(Toledo, OH) I didn't want to clutter my review of the Paul Simon concert at the Toledo Zoo Amphitheater with a host of complaints about my fellow concertgoers, so I decided to create a separate post to vent.
For those new to the blog, I am a curmudgeonly 42-year-old with a long interest in playing, performing, and simply enjoying music. I have attended hundreds of concerts over the years, and doubtless will attend many more.
Last night I witnessed some of the tackiest behavior one could imagine at a concert, and this was in a crowd supposedly old enough to know better. The cheap seats for the Paul Simon show were $55, and front row seats were fetching $400 or more on eBay.
Here, then, is my list of stupid concertgoer behavior:
1. Dear cell phone camera guy: I know the sign said "no cameras," and you think you are pretty smart to put one over on the show's producers, but when you take fifty pictures by waving your phone in the air it is distracting to those behind you. Like me. And, honestly, how good are those pictures really going to be, what with the dimmed lights and the fact that you are 100 yards from the stage?
2. Dear 65-year-old hoochie in the mini-skirt: I am sure that you were once a young hottie, but that short, slip-like, satin dress you wore to the concert was just goofy, and your birdlegs were looking especially emaciated. There comes a time when we all must concede that we should move on to more age-appropriate clothing, and yours was at least 15 years ago.
3. Dear drunken young guy: If your friends wanted to go to the Paul Simon concert, they would have bought tickets. When you make a half-dozen cell phone calls and slobber into the phone to everyone who answers, "Lissssen, man, this is really awessssome, this guy frigging ROCKS" you disturb the guy sitting next to you. Who was me.
4. Dear umbrella woman: You must not have read the signs, heard the announcements, or noticed that the rest of us do not have umbrellas. I know it sprinkled a little at this outdoor show, and you just got your hair done, but put away the umbrella before someone (like me) beats you senseless with it. Now.
5. Dear row of attention deficit disorder (ADD) people: I know you must all have short attention spans, because the eight of you have each gotten up and left your seat about ten times apiece. Either: a) take an extra dose of Ritalin; or b) take a couple Thorazine. Either way, there is a limit to how much people around you (like me) can take, and we may duct-tape you to your seat if you don't sit still.
6. Dear Chatty Cathies: Yes, this is your first night out in months, and you want to catch up. That's why you should go to dinner before the show, or have a cappucino at Starbucks on the way home. The last thing I want to hear during a quiet, introspective song like "The Boxer" are the problems you are having with your wayward teenage daughter and her ne'er-do-well boyfriend having sex in the driveway. STFU, okay?
7. Dear really drunk fifty-something woman: Being falling-down wasted wasn't funny when you were 18, and it is even less becoming now that you are old enough to be someone's grandmother. Also, my shoulder is not a handrail. Dry out before your liver turns to whiskey pâté.
Thanks, everybody, and enjoy the show!