Not Just the Ticket — audience question #2

I liked how last week’s question turned out so since Wednesday has been my regular ‘break’ day for this whole thing I’ll make this the day for this whole deal.

So my question to you all — what was your worst concert experience? I don’t mean simply that the band sucked — maybe they were great. But the overall experience was THE worst, the crowd was horrible, parking sucked, you got hurt, something bad went down — that sort of thing.

10 Responses to “Not Just the Ticket — audience question #2”

  1. Job Says:

    I had to review Lifehouse once during a festival. The band were awful. The crowd loved it. I was on my own. It was open-air, it rained.

  2. Jen Ludwick Says:

    Perhaps surprisingly, my worst concert experience was Neil Diamond.

    I went to see him about 5-6 years ago and I purchased tickets through his fan club presale so were sitting amongst some hardcore Neil-ites (or is it Diamond-ites?). The older couple sitting to my left had seen over 100 shows and they were truly excited about seeing another one.

    Unfortunately, about two rows behind us was a group of approximately 10-15 people that had hit the bar HARD before the show. They sat down just before the show started and began talking amongst themselves. One person got on their phone and tried to have a regular phone conversation but had to yell to be heard. All of this was distracting during the first few louder songs. But it became downright rude during the slower, more quiet acoustic songs.

    As the show progressed, people around them got more vocal about their annoyance at the group’s behavior. By the last third of the show, at least three rows of the audience surrounding the groups were now yelling at them. The most drunk and most annoying of the group decided it would be a good idea to fight back against his detractors and proceeded to try and pick a fist fight with a man that could not have been a day younger than 75! The whole group left in a huff after security intervened but by that point, there were only 2 songs left in the set.

    We later found out that two friends of mine in a different section of the same show got into a yelling match with a group of drunk women for similar reasons. And every time I tell this story to someone, I hear about others that had the same type of experience I’ve had at Neil Diamond shows. I guess I just never expected to get into a fight at a NEIL DIAMOND concert….

  3. katstevens Says:

    Worst gig I paid money to go and see (and didn’t know anyone in any of the bands): Miles ‘Fvcking’ Hunt’s solo gig at the Zodiac in Oxford c. 2001. Bloody hell that was bad – Zodiac not the best venue to start with, Miles was awful, everyone else in the audience at least 15 years older than me. Woe betide any Wonderstuff fan who bought his cd – that was even worse.

  4. katstevens Says:

    Worst gig I got a review pass for: Stereophonics at Earl’s Court c. 2003: cold, alone, too poor to buy beer and not allowed to smoke inside, Ocean Colour Scene-with-a-different-singer as support act, lost one of my gloves down the back of the seating stands.

  5. ChrisB. Says:

    There were a few that were pretty bad, but one that stands out to me is seeing The Strokes at the Paramount in Seattle several years ago and I was going to go with one of my platonic girl friends. We had made plans a while ago and I spent quite a bit of money on tickets (especially considering the crappy job I had at the time) and earlier that day she got into a fight (or maybe broken up) with her boyfriend and she was really late, started smoking again and was generally not fun to be around at all. It made enjoying the show nearly impossible. One of the opening bands was Sloan and I was really disappointed to have missed them and it would be several years after that before I’d see Sloan again (and I don’t think I’ve seen The Strokes since).

  6. Stephen Says:

    Crowd was so hot and packed at a Bjork festival show that I actually passed out and had to be wheeled off to the ER for a check-up. Missed the entire show as a result, and it’s safe to say Texas isn’t exactly a frequent tour stop for Bjork and her crew. Fuuuuuck!

  7. Austin Says:

    Good question!

    I have to say that mine is unfortunately one where the band was awesome and the reasons for the experience as a whole being less than awesome had nothing to do with them.

    The show was the Appleseed Cast at a warehouse downtown right next to the train tracks on Keystone between second and fourth streets. The place didn’t really have a name and was not around as a show venue for that long, so yeah.

    I have a ticket to share also:

    As this was my first time seeing one of my favorite bands, expectations were high. I guess I’ll just get to the good part first: they were awesome. Peregrine was newest record at the time, but even that was over a year old. Accordingly, we were treated to at least two new songs that showed up in truncated forms of their finished versions. These were: a very brief and faster (than the finished version) of “As the Little Things Go” to open the set and the second section of what came to be “The Road West” as a segue into “Steps and Numbers”/”Fight Song” (and this was nearly two years before Sagarmatha). They didn’t really stop between songs, just kind of played little scales and song sketches before Chris would start the riff for the next tune and the rest of the band would follow suit. There were two main things I noticed about their performance: 1) they sounded AMAZING and were so ably ready to recreate that dreamy echoey wash of sound from the records and 2) Chris was leaving out a lot of vocal parts. Needless to say, the two new songs (short as they were) were played without vocals and older songs like “On Reflection” and “Steps and Numbers” were played almost entirely instrumental. I remember thinking at the time that this made sense because I had just read a recent interview where Chris said something along the lines of wanting to sing less on Appleseed Cast material. Overall though; freakin’ amazing.

    The crowd was surprisingly diverse (I truly only expected cliched indie kids and mall punkers) and my old boss from Tower Records stood with me for a few minutes and just vibed to the band. He was an old new waver from San Diego and would recollect all these shows that he had seen in the early and mid-80’s that I could only romanticize in my twentysomething brain. So, after the band is done playing, he finds me, shakes my hand and kind of leans in to say —in a reference to a comment he had made about seeing the Chameleons on their final US tour in 87, to which I subsequently drooled at and pestered him for details about for weeks afterwords— “That was the next best thing to seeing the Chameleons in 87.”

    A better first impression could not have been made.

    So why did it suck, you ask?

    Well, the band only got to play for 40 minutes. Absolutely no disrespect to the Life and Times (the band that was touring with Appleseed at the time), who had to play because they were printed on the ticket —and made the best of their 15 minutes— but it was truly the case of the openers taking up the spotlight. And I don’t really want to say much else because I’m actually friends with some of these people, but there were three other local bands that played before the Life and Times. The show began at 7pm and Reno PD was kind of cracking down on this venue, so they informed Appleseed that they needed to be off the stage by 10:30pm. And Appleseed only played for 40 minutes. You do the math.

    At one point (I would say around 8:15), my wife and I left, walked over to 7Eleven and bought some beers. And we still made it back in time to see the last song of one of the local bands (a seven minute epic, no less) and the entirety of the Life and Times’ impressive five song 15 minute set.

    So, yeah. Waaaay too many local egos trying to impress their indie heroes.

    And it was extra bittersweet for me because Appleseed had played Reno two times previous — both of which I missed: once on the Low Level Owl tour and again on the Peregrine warm up tour. They’ve hit the west coast two times since this 2007 show and have noticeably skipped Reno both time.

    Dah well. Gonna see ’em in March at Bottom of the Hill in San Fran — where they’ll be playing Low Level Owl 1 &2 in their entirety, and damn curfew and the Reno PD to hell if they go past 10:30pm.

    ~Austin


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