Audience B. Goode

Colin Hay is a master storyteller.


We went to see Colin Hay in concert recently. He was a revelation; just a special, special talent.We bought the tickets a few years ago and thanks to Covid we couldn’t see the former “Men at Work” frontman until now.Since his 1980s heyday, Mr. Hay has carved out a nice solo career. His acoustic music is beautiful and I much prefer it to his better known and much better selling 80s material. In short, he’s a master songwriter and storyteller.He tells humorous tales  in between songs and his voice is so clear you can really appreciate the lyrics—that is if you don’t happen to be sitting near a rude patron.Unfortunately, Diane and I are magnets for the stereotypical rude concert goer.  We attract them just about everywhere we venture.

You know the type: sings badly (to every song), cracks their plastic cup during quiet songs, shakes his ice in his cup so you can’t hear the lyrics and talks incessantly with zero regard for anyone else.Yes, we’ve been exposed to a boorish greatest hits.

The litany of rude is long and sorrowful.Drunks at a David Byrne show, a wack job who threatened a woman seated next to me at an Eagles show, a guy who streamed a college football game during a concert, yet another guy who pointed a light at a performer and was admonished from the stage and various other rude behaviors.

We’ve also noticed—so have the performers—that a slew of people spend their time taping shows on their phones. Very few people seem to be actually present. In a large venue, I may take some video, but I’ve learned to save my photos for the end when the lights go up and the performer is taking a bow.Now mind you we are not going to shows that attract young people who may still be learning to temper their enthusiasm. We are going to many farewell shows that tend to draw fans who were young when Nixon was president.You would think the older set would know better. They don’t. Yeah, I know I sound cranky.

But I’m really not the equivalent of the fun police. I love to laugh and have a good time but I also know that my fellow attendees do not attend concerts to hear me talk, play with my ice or sing poorly to every single song. We get that your a fan, but please –FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY– let us listen to the artist.Whew…that felt better.I should let you know that at the Colin Hay show the guy sitting next to me erupted at the two rude women sitting behind us who were participating in at least a half dozen obnoxious and distracting behaviors.

He did it toward the end of the show after fuming most of the evening. I was too…in the past I’ve said things to the boors but in the back of my mind you worry that some loon will take you out. Did you hear about the idiot who shot a guy for walking his dog on the Kings Point golf course? Wouldn’t it be ironic to survive a horrendous bout with Covid only to be taken out by someone making noise during a song about vegamite sandwiches?Anyway, my row mate’s admonishment got their attention for about half a song. They recovered, started talking and laughing again and then  mercifully disappeared before the encore which was sensational by the way.So where does this leave us?I know, when I share my experiences, that I am not alone. Many of my friends say they have had the same experiences with boorish concert goers or sports fans. As for me, I’ve thought of quitting. No more concerts.

After all, I’ve had a good run. I’ve seen two Beatles, the Boss, The Band and Buffett. I’ve seen the Rocket Man and the Rolling Stones. I’ve seen The Who, U2 and Dylan. Not too bad.But..I’m not going to let the boors slow my roll.I love music too much. Plus, my hunch is the E Street Band will be back on the road in ‘23.And Springsteen fans are the best.

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