On Oct. 20, two of my bucket list events were completed. I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and also saw The Eagles live in concert. This was definitely one of the most fun weekends of my life. The road trip, the meals and the time spent with friends are certainly things I will remember for a long, long time. However, at the concert, I couldn’t help but notice the absolute lack of wonder by some of the audience. The Eagles, arguably one of the most successful and legendary bands to come from the great of music of the ‘70s, were literally a few hundred feet from the audience member’s faces, yet some middle-aged soccer moms and dads simply could not pry themselves away from their phones.
I know I sound like the old man yelling at the cloud, but it honestly disheartened me to see some people cared more about letting their friends know they were at an Eagles concert rather than actually listening to the music. Let’s take a look at a few of the characters who attempted to ruin the show for me.
The first thing that really got under my skin at the concert was a woman directly in front of me attempting to Facebook live stream the concert to all three of her friends. Do you really feel the need for instant gratification from others so much that you cannot simply experience and enjoy the show? She also did not know how to turn the brightness down on her phone, so it blinded me every time she opened it. I understand if she wanted to take a few photos, maybe a few videos, but she did not have the care to just do that. Every time she opened her phone to do a stupid Facebook stream, she also had to check every single one of her messaging apps. Lady, I promise you that any text you receive is not going to be more interesting than Joe Walsh ripping into the solo from “Life’s Been Good.”
One more thing that really made me upset was definitely the people who simply can’t read or understand row and seat numbers. Amber Canbek, Chandler Pocwinski and myself were all seated right next to each other when a very old man, he must have been in his 70’s, leaned over and said we were in the wrong seats. I responded by taking out my ticket and showing him that we were indeed in the right seats. He obviously didn’t believe me because in a few seconds, an usher asked us all to display our tickets. Of course, the old geezer was wrong. To make matters worse, this was all taking place during “Tequila Sunrise,” one of my favorite Eagles’ songs. The man said that he and his party of seven had to get by us to get to their correct seats, this whole process took about the entire length of the song. He tried to play it off by telling me that his eyes weren’t too good, a weak attempt at trying to not seem like a total asshole. I just said maybe he should check twice next time before trying to usurp my seat. Thanks a lot, old man.
Whatever happened to just showing up, listening to the music, having a true experience with the crazy amount of talent of display and just enjoying the show? Just show up and listen. Don’t try to show other people on your timeline how cool you are. Concerts are about the music, not the bragging. You can stay off your phone for a few hours. It isn’t that hard. If you really can’t go without taking a photo or video, just do it quick, have your brightness all the way down, and try to be inconspicuous about it. For the love of God, do not take a photo, especially a video with the flash on. Those people should be banned from concerts forever.
In conclusion, my concert-going friends, spark up a joint, relax and let the music take you away.
-Zach Stryffeler, Music Director