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Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 455
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2010 - 2:38 pm:   Edit Post

Saw Hot Tuna last night at the historic Pabst Theater in Milwaukee. It was a general admission show and the intimate venue really has no bad seats, so we knew that it would be a thrilling evening. Seeing Jack, Jorma and Barry Mitterhoff was like being in the presence of royalty. The interplay between them and their individual talents made for a musical experience that was certainly legendary. Jack was playing his signature model electric bass, Jorma played acoustic guitar all night and Barry had a variety of 4 and 8 stringed acoustic instruments – everything was amplified but the mood was more reminiscent of sitting around a campfire and jamming, intimate and warm.

But there is something that has me troubled; while thoroughly enjoying the musicianship on stage during the show there was a person slightly behind us who felt the need to carry on a conversation with her partner, then across the aisle there was a gentleman who felt that whatever was on his i-phone was more important than the show, I have never seen such a large and brightly lit screen on a personal communication device before. With some effort I was able to ‘tune out’ the distractions, however the person with me found it beyond irritating (as did some other concert goers around us). At intermission time we relocated to a balcony area that was less crowded, we were able to look down at numerous people twittering, texting, checking e-mails – at one point during a particular soft passage someone’s cell phone was ringing. Again we were interrupted by a small group of people that thought chatting with each other was more important than sitting back and listening. Fortunately they moved on after interrupting 2 songs.

This was a low level audio experience with some very dynamic quite interludes (and some balls out tearing it up also) so why would people disrespect those around them by carrying on a conversation, or lighting up their electronic device? They paid for a ticket, so wouldn’t they want to enjoy what they paid for? Am I an official old-fart or is it asking too much to be able to fully enjoy an evening of music by artists that have extremely admirable talents without some inconsiderate jerks disrupting my viewing and listening?

p.s. - no Water Song
Senior Member
Username: glocke

Post Number: 705
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2010 - 3:11 pm:   Edit Post

One of the reasons why I have a hard time enjoying live shows anymore, acoustic or electric. Between people talking, singing along, pushing, and puking its a less than pleasurable experience for me these days. Not sure if its age or not (Im 43), but the concert experience seems much different than it was when I was in my teen/twenties.
Intermediate Member
Username: afrobeat_fool

Post Number: 176
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Friday, April 02, 2010 - 3:32 pm:   Edit Post

I feel for you, and it is too bad that some people can not enjoy the experience of wonderful musicians giving of themselves to you. Last month at the Dave Holland show here in Portland a man had his Phone/device tossed over the balcony, by a guy behind him, due to an unwillingness to stop playing with it. Then it turned ugly and they were both escorted out of the theater. Too bad. I glad you enjoyed some of the show!
Advanced Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 250
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - 9:25 am:   Edit Post

I just love Hot Tuna, have for 36 years (yikes!).
In recent years I have had similar problems at their acoustic shows, in Telluride (Opera House), Frisco (Blue Moose) and Denver (Cervante's). But it's not limited to Tuna shows, of course. I was at Red Rocks for Neil Young. When he played acoustic I could NOT hear him at all for the drunken screaming of some "fans." It's like, some attendees have the attitude that, "Hey let's go to a venue and have a party there. And, oh yeah, there's a band, too." Some of us like to listen to, and hear, the music!!! That's why we bought the tickets and went to the show. Hello! It's annoying, but what can be done about it? I go to shows much less frequently these days.

(Message edited by Benson_Murrensun on April 07, 2010)
Username: hammer

Post Number: 23
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Wednesday, April 07, 2010 - 1:52 pm:   Edit Post

I can empathize with everyone who has experienced "audience impropriety" at concerts whether it's a 50-year old woman screaming "I love you Neil" over and over again (when Neil Young played at the Northrup Auditorium), or the 65-year old male "dancers" at a recent Furthur concert who, rather than situate themselves on the main floor where dancing is encouraged by all, insisited on dancing in, on, and around not only their own seats, but that of perturbed others. The worst (and best...artist response that is) I've experienced, however, was at show a few years ago with Gary Burton, Steve Swallow and a host of other top notch musicians at a small intimate venue in Connecticut. Prior to the concert, Burton specifically asked audience members to not take flash pictures while he was playing. When two fans did not heed his request during the second number, Burton abruptly stopped the band, explained why he made his request and refused to begin to play again until the offenders were removed. When security didn't materialize immediately, the crowd began to boo and hiss at the violaters so loudly that they left of their own accord.

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