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You gotta be kidding me...

Here begins a rant about the "obnoxious drunk person" at concerts...

The past week we traveled from NYC down to Atlanta, going to Brandi Carlile's headlining gigs in support of her 3rd studio album, Give Up the Ghost. The shows were a mix of larger venues and smaller, more intimate settings. The crowds went from standing room only to seated. What struck me the most was how the crowds differed - depending on the city, the venue, the seating, the amount of drinking, etc. The crowds were mostly polite and energized, but some were just plain AWFUL.

I am an avid music lover and I love to experience music in its rawest form: LIVE in concert! I have paid a pretty penny to see artists perform. Perhaps the worst pet peeve I have at live shows is the "obnoxious drunk person" who heckles the band, spills drinks on her/his neighbors, pushes against those around her/him. Seriously, why pay money to come to a show when she/he can just go to a dive bar and turn the music up really loud?!?!? I just don't get it.

For example:

The NYC gig

At the newly-renovated Beacon Theatre on the West Side, the crowd was intense. It was a seated show, but the crowd stood and danced throughout. Thunderous applause accompanied every song. Our seats in the loge afforded us a great view of the action as it unfolded. Not to mention that the acoustics were perfect. People were drinking, but no one was rude or "out of hand". It was an amazing show. The energy was off the charts!

The DC gig

At the 9:30 Club - mostly standing room (with a few seats up in the balcony) - we were right up front and the people around us were generally courteous. There was one gal who yapped through the ENTIRE opening act (Katie Herzig). Overall, the crowd was stoked without being too pushy or obnoxious. No "obnoxious drunk person" at this show even though we all enjoyed a fair share of drinks.

The Baltimore Gig

The Ram's Head Live was mostly standing room (with some seating along the back walls and in the balcony). By far the best view we had all week. We stood just right of center against the rail of the balcony. A great way to hear and see the show while avoiding the enthusiastic dancing girl whose OVERSIZED flower in her hair surely obstructed the views of those around her. Then we watched as several concertgoers proceeded to clear a space right in the middle of the crowd so they could flail around to music. It was fun to watch. This gig was perhaps my favorite overall of the week. It was the first show that Amy Ray opened for Brandi and we LOVED her set.

Finally...

The Atlanta Gig

The Tabernacle was standing room on the main floor with two tiers of balcony with seats. Brandi was pumped to play there, with Amy Ray opening. Emily Saliers was watching from the balcony, as well. We stood in line for a bit and snagged front row spots along the rail to the far left of center stage. The crowd quickly packed in like sardines. Our group of 10 staked its claim and held strong. As soon as the show started  - enter TWO "obnoxious drunk girls". Seriously, they were probably the WORST I've ever experienced in my many years of concert-going. One of the girls yelled out very inappropriate comments to Brandi ("yummy" and "You're hot!" and "Come to the Marriott, I have a surprise for you!") and heckled Josh, the cello player the ENTIRE set. They pushed against us and just wouldn't give it a rest. It was embarrassing. People started out quietly "shushing" the girls, but it quickly turned to angry demands to "shut the ___ up!" It's a wonder those gals didn't get thrown out of the venue. As the show progressed several more people attempted to push into the crowd...which was already packed in like sardines. It was ridiculous how rude people were - stepping on our feet, spilling beer on us and yelling out to their friends DURING the show. The show itself was amazing, but the crowd got a big fat "F". Ridiculous.

Why can't people go to a show and just enjoy the energy and be respectful? For some, I suppose, it all goes downhill when alcohol is entered into the mix. For others, they can be just plain rude without an ounce of the hard stuff to help them along. Here's hoping that the rest of the shows I go to this year won't include anymore "obnoxious drunk people".

Thanks for letting me rant.

For you TBA readers who are frequent concert-goers, do you have any preferences for types of venues, seating arrangements, etc? Do you have any special tricks to ward off the "obnoxious drunk person"? If so, please share.

In the meantime, go buy Brandi's Give Up the Ghost album. It's been in the top ten on iTunes for a week and continues to gain momentum. You won't be disappointed.

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