Hey you, talking loudly at gigs? SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Ah, the holidays. A time for loving and family and warmth, teeth-rottingly bad Christmas songs and diabetes-inducing themed coffee products.

It is also the time of year to highlight one of my biggest gig-going pet peeves: people who talk loudly at live shows.

This is when it’s okay to talk at gigs:

  • If you’re at the back, by the bar. Unless the back of the bar is, like, 10 feet away from the lonely guy on stage strumming his geetar.
  • If you’re in the bathroom. Unless what you’re saying is “Oh yeah baby! HARDER!” and you’re shagging the bassist from LouisXIV while your boyfriend calls you. (Wasn’t me. No, really, it wasn’t! But said musician did look pretty damn pleased with himself when he did finally return to the bus, that much I can tell you.)
  • If you lean in to whisper to your friend: “Fuck, man, I love this song!”… as long as that’s pretty much it.
  • It’s okay to talk if the band is, say, Grinderman or Mogwai or Dinosaur Jr., and you can hear them from space.

Here’s when it’s NOT okay:

  • You’re in the front row, inexplicably. You look bored as fuck, you’re rolling your eyes and talking to your girlfriend. While the performer is playing RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.
  • The musican(s) are playing instruments that are actually quieter than your voice. Acoustic guitar, for one.
  • You are singing along to your favourite song, volume cranked to crappy 11, at full-throttle. Hey guess what? Dude, I know you’re, like, the band’s biggest fan, but I didn’t pay $80 billion dollars in “convenience” charges to inconveniently listen to you.

But bands are fighting back. And while Japanese shirukens are probably the most effective when they make contact with a main artery in the throat, they’re not often employed. So here’s a selection of my favourite SHUT THE FUCK UP videos – really shitty quality videos, but REALLY EXCELLENT SENTIMENT.

Let’s start with the Grand High Poohbah of Shut the Fuck Up, Mr. Mike Doughty.

Now, Doughty may seem really crotchety (he’s had people thrown out of gigs for nattering too loudly) but his entire show is acoustic with a cello, and his banter is actually part of the show. He only comes to town once every year or so. You probably live here. I can listen to your idiocy anytime. So STFU. (Go to 0:28 for the SAGE WISDOM OF MD.)

Then there’s my other boyfriend, Lou Barlow.

Lou sometimes doesn’t mind if you’re chatting politely, it kinda takes the pressure off him, he’s said before. But you know, it’s just a guy singing quietly with a guitar or ukelele. RESPECT, people. If you don’t dig the music, go get a beer and talk back there. Or here’s a novel idea: don’t show up in the first place.

Ah, the Beatles. I mean, Tegan & Sara. “Your screaming is making me feel like I need to take a Xanax.” Yeah, me too.

Here’s Regina Spektor being incredibly politely pissed off. It’s kind of cute:

Not to put too fine a point on it: “OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE” – Roger Waters, in 1977.

Finally, my favourite. Zach Galifinakis, tickling the ivories. He gets right to the point and has my eternal gratitude.

The moral of the story? If it’s THIS BAND, talk as loud as you like. And frequently. And in the front row. Hell, heckle all you like. Your talking will vastly improve upon whatever travesty is happening on stage. If it’s not? SHUT THE FUCK UP\m/

9 responses to “Hey you, talking loudly at gigs? SHUT THE FUCK UP.”

  1. awesome post … best line ‘look at sara, she’s wears a cardigan on stage, she can’t handle this jonas bros, new kids on the block screaming’

  2. This is also applicable to the cunts who wave their cardigans around at gigs. I love spending the evening checking out your knitwear.Not. PUT IT THE FUCK DOWN!

  3. Great post! My friend got in a fight with a guy that was talking loudly during the Greg Dulli show in Portland last month. We were thinking that we could photograph people talking during shows and post them on a website.

  4. hahaha! sO true, More people need to learn to shut thefuck up. “Hey man this is so awesome”…. five seconds later “Man, This is the best show ever!!” …..five seconds later “Are you guys loving this? This is so great!” …..seven seconds later “I love this song, yaaaa! This is my favorite!” snarl *Snap!

  5. A subject close to my heart! The most annoying thing at the moment is at Mark Lanegan shows; the guy is silent between songs for the most part, and over here it seems to almost be a competition between people to come up with the loudest and most stupid comments between songs… Although the worst was at a Lanegan/Campbell show where pretty much everyone stopped to turn midsong and stare at this one woman talking VERY loudly on her phone with her back to the stage…
    Favourite ones though are when Jeff Klein is present – I’ve seen him live 3 times (once as headliner), and all 3 times he’s given certain crowd members an absolute bollocking, which immediately gets everyone else on his side; which is a great way of introducing yourself. Last time he did this was as an acoustic headliner last summer, when he cleared a table of especially noisy people who promptly stormed out. No idea why they were there at all, again they were sat with their backs to him which really stood out in a room full of 12 people >:( Great show though 🙂

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