Just One Request
For performers, you can imagine the frustration, especially at a show for an album like "Joad," which was somber and low-key. Anyway, most set lists are cooked up well before a tour hits the road, so shouting is nearly always pointless. It's just annoying. One of the few things I remember about the Steve Earle show at the 9:30 two years ago is a twit who screamed "Jackalope Eye!" at least 25 times over the course of the show. Earle tried to shut him up by doing a belittling impersonation of him. But the true Requestaholic won't let a little humiliation get in the way.
"Jackalope Eye!" he screamed during the very next break.
The Talker -- The bane of nearly every show. A shocking number of ticket buyers regard rock concerts as ideal moments to catch up with friends. I can remember a pair of women nattering through a My Morning Jacket concert, a guy flirting shamelessly with a mini-shirted damsel at a Peaches show, a half-dozen drinkers at Iota who didn't seem to realize a band was in the room. The most stupefying Talker I've seen was at a Melissa Etheridge show at the Warner Theatre, a woman who called a friend on her cell phone just as Etheridge hit the stage.
"I'm at the show! Yeah, Melissa just came on! Yeah! Can you hear me? What? Can you hear her? What?" There were murderous stares from everyone in her vicinity -- and then verbal threats -- but it didn't matter. The dedicated Talker doesn't care.
The Stander -- Ordinarily, this is not a big deal. But if everyone else is sitting, it can lead to violence. At a Peter Gabriel show at MCI Center, one Stander, a thirtyish woman in jeans, had the misfortune of blocking the view of a true Concert Fool (see Grabber, below) who slapped her rear end when she refused to have a seat. She ran for the cops, and he hustled out of that section of the arena, presumably to watch the show from another seat.
The Grabber -- One who grabs. See above.
That's the list. If you recognize yourself in any of these categories, let me ask a favor on behalf of everyone else who loves live music: Stay home and wait for the DVD.
Even if there won't be a DVD.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company