Concertgoers: Have confidence in yourselves!
weekend I attended the Wilco/Andrew Bird show at Fifth-Third Park in
Geneva. It was a lovely night (if a little lacking in the diversity
department). The show was general admittance, so when I arrived, I had
the option of standing on the field near (or nearish) the stage or
sitting in the bleachers, which was what my friends and I opted to do.
began arriving as early as 4 p.m. to get good parking. The opening act
came on at 5:30 and Wilco took the stage at 8, as scheduled. For us
early-arrivers, this meant sitting in the sun for nearly four hours
before we saw the headliner.
I have been a Wilco fan since their
first album came out, but I would never describe the band as "dance
music." You can rock out to some tunes more than others but I never
think of "Wilco" and "bands that make you jump out of your chair
uncontrollably!" in the same sentence. Maybe that's just me.
For some reason though, when the song "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart"
came on, a small cluster of people below us chose to spring to their
feet and lose their minds, whooping it up and raising their beers in the
air. This was a little bit strange to me, since the song, while one of
my favorites, is, to put it mildly, a bit melancholy and slightly
The really odd thing, though, was that these people kept
looking around the rest of us bleacher-sitters and trying to get us to
stand up and join them in their revelry. They couldn't believe that we
were just sitting there! We were so unbelievably lame, all of us.
on!" they exhorted us, waving their beers. "Get up and dance!" There
were a lot of things I wanted to yell back to these guys: "No!" or "Not
to this song!" or "I'm pregnant!" or "I'm hot!" or "You look like an
ass!" But just sitting there, swaying and smiling seemed to frustrate
I'm cool if these guys wanted to dance to the music.
That's what music is for, plus we all paid $50 and drove for a long
time to get to the show, so who am I to begrudge anyone from getting
their proverbial groove on? By that same token, however, we also paid
$50 apiece for the show, drove an hour and a half to get there and
wanted to exercise our right not to dance. In fact, my husband and I
even read the newspaper through a portion of the show. I maintain you
can enjoy live music just as well by reading as by watching the stage,
and my dad, who does the crossword while at the Chicago Symphony, will
back me up on this.
So my main point is, if you're a dancer,
dance. Dance, as the bumper sticker says, like no one is watching.
Because you really shouldn't need other people's dancing to validate
your own choice to dance. Dance away, friend. But leave me out of it. At
least until a different song comes on.