While at the Coldplay concert this week (I know, I know…concert-wanker alert), I had a revelation. I think it’s common knowledge that the opening act has to audition in order to secure their spot in the limelight. Actually, I may have either made that up or heard it from an unreliable source. Anyhow, it occurred to me that people who wish to attend a live concert, should not merely have the cash to do so, but should also go through a fairly stringent audition process aswell.
The thinking behind this, of course, is to group like-minded people together. But isn’t that what ‘golden circle’, ‘standing’ and ‘seated’ already do, I hear you say? No. When golden circle and standing have sold out, then the only thing left is seated, even if you’re not really the sitting type. I daresay, even golden circle and standing should be divided up. Here are a few more realistic ways of grouping an audience:
There are always, always, ALWAYS people who whinge before, during or after a concert. Sometimes, they do all three (if they’re really good at it). “Oh my god, the queue”, “stop pushing”, “the acoustics suck”, “you’ve just messed your beer on me”, “could you get off your boyfriend’s shoulder’s - I can’t see”, ”it took us 3 hours to get out of there”. These are all typical (but not limited to) whinge-points aimed at friends or strangers.
If they’re not brave enough to whinge to strangers, then they will find a way to ear-fuck you if they’re in your circle of friends: “Actually, I thought we were all going to stick together”, ”I can’t believe you just abandoned me”, “I can’t believe some people come to a concert and get drunk”, “I can’t believe you are so drunk’, “‘I wish I was more drunk”. These are typical (but not limited to) whinge-points aimed at you by someone you know and (quite horrifically) chose to accompany to the concert. These people will not even make the short-list in the audition. They will be sent straight home. Also, unfriend immediately and not only on Facebook.
I don’t like to be shortist, but this group often accidentally overlaps with the inclined-to-whinge group. It’s long been an intention of mine to patent “blow up shoes” (sold at the “official merchandise” kiosk at the concert). They would be slip on (like hotel slippers) and inflatable (like a lilo) and can be inflated to suit your needs (i.e. a lot of hot air if you are very short, not so much hot air if you are just a little bit short.) I think that there will be a huge market for these. But, if this doesn’t pan out, then surely (like in school photos – which I think work very well) short people should be sent to the front rows and should just have to make friends with other short people for the night. Sorry, but you can’t hang with your tall friends and whinge. You have to choose. Measure up and commit to the process in the audition and you’ll thank yourself later on.
These are the would-be-muso’s who are just too cool to clap or sing along. At a glance it might even appear that they are so, so musical, that they are not enjoying the performance at all.
It’s nasty Sods-Law that it’ll be one of these true concert-wankers who catch the drummer’s sticks, or the lead guitarists headband, or the vocalist’s underpants. They don’t even like the band and know none of the lyrics but because it’s the cool thing to do, they will score golden circle tickets and be the original fake fan. Sorry, but the audition process will make mincemeat out of you. In order to attend a concert you have to be able to sing either one whole song from start to finish of said band or, you have to know at least 10 chorus’s (must be different chorus’s) of said band.
This is the most dangerous group of all. They can audition and in theory could even attend the concert but must be limited to the very high seating where no-one wants to go. The Mordor of seating, if you will. There is often a very strong possibility that these people overlap with the “inclined to whinge” category. If you’re anywhere near them, if you so much as think of standing up you will be met with a vicious glare and be told to ‘sit down, I can’t see’. The audition process for these people is more of a CT scan, to see if they are incapable of standing (understandable really, though the ‘unable-to-stand’ group is different to the ‘strictly-seated’ group and are often very happy to join the seated-but-want-to-stand group.) The audition process will also clarify just how deep your grumpy affliction runs. These people will generally NOT stand up to counteract your standing up. It’s just the principle. They’ve paid for seated not standing. Arsehole. Under no circumstances will you see these folk getting swept up in the moment.
For all the poor folk who either couldn’t afford golden circle or standing, or booked too late to get the tickets they really wanted. These are the people rock-stars really want at their concert because they serve as the best performance barometer. If the bands doing a good job at rocking the crowd, the seated-but-want-to-stand group will most certainly be jumping up (in excitement) and then back down again (trying to appease the ‘strictly-seated’s” around them). The audition process is a series of jack-in-the-box squats coupled with a head-whip and a very insincere “sorry”.
These are in even more trouble than the seated-but-want-to-stand group. By the time they are up and dancing they really don’t give a tinker’s fart who can see and who can’t. And quite rightly so. It’s shameful to go to a music event and not dance. Embarrassing even. Imagine the poor musician who has to perform to a stationary audience? How very awful. The audition process for this group is all about personality. They don’t care if you can’t dance, they don’t care if you’ve got no rhythm, you just have to put your back into it and show that you know how to have a good time.
Sorry Coldplay. I did what I could. You’ll know for next time to audition your audience.