A Lost Art

Concert etiquette is a dying art. In some places, I feel it is a lost art entirely. What happened to dressing up for a night out? We are far too casual in most cases, I find. Is it a generational thing? Is it just a thoughtless act? Here are my thoughts.

I recently attended a reasonably classical concert. I don’t think anyone would throw Josh Groban into the rock-n-roll category. In CD stores, he’s usually lumped into a “vocal” category. From my own voice training, I know he’s what we call a “classical crossover” artist. It hardly needs to be said that I was over the moon to attend his concert. I love his music and his witty sense of humour. And in my typical punctual fashion, we arrived at the arena very early. So, to pass the time, I people watch. And I was shocked by the ways some were dressed.

Very few, it seemed to my eyes, were dressed for the occasion. It seemed to be mostly ladies who were far too casual, I thought. It was as if coming to the concert was an afterthought. Skimpy dresses (like a sun dress) and shower flip flops. Jeans with holes in them and dirty tennis shoes. I’m not saying we need to wear ball gowns to concerts like this one, but putting a little effort goes a long way.

I wonder if general audience members know that they can be seen from the stage by the performers. Speaking as a performer myself, I know that we put our hearts and souls into our shows, whatever genre they may be. It shows respect for the person on stage that you put forth the effort to make it special. Again, I’m not saying this needs to be the same dress code as prom. All I think is that we’ve grown too casual in our concert and theatre attendance.

And for that matter, let’s bring up things like speaking during a performance, or worse still, leaving and entering during them! Nothing makes me as mad during a show as people who go in and out of their seats during a play or concert. Again, don’t they know the performers can see them? Who do they think they are? It is one of the rudest things you can do. It is up there with answering a cell phone during a show.

I also saw a generous number of people in attendance at the Josh Groban concert who were on their cell phones THE ENTIRE TIME. I imagine someone dragged them to a show they didn’t want to attend, so they passed their boredom on Facebook. I think we’re a little too connected sometimes. Can’t we tear ourselves from our social media for a couple hours? I’m a huge fan of Facebook and such. Time and a place, and all that, right? I’m sure Josh could see these things going on from his position in front of everyone. It offended me to see that kind of behaviour. I don’t know if it bothered him, but I was shocked enough for both of us.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/32605636@N06/4522510980″>Audience at the Royal Geographical Society lecture at City Hall, Brisbane.</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/”>(license)</a&gt;


One thought on “A Lost Art

  1. This reminds me of a night I had in the United Artists Theater in Singapore, watching ‘Copycat’. During the show, the person behind me received a phonecall, and talked as if he were in the park or something. But that was back in 1995. 🙂

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