Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Strange Feeling of Wanting to Leave a Gig

I love live music and it’s something that I'll forever want to keep going in my life – a friend once stated to me that the moment I realise that I am old will be the moment I stop going to concerts. I don’t see that happening in my near future, but with responsible things like children, cars and houses in my distant future, maybe I will have to give it up at some point.

The strangest thing happens though when I'm at gigs – I have this weird inclination to want to leave. This is not because I hate the band (quite the opposite, in the most recent cases) but for some reason the actual act of being at a gig sometimes feel tedious, or boring. I love seeing the artist play, and hearing them strut through their hits, but the feeling that creeps in is that I’d like this to be a memory, so I can sit and think back to that time I saw Belle and Sebastian play rather than the act of actually being there, in the warmth and sweaty Barrowlands, trying to ignore the crowd.

You see, in my older age, I have had a slowly increasing contempt for my co-gig goers. This is one of a disabling feeling, brought on by a sheer distaste for people who are there to make up numbers, talk, or to just stand in the way of people that are there to see the band. I know, they paid the same price as me, but I hate it. For example, at the afore-mentioned Belle and Sebastian gig, there were such terrifyingly moronic folks standing next to me and my beau. They stood, chatting, laughing, standing with their back turned to the stage, and exclaimed loudly when Belle and Sebastian asks, rather tactfully and with good meaning, that they were wanting to ask for a charitable donation.

They really pissed me off. Unbelievably, however, when the band struck up perennial favourite, and not-that-easy-to-have-heard classic The Boy With the Arab Strap the boys who had not paid any attention to the whole gig thus far knew every single word, syllable perfect, even recanting the fade out ...”set of the smoke alarm” and “list of your ten biggest wanks”. It shocked me. Someone who knew that song so well should never be standing facing the mixing desk talking about work with a friend.

So maybe I'm older now, and that person inside me that used to jump and scream at the first chord of any song now looks down on those doing the exact same. Maybe I'm growing up. Maybe I'm running out patience with the gigs that I go to. And maybe I do prefer to remember rather than experience. Maybe that makes me criminally insane.

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