The rest of us didn’t pay to listen to you chit-chatting while rock and roll royalty is on stage playing our favorite songs. If we wanted to struggle to hear these songs while people shouted over them, we’d listen to them on our iPhones while sitting in some random noisy bar.
I’m not sure when this inconsiderate bullshit really became a problem, but it’s undoubtedly gotten worse in my lifetime. If it was a local music show and you didn’t have to pay a cover to get in, then I might understand that there are people at the bar who are just there to have a drink and be social, regardless of whether there is any live music happening (talking would still be a douchey thing to do, but not as bad). But when every person who entered the door had to buy a ticket in advance, then there is literally no excuse for showing up and running your mouth the entire time. You knew damn well that you were heading out to see a show and as soon as you open your mouth and start yapping you’re guilty of being a selfish twat who doesn’t actually care about the musicians, their music, or their actual fans.
Alcohol certainly only serves to exacerbate the problem. I’ve wanted to open a juice bar/coffee house rock and roll club for years. Think about whatever you favorite local stage is - now imagine the bar serves pretty much anything other than alcoholic beverages. I’d actually get serious about trying to make something like that a reality if I didn’t know without an inkling of a doubt that it would fail - because I firmly believe that most adults would rather go to the bar down the road where they can drink shitty beer and be terrible people while a musician struggles to make a connection with his fans from the stage.
Anyway. I think Black Francis was great last night in Ithaca. I mean, I certainly enjoyed the bits and pieces of his set that I could hear over the constant din of conversation and clinking shot glasses, but I can’t really provide an honest review because I was too distracted to actually focus on the music he was playing.