Now is not the time to catch up with friends. That time was about three hours ago, before the doors even opened at the Paradise. When most people meet their friends at a nearby restaurant for some food and a non-schwag beer. And if they can’t make that, they go grab a slice once the house lights are back up after the show. Nobody makes idle chit-chat when the main act is talking onstage between numbers. Except for you.
You, barely a day over twenty-one. You, emphatically gesticulating as you catch up on the latest gossip in your social circle. You point with the half-empty bottle of Sam Light in your hand because you just. can’t. believe. what. happened. on. Friday! Your voice carries clearly above the amplified voices of the band, through the wadded up orange foam in my ear canal. Not a word escapes me. Though I wish it would.
Other concertgoers glare at you. But you just prattle on. The singer tells a joke. The audience laughs. You keep right on going. I turn and give you a scowl. You miss it. But another woman behind me does not.
“Do you want to fight her, or should I?”
Finally, sensing the crowd is behind me, I realize I’ve had enough.
“Hey. Be quiet.”
You turn, the corner of your lip raising as you sneer. “Excuse me?”
“You’re at a show. This is part of it. Shut up.”
You roll your eyes as you exhale a long puff in disbelief that someone could dare speak to you that way. “OK, thank you.”
You slink off, probably to fetch yet another Sam Light. The show goes on, the music loud enough to drown out even your foghorn voice. You return a couple of songs later, much quieter than before.
A concert is not the time to show off the sweet Instagram you took of your morning latte. It isn’t the time to chat with friends, unless you’re saying “This song rocks!” as the first few chords of your favorite jam fill the air. Actual human beings are making art right in front of your face and filling your earholes with it. It’s an amazing experience. Enjoy it. Or at least shut up so the rest of us can appreciate a good show.