Imagine you’ve gone to see Talking Heads, supported by Talk Talk and an excitingly-reformed The Gossip. An unlikely combo, but what is likely in our hypothetical gig is that the subtle arrangement of a song will necessitate that the volume drops, maybe involving briefly-deployed silence for dramatic contrast.
Except there isn’t bloody silence. The second the volume drops from any significant clangour, the room is awash with a wall of audience shanter.
Supporting Lord Huron recently, Flyte delivered a stunning a cappella version of Alvvays’ ‘Archie, Marry Me’. I imagine it was stunning, anyhow, based on what I could actually hear. The only likely response ‘Archie’ could have given to the important request contained within the song would have been, ‘I didn’t catch that. Could you speak up a bit?’
Are we just being complete no-brainers? Are we short on manners, selfishly ignoring the bits we don’t know well? Are we being self-centred, talking out loud because everyone needs to know what we’re thinking the minute it crosses our minds, complete wands with no inner monologues? Even when the volume is cranked up, do the people within our immediate radius want to filter the band’s desirable noise through our unfiltered gobshite?
Interactivity seems to be reaching a whole new level. Having bought a ticket, have we bought the right to provide the sound, too? Isn’t the premise of live music events that someone else makes noise and we make judicious use of our eyes and ears? Imagine going to a big football match and invading one goalmouth, mid-contest, for a game of three-and-in.
We should bite the bullet and mic everyone up as they enter the venue; then everyone else can hear what they’ve got to say. If someone is still leaking verbal diarrhoea while The Gossip attempt to deliver their version of ‘Careless Whisper’, at least the band can stop and give the aforementioned goober a well-chosen ‘Four-letter Word’ instead.