Special Guest Post: An Interesting Scenario/Question is Posed By A Reader

So here’s one for the “if the music is too loud, you’re too old” category:
I went to see a show at Rock and Roll Hotel…braving the late start (didn’t get in line until after 10:30), late night…as sad as that is to admit…but it was a Friday and it seemed about time.

So, once inside it was time to grab a couple of beers and settle in for the show. Over the course of the evening a few things stick out as unnecessarily annoying. And so, as I sit here post-concert unwinding with a tall glass of scotch and replaying the evening in my head, I thought I’d seek some insight and understanding on a few things.

Most importantly, overall, the night worked out well for a last-minute, live music fix. Rock and Roll Hotel is an awesome small venue and the band was downright enjoyable with a good sound. However, there were a few annoying encounters with other concert-goers that were just downright rude, and pointlessly so. And as I ponder it, I have to wonder whether there’s been a loss common decency in our interactions with others, am I getting too old and thus too sensitive to this or was it just an anomaly, a couple of off-moments in an otherwise good show? [Story continues after the jump]

In order to put this in context and give my ramblings a bit more of a concrete nature, I will provide three examples:

(1) Just after arriving, I move to the bar to buy the first round of drinks and stand behind a young lady that is just finishing up. As she moves away from the bar with her drinks I politely step aside to give her room to move. As I do that, some nose-ring wearing troll cuts right under my arm and takes up residence at the bar…in the very spot that I had been waiting for; not an acknowledgement of the jackass move, nor even an attempt to excuse herself.

(2) A little bit later watching one of the opening acts finish up their set and just standing watching the show, when out of nowhere this platinum blond just plants herself right in front of my friend…giving no indication that she understands that she has inserted herself about 6 inches in front of him and the unnecessarily uncomfortable position she has now put both of them in…not even a simple “excuse me”…
(3) I’m standing in the crowd enjoying the show when I get an extremely rude shot straight into the shoulder blade…out of the blue, not a fist or a finger, no tap on the shoulder, mind you, but some form of finger-poking-grip into my shoulder blades. I turn with a “what the fuh..” on my mind to come eye to eye with some half-corked, meathead dude pushing his companion through. I look at the guy and say “all you gotta do is say excuse me” as he continues to push through. At which point he responds — through rather pungent, onion-and-beer laced breath and a slightly slurred, pug-like voice — “I’m just helping her through here” and he sort of plows on through with that sort of ignorant arrogance or lack of basic recognition of the existence of others and one’s own pointlessly rude behavior.

Now I’m not the type to go looking for a fight…but after that one I have to admit feeling a significant urge to throw a punch or two. And as I said that, I began to wonder if I was experiencing a recent trend of rude behavior amongst the somewhat younger…is it the result of a spoiled, obnoxious kind of entitled arrogance…or whether I was just getting too old to be where I was.
Am I getting too old for the “scene” and am just over-reacting?

I’m curious, have others found themselves a bit taken back by their interactions with those even just a few years younger? Are we seeing a passing of the ability to just politely exist next to others?
That is all…just curious if others have been in similar situations.


17 Comment

  • welcome to the world of old! i feel the same way at a lot of shows. people could just say “excuse me” a little more often and it would solve 90% of the problems.

    but the whole thing about personal space, and people standing close, i guess most people these days don’t have a problem with rubbing up against you. i always like enough room to not be bumping up against people, but i guess i’m in the minority these days…

  • I wouldn’t say you’re getting old, just maybe a bit out of touch with what it’s like at most shows. The great thing about small venues is that it cramped, often hot, and racaous as hell. The bad thing about small venues is that it is often cramped, hot, and racous as hell. Just kind of goes with the territory. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my spot at the bar swiped, had an obstructed view, or have been knocked in the back by someone trying to get through. If the music, and beer, are good enough these inconviniences kind of melt away.

  • People who are still partying into their 40’s tend to have some “regular” hangouts with bartenders & staff who know them and who will smooth over these kinds of issues. It’s a different approach from the partying 20-somethings who get in because of their cuteness (girls) or charm (guys).

  • What show was it?

    I’m pretty much a grouch and 100% am with you on your reactions to those situations.

  • It’s not an issue of being old–it’s an issue of not acting like you raised in a barn. I am with you 100%, bro. If I could just throw in my own gripe here: there’s nothing that makes me more ashamed of my own gender than vapid girls–drunk or not–who act like they’re entitled to act like idiots just because someone once told them they were cute. I nearly punched one of these drunken brats out at the 9:30 club once because I kept getting elbowed in the boob. Thanks, I feel better now.

  • I remember being at St Ex when they first opened years ago and was seated at the bar with some friends. There were a bunch of people behind me, waiting to order beer, one girl had a few empty glasses in her hand. I took the glasses from her and got the bartender’s attention for her. She told me I was the nicest person in there. Me theory is there are too many non-southerners in this town as I would have been a dime a dozen in any bar back home!

  • I have found that alcohol consumption is directly related to your tolerance level at these sort of functions. Go to a place SOBER that is packed, hot, and with sweaty people bumping into you and see how long you can last. It is like an endurance test.

  • i have noticed the increasing problem of concertgoers just talking through concerts/shows. it REALLY annoying. if you paid to see/hear the show…. why not shut up and listen.

    this seems to happen A LOT on H street. maybe its because its not about the bands.. its just about going to BE at a place where cool band is performing.


  • otis gal, that last statement is just stupid…way to overgeneralize

    yes, southerners are sooooo nice…it’s a better world down there….i mean people open doors for other people, they say hello to strangers, they even let their slaves live in the house sometimes


  • Otis gal- Girl I am right here with you. Also an “otis gal” as well as a southerner myself, I find that people back home are a bit more inclined to show some good manners. And its not just a guy thing- I open doors for people, help them out in public, etc. all the time and so do my friends, male and female.

    That being said, undoubtedly there are plenty of people from everywhere else on this planet who are just as nice. Sweaty concerts are probably just not the situation that has large quantities of the “selfless” sort.

    Pauper- man, you tooootally made your point. Your carpetbagging snarkitude proves that those mean old yankees really do know how to set us straight.

    (side: I love mean old yankees.)

  • sean – im with you. i was the designated driver at saint ex the other day and it was SOOO crowded, i wanted to strangle all the people bumping into me. i tried to smile through it, i agreed to be the driver, but damn it was awful. being tipsy helps get through that stuff. so sad to say that.

  • im 52, as some of you know. and i am just glad i am not alone…. civility has taken some serious hits the last few years… hang in there-prince.. we’ve got your back!

  • A lot of it is the R+R Hotel crowd. I’ve been there with the bands where these kids are totally rude to the musicians. The kids today hate hate hate musicians and treat them with total disrespect (stealing music, etc), so it’s no doubt they are pretty awful in a small club like R+R Hotel.

  • amen, nomorehipsters. i’m convinced that was the case when i saw blonde redhead at the 9:30 2 weeks ago. people read about the show on dcist and in the express, and i think they showed up because they believed that would be the cool thing to do. they didn’t give a crap about the music, so they just talked and talked and talked.

    i would LOVE to see a club actually institute a policy that, if you don’t shut up, you have to leave.

  • IMGoph, it’s in the burbs, but the Birchmere has a no-talking policy. People are actually there to see the show, golly gee!

  • yes. you are getting old. pray tell of the days 10 (20?) years ago when jerks didn’t go to rock and roll shows?

  • @Shannon – but the Birchmere also has an odd policy of sitting down, and starting shows on time –

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