Dear Live Music Show,

My name is Michele. I’ve been a patron of yours since I was a thirteen year old. (Actually, if you count that time I saw John Denver, I’ve been a patron since I was 5.) I’m 31 now and for some reason I still continue to visit you.

Last night, however, something inside of me broke. I fear, that after all these years, I might not have it in me anymore. And it’s not you at all. It’s me. All my life I have heard about this happening, I guess I just never thought it would actually happen to me.

For starters, I could do without your “Biggest Fan” patrons. You know, the ones that jump around while their upper arm fat slaps the side of my head. Those folks are way too excitable. I might suggest handing out those glow sticks they sell kids at the county fair. Make an announcement at the beginning of the show stating that everyone wearing said greenness really wants everyone else to know “I LOVE THESE GUYS SO MUCH MORE THAN EVERYONE AROUND ME. I LOVE THEM MORE THAN THEY DO.”

I know. I sound bitter. But last night, the tall woman standing in front of me took her fandom to level idiot. And why do I always end up behind the tallest person in the world anyway?

Then there are folks who absolutely must smoke marijuana. Is that really necessary? I mean, what’s the deal? Last time I checked, pot wasn’t like crack. The buzz stays with its smoker for at least a half an hour. (I’m being conservative with that timeframe.) Why do they have to keep smoking? At least bring enough for everyone, you know? Last night, the stoners (who insisted on standing directly in front of me after using excuses like, “Please let me by I promised I’d bring this 7 month pregnant woman a Cosmo.”) began scoffing at Your Number One Fan. With each sound of disgust, a whiff of pot infested ass breath hit the other side of my head, the side untouched by the wrath of the swinging underarm flab.

Now, let’s talk about how much you cost. I think Gerry paid 30 dollars for each of our tickets. I can’t remember. But I think there was even a service charge of some kind as well. And that’s fine even though most of the money goes to the label and the venue and not so much to the actual band, which is the only reason I’d pay 30 bucks in the first place. Why are you so much money? Does half of it go to the bloated meatheads at the door who feel us up? Or is it so Number One Fan and Pothead McPherson catch wind of a future showcase on the next episode of the O.C.? I don’t understand why you’re so pricey. Who in their right mind wants to pay 8 dollars for a Budweiser? We’re not made of money, stupidity, maybe, but not money.

The talkers bug me, too. I can’t imagine why anyone would spend 30 dollars to scream at one another, but there are a number of things I will never understand. Take your Damien Jurado show a few months back. I couldn’t hear him over the crowd. Gerry actually yelled out asking people to stop talking. And, still, they persisted. Frustrating. I bet they talk during movies, too.

But the lowest form of your patrons, the people who have a spot reserved in hell, are the ones who text message and call folks on their cell phones. Last night, while you were doing your thing, (and well, mind you) I was fantasizing about kicking a few people repeatedly in the side of the head. Granted, I’m currently taking commands from a Queen by the name of Estrogen, but text messaging? Phone calls? The hell?

But it’s folks like me who should be banned from visiting you ever again. Here I am bitching and moaning after I willingly took part in all of this. I’m the one who should just walk away. I know this. Yet, for the life of me I can’t seem to do so. I keep thinking you’re going to change. I keep thinking maybe you’ll create the geriatric version of yourself, a version with padded chairs and cocktail waitresses, lower volumes, and a mute viewing audience, and for 30+ dollars, maybe even a happy ending. A version where I can ask your showcase to repeat a song or play something different, special, unique, just for us.

That isn’t going to happen. Which is exactly why I am putting in my two weeks notice. After you bring me Death Cab on Thursday and The Mountain Goats later this month, I simply must retire. And in memory of you, I’ll continue to buy your 30 dollar tickets. That way there will be one less body within your crowded borders. Maybe one person will see a little clearer. And on that night I’ll sit at home with my Nano and let its white cords bring me my own personal, sold-out show.

Sincerely yours,

Michele

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