our eyes at each other because it was, in fact, Jewel, and she had been introduced by the band when she came onstage to do a song with them.

Drunk chatterbox then turned to us and yelled, "DOESN'T THAT GIRL LOOK JUST LIKE JEWEL?"

I said, "Probably because THAT IS JEWEL." Which she would have known if she hadn't been blabbing without pause for the last forty minutes.

If people just want to hang out, that's cool with me. Just don't come to a music venue and talk the entire time. I don't get why people would pay $40+ to see a concert and then NOT LISTEN TO THEM.

5
ellbee
Jun 29, 2009

The last concert I went to was to see Weezer at a small arena. We had tickets in the seats, and our not-obviously-pregnant friend spent most of the ENTIRE concert fast asleep. And I sing along. And my husband is 6' 7" and it doesn't matter WHO he stands in front of because no one can see around him anyway. Sorry to anyone in the Denver area last fall... we were totally THOSE people.

6
Patty
Jun 29, 2009

UGH the talking people! I get them every time! And I've only seen Wilco at indoor venues (with assigned seating. lame) so it's not like I could get up and walk away from them.

My sister-in-law had the WORST experience ever at a concert a couple nights ago. Some guy standing by her kept spilling his beer on her so she turned around, cupped her hands around the beer and told him to stop spilling on her (in her tiny little voice)" and he was all, "If you ever touch my beer again, I'll kill you."

WTF?!

7
Megan
Jun 29, 2009

Like the couple who comes to chat, let's not forget the couple that comes to MAKE OUT. Because making it to first base to Death Cab's "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" is SO much better live.

Sigh.

8
SoniaBonia
Jun 29, 2009

Is there a spot for the person that can't stop jumping up and down for the duration of the concert because I know that annoying and um...Its usually me.

9
Amy
Jun 29, 2009

How many points do I get for witnessing the teenage couple who made out while rolling around in their own vomit? Because sadly, I have seen that.

10
edj
Jun 29, 2009

What about the people who feel the music more deeply than any of us plebs, and who groove, with each other, in a humping way that makes you feel gross just for being there?

I, too, am 62 inches, but I've found since living in Africa that Americans can rarely cut me anymore. Amateurs!

11
Mallory
Jun 29, 2009

Add to those: man who rushes stage at small, acoustic Wilco show.

I cannot stand the loud singers or God forbid, the cell phone talkers.

12
Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 29, 2009

Yes, Teej, that is our feet in the picture. We pretty much dressed exactly like!

13
soul-fusion
Jun 29, 2009

The guy who spills beer is the worst. I'm like a magnet for the jerk who can't keep his beer in the cup.

14
whoorl
Jun 29, 2009

Dustin and I are going to see Andrew Bird at the Greek in LA, which is so lovely and purdy and well, I CAN'T WAIT.

(Please don't let any of the above mentioned sit around me.)

15
Vampy Varnish
Jun 29, 2009

I haven't been to the Greek for an eternity. I think last time I went was for Soundgarden in the 90's and they actually sounded really crappy there. Did my high school graduation at the Greek (Berkeley High). Must have been great weather!

I was in SF this weekend in GG Park and MAN the weather was just perfect!

16
Caroline
Jun 29, 2009

Everyone in your photo is sitting the same way : )

17
kat
Jun 29, 2009

oh how i heart the greek. what a great concert venue. um and let's add the guy who spills beer on your feet b/c that's happened to me more than once.

18
Todd
Jun 29, 2009

What about the guy who's "double-fisting" drinks and teetering around because he's already had 10 or so. He needs to get 2 drinks at a time to spend more time at the show than on the drink line. At least at an outdoor concert when he falls down it's on the lawn instead of off the balcony.

19
melissa
Jun 29, 2009

haha! The teenage make out couple is the funniest.

My husband and I were seeing New Found Glory one time, and happen to have "VIP" seats (only because my husband is good friends with a booking agent). We are in these special balcony seats and there are these two kids who spend the entire set gnawing on eachothers' faces. At some point the band catches on - they stop playing and call the whole venue's attention to the "2 kids making out on the balcony". The place goes silent, the spot light is placed on us, and I began wildly pointing at them because I didn't want people to think it was me.

So silly and potentially mortifying. Never laughed so hard.

20
beyond
Jun 29, 2009

i haven't been to a concert in ages because i can't deal with those people you described anymore. these people never bothered me when i was a semi-regular concert goer, so this is a sure sign that i am getting older. sigh.
my favorites are people dance-jumping on my toes. and people so drunk you just know they are going to throw up and you spend your time hoping they're not near you when it happens. ugh.

21
Anne in SC
Jun 30, 2009

I'm usually there with the guy who's just standing there, one hand usually in a pocket or both crossed across his chest. He does usually have a grin and is nodding his head to the beat. I would like a bonus point for actually being there with him, please. It is kind of embarrassing.

My husband - gotta love him. He says I do enough of the singing along (but not so loud as to try to draw attention), and clapping with the rest of the crowd for both of us.

22
kage
Jun 30, 2009

Oh you couldn't have posted this at a better time! I'm just in the middle of writing something about the Tragically Hip concert last week and how I'm more well versed in the romantic escapades of the girl next to me than the set list. Not to mention the idiots in front of us...I enjoyed your breakdown of concert douche bags. Well done!

23
jennifer in sf
Jun 30, 2009

Ha! I was there Friday to see David Byrne. Our guy who sang along, also needed to say how AWESOME!!!! basically every song was. It was actually sort of hilarious.

But I really truly hate the couple/group who just talks the whole time. Why oh why did they even go? I just don't get it.

24
Raven
Jul 03, 2009

UGH.

The "get a room" couple drive me batty! By far the worst, for me, are the people that show up late and SHOVE their way to the front. Um. If you wanted to be up there, then you should've shown up early like the rest of the people between me and the front pole so you aren't shoving your way first past me and then all of those people into me on your quest to show the band how much you love them by being a late, rude and truly annoying *bleep* (the word I would like to type there is way too indecent for polite society, but it combines a slang term and a breakfast food if you'd like a hint).

25
kimblahg
Jul 04, 2009

I once went to a Dave Matthews' Band show where a drunken mesh of frat boys LOUDLY sang along to every. single. song. I swore I would never go to another of those shows and I haven't!

26
kimblahg
Jul 04, 2009

Oh and yes, I've seen a couple fully getting it on under a trashbag on the lawn. Someone in our group may have thrown things at them.

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