This was one of those ultimate narcoleptic moments, one that has become a shining star of a story in my “Hey, I’m narcoleptic. This is what narcolepsy looks like” repertoire. I’m so narcoleptic that I once fell asleep standing up. At a rock concert. It was a smallish venue. I was in the front row.
And it’s a true story. Narcolepsy sucks. Luckily for you, my friendly musician readers, there aren’t very many of us. Most people would have just walked out.
– Your show started an hour and a half late. It was a Friday night and Friday nights are hard for people over the age of 25. I’d worked a 50 hour week. Normally I would have gone straight home after work, taken off my bra, ordered Chinese delivery, and settled on the couch with my two cats to watch a new release On Demand. And I would have fallen asleep halfway through. But my friend really wanted to see one of the other bands playing tonight. And I really wanted to prove that I’m not a crazy old cat lady. I wore a bra for you, assholes. And pants without a stretchy waistband. Now you’ve pushed me an extra hour and a half past my bedtime and it’s just not going to end well.
– Your sound levels were off. Despite the delay and the tech’s extended rendition of the “check123checkcheckingcheck” song, something is still off. At least from the audience’s perspective. I don’t know anything about the technical parts of making music. I’m not a musician. I don’t know exactly why the sound was wrong, but it was. The instruments overpowered the vocals. Everything sounded sort of blurred together. I have no idea what any of your songs were about. And when you used those effects, my eardrums started to go numb.
– The rest of the audience was drunk and talking. Normally this pisses me off when I go to shows. Shows that I’m interested in. I hate it when people ruin performances that I’ve paid good money for because they are more interested in socializing and getting laid. There are always creeps at concerts. Even at big ones, for super famous musicians. Normally I abruptly turn my head and make disapproving eyes at people for this. If that doesn’t work, I politely ask them to shush. And when that doesn’t work, it becomes one of those stories about how I got into it with some douchebag at such and such show. I take shit seriously. Not this shit, though. People had enough time to build up a good drunk while we were waiting for you to get your shit together. People are bored because nobody can understand a single lyric or identify a single chord coming through the speakers. All combined, it makes a perfectly soothing bedtime lullaby. I’m guessing that you can’t hear the audience because you obviously can’t even hear your own music. I’ve never been on stage, so I don’t know. If you can hear it, tell those bitches to shut the eff up. Or stop playing until they notice. Or be spectacularly awesome so people can’t help but listen.
– You just stood up there and made your weird guitar orgasm faces and played music. Even if your music was good (it could have been, I couldn’t tell), I came here for a performance. This isn’t a listening room, it’s a concert. There isn’t any seating. I’ve been standing for 2 hours. I’m wearing a bra. I’m here to be entertained. You are an entertainer. Write angsty songs about the burden of it or whatever. But if you are going to play live, amplified shows to standing crowds expecting a rock show, you’ve got to perform. Engage us. Share with us. Charm us. Piss us off. Sweat on us. At least make pretend eye contact with us.
I’m too tired to write any more about how you were boring, Anonymous Austin Rock Band. Maybe I’ll have some more feedback from the audience after a good nap. Until then, sweet dreams.
Ha! I completely relate. When the buzz of the bass is coming through the speakers with too much gain from the sound board, I just want to curl up on the floor. I’ll fight it and then people wonder why during the loudest band they’ve ever seen, I can be found curled up in front of a speaker as if there weren’t any noise coming out of it at all. I’m fully out and instantly awake only when it stops. I can also relate to being pissed off that bands take forever to come on stage when I’d rather be chilling in my yoga pants with an endless amount of tv episodes on netflix (because those I can make it through without falling asleep). I spent ten years in the music industry, most of which I was at shows, covering shows as journalist, or representing shows for a record label. It got to the point where I had it perfected to being there within 5 minutes of the band I needed to see going on stage and making my way out of the concert during the last song. The worst were big festivals where I was forced to be there for more than one band – one that played at 10AM and one that played at midnight. I’d most often end up in the grass somewhere for hours and hours just waiting, napping, waiting, napping and listening to the buzz of random bands all around me – even those I was dying to see but just to tired to get up and walk alllllll the way over there.