Last night, we went to see Sufjan Stevens at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee. Interesting show in a lovely theater. Acoustics and sound reinforcement were excellent. The show itself was quite visual. He had something like 20 musicians on stage, all dressed up in butterfly costumes with wings. I’m still trying to figure out how to feel about the show. Part of my feelings have to do less with the music and more with my fellow audience.
I was irked by the lack of courtesy of the patrons. Many flash bulbs were going off in my vicinity, and it was not even remotely pleasant in a dark theater. As if taking a flash picture from the back of the theater has any hopes of illuminating the distant performers! Some people turned off their flash bulbs but kept their camera LCD screens on, which was even more distracting. The idiot sitting next to me was drinking bad wine (the mere smell was putting me to sleep), and was text messaging someone on his giant cellphone (equipped with full keyboard and sizable LCD). Why the fuck would you go to a concert if you’re going to spend even part of the time text messaging? At one point, after several flash bulbs annoyed me to all hell, I leaned over to him and said, “Sorry to bother you, but that’s bothering me.” He apologized and put it away. At least he wasn’t a prick about it. And for the rest of the show, no one took any flash pictures, at least no one around me.
People are so caught up in their fricking gadgets that they have no sense of courtesy. Or maybe people are just stupid assholes.
On a similar note, Wired News has a great article on the drawbacks of cell phone use.