Sunday, June 29

The Din


Saturday the Boss Rabbit and I spent much of the day at the Irish Street Faire hosted by Browne's Irish Market. The afternoon was uncharacteristically perfect for Kansas City in June - warm, but neither hot nor humid, a nice breeze from the northwest, with Browne's back yard as a great urban venue for a party and concert. We got there around 3:00 and parked our big-ass chairs in a shady spot and let the afternoon unfold. I even caught a few winks early on. 

The Lucky Charms were there, as was Eddie Delahunt and Friends, Dog Tree, Katherine Viviano, and The Elders. Throughout the day, the plucky young (and seemingly inexhaustibly energetic) dancers from O'Riada Academy of Irish Dance added visual counterpoint to the music. As the lot filled, the assembled unwashed masses started to crowd together, though it wasn't unmanageable. The food and drink lines were long and the number of porta-loos wasn't quite up to minimum standards for a crowd of Guinness drinkers, but I didn't see anyone have a complete dignity failure because of it. It was a really nice afternoon.

However...

I can't figure out why some people bother to show up for these things. Our rationale was clear - we wanted to see a complete Elders show. We dropped in on the music tent at the Estes Park Highland Games last year just in time for The Elders to launch into "Packy Come Home" and then start to wind down their set. Then, this year, we worked as volunteers at the Kansas City Highland Games and got turned loose just in time to get to the music tent to see The Elders launch into "Packy Come Home" and then start to wind down their set. A pattern was developing. We were starting to believe that The Elders only knew four songs and did short, twenty-minute sets that started with "Packy Go Home", so we wanted to see and hear the band's whole set list for ourselves. 

Seeing is easy, hearing is hard. People in Kansas City never fucking shut up. Now, for eight bucks I don't expect Lincoln Center, but I also don't understand the idea of a concert where you can't hear what's happening on the stage because everyone around you is yammering like speed freaks at a spelling bee. I'd like to be able to tell you that it was only the mini-van-loads of  self-absorbed Brooksider Gen-X asshats waving their chirping Blackberries around like sparklers, but it wasn't. To the Boss's right was a collection of crones that must have had an aggregate age of three hundred. They droned on like chainsaws cutting aluminum siding. Lest you believe this is all an exaggeration from some grumpy old lop-eared lagomorph, during one of the breaks on the main stage, there was a small pipe and drum ensemble playing down front. We're talking sixty-five feet away. I could barely hear bagpipes at that distance - the single loudest sound known to man, rendered indistinct by the din of the crowd. By the time The Elders were well into their set, I finally had to give up and break camp to move into a recently-vacated tract south and west  ten yards or so to get away from the X-ers and their screaming, chair-kicking  kids (it's eleven fucking o'clock, for shit's sake, take your adorably special little screaming sperm samples home) and the Boss and I actually were able to enjoy the rest of the show and hear The Elders. 

Look, I believe there's room for everyone, but if you're going to a place whose major reason for existing is an evening of music, maybe you ought to reconsider your sphere of influence, take stock of your own relative unimportance in the Universe and shut the fuck up. Take your monster-truck-sized strollers and your loudmouth pals and go have a picnic somewhere far away from other people. Maybe music venues should have a "competitive yapping" section where people who don't give a flying rat's ass about the music can go and entertain each other with the vapid details of their boring lives and let the rest of us listen, in peace, to the music we came to hear. 

1 comment:

Spyder said...

I'm with ya on this!