Thursday, September 22, 2005

Shhhigur Ros

Not surprisingly, Sigur Ros was closer to a classical night out than a rock show, the beautiful and confy Chicago Theatre the perfect place to catch an act like them. While the hipsters in attendance (sold out!) wore jeans and t-shirts, they still behaved largely like a classical audience, too. Respectful silence, shhh-ing talkers, cell phones off. With one exception, right next to me.

This woman and her friend stumble in an hour into the performance and sit next to me in our otherwise deserted row (no doubt set aside for press and whatnot, but conspicuously empty all the same). She proceeds to flip open her cell phone, call a friend then leave the damn thing open for the remainder of the show for her friend to hear, talking briefly between each song.

Now, cell phones are aggravating but not inherently noisy. It's the user that contributes that property, and to her credit after one rather loud exchange with her cell-mate she promptly quieted down and simply held aloft the phone. Annoying and silly, yes, but noisy? No. Yet her initial racket was enough to piss off (rightly so) the people behind me, so much so that the guy and his girlfriend kept insisting she hang up the phone. The woman with the phone either ignored them or didn't understand them (she wasn't speaking English, and could very well have been part of Sigur Ros's posse), but they kept it up.

"If you were a man, I would punch you!"
"Hang up the phone!"
"I will kick you hard, right in the ovaries."

Indeed, one of the great ironies of shh-ing: they were much, much louder and more distracting than the woman with the phone! The breaking point for me came when, after one pause between songs, the guy reached over the seat and intentionally applauded right in the woman's left ear, as loud as he could. Which, of course, was right next to my right ear. So I whipped around and snapped:

"Dude, that's my ear, too! Knock it off!"

He understood but was a bit taken aback.

"Yeah, I know, but ..."

"Shh!!!!" I snapped, then turned around again and watched the rest of the show, which was uneventful.

When I left I leaned over, gave a shrug, and said "sorry, man." Then I pointed to cell-phone woman and said "she's all yours." He smiled and gave me a wave, and I headed home.

Question of the day: does Paul McCartney transcend demographics, the way the Stones arguably do, or is he firmly and exclusively boomer rock? Remember when the Beatles "1s" collection came out, and people made a big deal about how many young people were buying it and discovering the Beatles? Is that true? Is anyone under the age of 25 excited about the current Macca tour?


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