I’m home in Dallas this weekend for Thanksgiving, and I decided to go see Peter Bjorn and John last night. The show was at the Palladium Ballroom, an ultra-sterile new venue owned by the multinational entertainment conglomerate AEG. I expected the venue to be the worst part of the show, with obstructed views of the stage and the band up on a stage so high you had to crane your neck to see if you were within fifty feet. I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been to a real show in Dallas because I forgot that the scene’s biggest shortcomings isn’t the lack of decent venues or bands skipping over the city on the way down to Austin; its the dumb schmucks that attend the shows.
Last night, they were out in full force. The drunken sorority girls from SMU were there, grinding to every song the band played and screaming out the chorus of the hit single to their friend they called on their cell phone. So were the obnoxious dancers, who clear out a five foot radius around themselves and make the music entirely secondary to their own dance moves. These characters are expected, and I’ve learned to tolerate them (albeit with the occasional well placed elbow). However, a new breed appeared last night: the obese thirty-something urban professional. People always have a tendency to talk too much during shows, which I feel is quite disrespectful to the audience and even more to the artists giving it their all on stage. These despicable concertgoers attempted to carry on a conversation after the third or fourth song for the entire length of the show, screaming to each other so loud that I could follow what they were talking about. Finally, in the middle of the first song of the encore, an excellent version of “Roll The Credits,” I’d had enough and told them to shut up. It obviously didn’t work, but it sure felt good.
After the show, my friend Rachel and I mused about why someone would waste twenty bucks on a ticket just to talk through a show. We hastily agreed on mere stupidity, but it dawned on me this morning what the cause of this new obnoxious concert attendee is: Grey’s Anatomy. “Young Folks,” PB&J’s hit single was featured on an episode of the show. I know there’s been a whole shit storm about The OC and other similar shows and how they’ve commercialized quasi-independent music, but I never really made too much of it. I was never a big Ben Gibbard fan, so when he sold out I could care less. Ocassionally, something good comes out of it, like Band of Horses covering The New Year on one of the OC compilations. I now realize how naive I was about the whole thing after last. It appears that the live gig may be the bigger casualty of all this.