Don’t Do This at Your Next Concert

 

Live Fix Experiment Results: Miike Snow &  The Tapping-On-My-Notepad Lady

These are no ordinary Live Fix Experiment results.

What I’m going to share with you is both rare and crucial to every fan’s live music experience.

It happened to me at the Miike Snow concert on Sept 25th. 

It was something that has never happened to me before.

It was something that I must share with you because the interaction I had with a fellow fan taught me a lesson that is of critical importance if we are to truly appreciate and respect the amazing diversity of our live music experiences.

During this Miike Snow concert at the Empty Bottle, I was conducting another Live Fix Experiment using Twitter, my Blackberry Storm and my Moleskine. 

I was loving the show and caught up in the wonderful throbing electronic pulse and frenzy vibe inside the Empty Bottle. 

Jumping back and forth from my Moleskine and Blackberry I was simultaneously sending out a flurry of tweets and scribbling down notes for later examination and recap. On the outside it might’ve seemed like a distraction to my enjoyment of the show, but actually it enhanced it.  Scribbling and tweeting are just a few of the ways that I enjoy the show.

And in the climax of Miike Snow’s hit anthem “Animal” a female fan reaches over and pokes me in the stomach and taps down hard on my Moleskin almost knocking it from my hand. And she says to me shaking her head and sipping her beer, “Just stop taking notes and enjoy the show.” 

Enjoy this!

Now,  let me say this first.

I appreciated the fellow fan interaction–and I always love when fans take the risk to reach out to perfect strangers at shows just for the sake of spreading the love and sharing the moment– but I have to be honest with you. I was pissed when she did that. It was really frickin’ annoying. 

But at the same time I felt sad for this confused and misguided fan.

LFTakingNotes
my post tap tweet

Because she, though she probably had good intentions, had failed to see beyond her near-sighted concert enjoyment perspective. And she probably thinks that the only way to enjoy the show was in the same way she was. 

So I smiled at her and just let her speak her peace. And we went our separate ways of enjoying the rest of the show. 

But you know what? 

I regret that I didn’t have the chance to tell her that she had sadly misjudge me and my note-taking.  I’d really like the chance to ask her a few questions. Why did she do this?  Does she normally do this at concerts to other fans?  Or was this a case of chemicals lowering her inhibitions to the point where she felt comfortable telling me how I should be enjoying Miike Snow?

I’m not sure how she would have answered those questions. But I can confidently say that this particular fan was, on some level, very aware and capable. And she knew exactly what she was doing. 

Because when she tapped on my Moleskine and gave me her misguided advice, she proudly smiled at me like she was doing me some great favor of a lifetime.  Like she was some sort of  live music do-gooder  protecting the live music experience from being tarnish by note-taking-social-media-texting-tweeting freaks like me. 

But, sadly, she only rippd me right out of my zone of pleasure and flung me into a moment of annoyance and displeasure. Which, I’m sure, was actually the opposite of what she hoped to do.

This Just In:  Every Fan Has Their Own Way of Enjoying a Concert

I tell you this story because you need to know this about your fellow fans.  And I tell you this as a friendly and sincere word of caution. I tell you this because I care about you and your concert experiences. 

We all enjoy live music in different ways.  Some of us write or tweet. Some of us tap our feet and let the inner-mind do the dancing and wiggling. Some of us let loose in all directions and dance, sing or shout to abandon.  And some of us have no idea at all how to handle the social anxieties and rush of excitement that live music creates in us.

Yes, we all need to have our boundaries and comfort zones extended. But let’s not mistake a helping hand tapping on someone’s notepad for a misguiding missile destroying someone else’s enjoyment.  

Again, by all means, talk to your fellow fan, give them a fist bump during a great riff moment, toss them the devil horns when the band is killing it during your favorite song. 

Share a hearty WOOT with everyone else in the venue. Concerts are suppose to places for deep emotional connection with others. It’s why we spend our hard earn cash to see a show. 

But PLEASE don’t push another fan out of their own moment of enjoyment just because it’s not exactly what you think they should be doing.  Because when you do, you’re actually ruining the moment for them. It’s a fine line to walk. I know. 

How are you suppose to know when to say hello or interact with a fellow fan during a concert? 

Well, there are ways. 

I’ve had the pleasure of being asked what I was writing on my notepad by a fan once during a Wilco show and I found out right at that moment that when this fan looked at my notepad it was a life-changing experience for him.  I was honored to be a part of such a sacred moment for a fellow fan (I’m still amazed that my notepad scribblings can have such an impact on someone).

So when I think of how to interact with fellow fans I think of moments like that. So though it may seem hard and difficult to know when we should tap a fellow friend on the shoulder and “interrupt” their moment of pleasure.  But I know we can do it.  It really just takes what I call “common concert sense.”  I know we may not all have the same amount of “common concert sense” but I’d like to believe that we all have enough to know what to do when we see a fellow fan enjoying the show in a different way than us.

Silly actions couldn’t steal this show

Luckily, the Tapping-On-My-Notepad-Lady didn’t ruin the whole show.  It only caused a brief moment of fan-to-fan frustration that quickly passed once I moved away from the fan. And I was able to purge some of my frustration by tweeting this fan’s silly actions. 

Then I relied on Miike Snow  to take care of the rest.  And they did by putting on a great show that was a fabulous mix of terror and ecstasy.

Check out the videos below on the Live Fix YouTube Channel to see how it went. I did some experiments with light, sound and pleasure.  You’ll also see how I was part of a pre-Halloween fright rock intro.

Download Miike Snow via Miike

Where you at this Miike Snow show? 

Has a fellow fan ever ripped you from a moment of pleasure?

Photo by Colleen Catania

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  • http://www.windycityrock.net/ Frank

    That’s incredibly annoying! I take notes at shows for reviewing purposes and get some strange looks because of it, so I feel your pain. Nobody’s been as forward with me as the girl you describe, though. I can see making a comment to someone who is incessantly talking during a show or doing something else that directly detracts from your own experience, but why would someone care if someone next to them is taking notes? That’s a case of “mind your own business” if there ever was one.

  • http://www.windycityrock.net Frank

    That’s incredibly annoying! I take notes at shows for reviewing purposes and get some strange looks because of it, so I feel your pain. Nobody’s been as forward with me as the girl you describe, though. I can see making a comment to someone who is incessantly talking during a show or doing something else that directly detracts from your own experience, but why would someone care if someone next to them is taking notes? That’s a case of “mind your own business” if there ever was one.

  • http://www.christophercatania.com/ Chris

    Yeah Frank, it was one of the strangest situations I’ve experienced at a concert. I just wish that I had the chance to ask that lady some follow up questions.

  • http://www.christophercatania.com Chris

    Yeah Frank, it was one of the strangest situations I’ve experienced at a concert. I just wish that I had the chance to ask that lady some follow up questions.

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  • Eric

    I get the idea that this fan really bothered you, even if it was for a short moment. I think it’s understandable because many people are not comfortable with being approached and criticized by another person. But at what level was this fan criticizing you? It seems to me that by writing this blog, you felt deeply criticized. I would question whether the intent was really meant to be as critical as you felt, especially if it was delivered with an obvious smile during a celebratory circumstance.

    The fact is, people throw out comments, jokes, observations, suggestions all the time that are seemingly off centre, or miss their mark. These are usually forgettable moments for the recipient or observer. In this case, a seemingly off colour remark has landed a person on your shit list and earned them a cyber-flog.

    Have you considered that your own response to this simple social interaction can shed some light into some of your own insecurities. Do you see yourself as apart from the crowd most of the time and it really hit home when somebody suggested you join the crowd?

    I think this person just felt the need to reach out to somebody, and you were it. I even doubt the person actually thought you should put down the notebook, but rather, it was an excuse, or reason to talk to you and flash a smile, especially if the body language was genuinely positive… Sounds like you took the interaction a bit too literal, but it would only seem fitting being that you’re a writer….

  • Eric

    I get the idea that this fan really bothered you, even if it was for a short moment. I think it’s understandable because many people are not comfortable with being approached and criticized by another person. But at what level was this fan criticizing you? It seems to me that by writing this blog, you felt deeply criticized. I would question whether the intent was really meant to be as critical as you felt, especially if it was delivered with an obvious smile during a celebratory circumstance.

    The fact is, people throw out comments, jokes, observations, suggestions all the time that are seemingly off centre, or miss their mark. These are usually forgettable moments for the recipient or observer. In this case, a seemingly off colour remark has landed a person on your shit list and earned them a cyber-flog.

    Have you considered that your own response to this simple social interaction can shed some light into some of your own insecurities. Do you see yourself as apart from the crowd most of the time and it really hit home when somebody suggested you join the crowd?

    I think this person just felt the need to reach out to somebody, and you were it. I even doubt the person actually thought you should put down the notebook, but rather, it was an excuse, or reason to talk to you and flash a smile, especially if the body language was genuinely positive… Sounds like you took the interaction a bit too literal, but it would only seem fitting being that you’re a writer….

  • Chris

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I enjoyed your insight and you’re right about me being a writer who’s prone to posting about such a response. As a concert reviewer I often get a glare or a look of curiosity from fans when I take out my notepad, so her response wasn’t that surprising.

    I really appreciate you looking at it from the other perspective, too. As best as I remember, the fan was serious about telling me to put down my notepad. And ever since that moment I’ve always wished I could have had a follow up chat with her to better understand why she did what she did. I’m constantly fascinated by human behavior and especially concert fan behavior. But it’s a challenge to document concert fan experiences because the environment is often full of different variables that make it hard to clearly understand everyone’s true intentions and emotional triggers. But I know it’s possible and that’s why Live Fix exists. And, as always, I’m open to your suggestions on how to get an accurately gauge and document concert fan behavior. 😉

  • Chris

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I enjoyed your insight and you’re right about me being a writer who’s prone to posting about such a response. As a concert reviewer I often get a glare or a look of curiosity from fans when I take out my notepad, so her response wasn’t that surprising.

    I really appreciate you looking at it from the other perspective, too. As best as I remember, the fan was serious about telling me to put down my notepad. And ever since that moment I’ve always wished I could have had a follow up chat with her to better understand why she did what she did. I’m constantly fascinated by human behavior and especially concert fan behavior. But it’s a challenge to document concert fan experiences because the environment is often full of different variables that make it hard to clearly understand everyone’s true intentions and emotional triggers. But I know it’s possible and that’s why Live Fix exists. And, as always, I’m open to your suggestions on how to get an accurately gauge and document concert fan behavior. 😉

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