The guy was singing his heart out and no one gave a shit. At least that's what Caamp frontman Taylor Meier accused his Beachland Ballroom audience of last month. The Ohio folk-rock three-piece has such a strong local following that they sold out back-to-back shows. But when Meier started in on a beautiful new acoustic solo during the first concert, people in the back started talking loudly.
"You all can go fuck yourselves," Meier said when he finished the song, visibly shaken. The diehards up front tried to cheer him up, but he never quite recovered. He ran off the stage following a short encore, presumably to pout.
The incident, while handled immaturely by the artist, shows just how terrible Cleveland audiences can be, even to bands they profess to love.
If you're at a bar where live music is supposed to be background noise, that's one thing; but during a big show, especially during the quiet moments, it's time to shut your piehole.
The Agora, with its bar in the back, is another spot where concertgoers will yammer on through whole sets. Multiple recent Scene concert reviews have noted how rude audience members there can be. This reflects poorly on our city and does not make artists want to come back our way (making every music booker's job in this town that much harder).
Arguments can be made that a person who spent significant dough on a ticket should be able to do whatever they want at a show, as it's their money and their time. But the people around you spent money, too, and they don't care about your workday or your boy drama; they came to see a musician who at some point meant something to them.
So how can we as audience members do better? It comes down to this: Music is for listening and dancing and jumping and yelling along to, not talking over. Follow these guidelines and we'll all have a great time.