This is an open letter (or rather two) to all the annoying people at Thursday’s Kaki King show at Higher Ground. I acknowledge that I am frequently an annoying person at concerts and other public venues, but last night I can guarantee that I was perhaps the most inoffensive person in attendance.
Dear girl next to me who kept singing and singing and singing out loud,
I’m not sure if you noticed me last night at the show. I was sure hoping you would. Just once I wanted you to look my way. Then you would have seen the sabers shooting from my eyes in your general direction. But you were way too involved in your own jam sesh/music video recording to notice me.
Here’s the deal. Last night, we were in prime concert viewing positions. We got close to the stage (so close I could see Kaki King’s fetching plaid high-tops) and gazed lovingly at Kaki as she plucked and smacked the holy bejesus out of her little Ovation guitars. Boy, she was good.
Anyway, when you’re that close to the stage, you don’t really hear the towers of speakers on the flanks of the stage. Instead, you hear the pure unadulterated mellifluous tones coming from the artist. What you also hear is pretty much everything around you. You can hear the dude in front of you kick over the plastic cup that you left right behind his left foot. You can hear the chain wallet of the guy behind you jingling as he dances. And you can hear the two girls who insist on belting out every song as if they damn penned the tunes themselves.
Friend, you are not the first such belter I have encountered in my days as an avid concertgoer. You were just one of the more aggravating. I wondered, as you pranced around singing like the spotlight was on you, if Kaki King could hear you, and if so, was she as annoyed as I was. I’m hoping that her somewhat bumbling keyboardist/bassist provided enough of a distraction so she didn’t notice you slaughtering her songs.
I am of the opinion that one should only sing out loud if- 1. he/she has a voice gifted from god like Britney or Hilary Duff or Miley Cyrus, or 2. he/she is alone in the tub/car/cubicle and no one is around to hear the strained chords careening out of his/her mouth. I may be alone in this opinion, but so be it. I’m tired of people ruining my airspace with their popstar ambitions. And the artist on stage didn’t write the song just for you and surprisingly, you’re not the only person who likes it. So put the brakes on that yapper. Please.
Dear insufferable college boys behind me who kept shouting out inanities,
I hate you. I know hate is a strong word. But that’s what you’ve reduced me to.
I thought you guys were mildly entertaining when you were jawing about the opening act at the bar. I mean, who doesn’t make fun of the opening act, especially when it’s a male folk singer with long hair and he’s trying in vain to get the three people who are listening to get all riled up for the main event?
After the opener alighted the stage, my party and I migrated to the front so we would be close enough to feel Kaki King’s spittle rain down on our brows. Also we wanted to get away from you. I’m all for sophomoric humor, but not when it’s actually coming from legitimate sophomores whose frontal lobes haven’t fully developed.
Somehow your crew ended up right behind me. So to my left I’ve got the girl who won’t stop singing like she’s the headliner and behind me I’ve got a trio of 20-year-olds with a terminal case of diarrhea of the mouth. Great.
Now if I was at the show with my mother, she would have implored, nee, demanded that I I-G-N-O-R-E the imbeciles around me. But as I am incapable of ignoring anything but my own deficiencies, I couldn’t tune you out.
After every song, you had something dumb to say like “Not, bad. Not bad,” or “Could have been better,” or “Just ok.” And by say I mean you screamed it out. Afterwards you backslapped each other like you just completed your fraternity initiation. You might as well just have gotten a room.
During an awkward silence while Kaki tuned her guitar, she mentioned that she actually likes hecklers because they gives her material. You three took that as a door opening and one of your brethren screamed “Your black guitar sucks.” Clever. Then you all snickered and verbally fellated each other some more.
I hope I never see or hear any of you at another show. I hope you all move to Wyoming. I hope you get earwigs. I hope you grow to be incontinent adults.