Running commentary across the aisle

So recently I had the pleasure of attending two amazing concerts at the Palace Theater.

The first, a couple of months ago, came when my friend Dan gave me a call.  He had extra tickets to the Australian Pink Floyd show, and wanted to know if I would be interested in joining him and his wife to see the concert.

Sure, why not.

And let me tell you, it was a fun show.  They had the lasers, they had the circle spotlight on the stage, they did all the big hits of Pink Floyd’s career, and it was a great concert.

Well, almost great.

Because as I was enjoying the performance on stage …

Over to my left, across the aisle, someone was enjoying the performance more than adequately necessary.  He was singing along to every song, he was chattering about the songs themselves, I almost expected him to hold up a cigarette lighter and shout “Freebird” at one point.

And over to my right, I could tell that another patron at the concert was getting rather peeved at the running commentary.  And this guy looked like the protagonist from a Blotto song, you know, the one about “he lifts weights, he builds cars, and he’s got no sense of humor.”

I could hear him, steaming and growling and snarling.  He looked he was going to cross over the aisle and take the shine off that crazy diamond.  Probably punching him until the only words he could say were ummagumma.  You know, ring his division bell.

And Mr. Chatterbox was completely oblivious.  He kept on yapping and cheering and talking as loud as possible.  Probably had a few gallons of liquid courage in him prior to the concert.

“I’m gonna kick his ass, I’m gonna kick his ass,” Big Goon to my right was saying to his sloe-eyed arm candy.  “Ruining the concert for us, I’m gonna kick his ass.”

And during a break between songs, I quickly got out of my seat and went over to talk to Mr. Chatterbox.

“Hey, great concert, ain’t it?”

“Yeah, man, great concert!”

“You having a good time?”

“Yeah, man, having a great time!”

“Okay, you see that guy over there?” I said, pointing to Mr. Olympia.

“What about him?”

“He can hear every word you’re saying, and I’ve held him back twice from crossing over the aisle to have a talk with you.”


“And as you can see, he talks with those mallets at the end of his arms.”

Trust me.  That guy could crush a beer can with his pinkie.


“I’ve held him back twice from coming over to talk to you.  We all want to enjoy the show.  Keep your enthusiasm to yourself, okay?”

“What if I don’t?”

“Then the next time he gets the urge to talk to you, I’m going to go to the concession stand and order a diet cola, and I won’t return to my seat – until he returns to his.  If you know what I mean.”

Chatterbox nodded.  He got the message.  And although there were still a few blurts and blips out of him throughout the show, at least Mr. Muscle didn’t turn green, rip his shirt and do his best Lou Ferrigno impersonation on this clown.

Fast forward to last week.

Had great tickets to see Postmodern Jukebox, the retro group that takes modern Top 40 hits and turns them into big band awesome performances.  And let me tell you, that show was top shelf from the opening song to the second encore.

Trust me, this was an awesome night all around … except for …

Well, this time it wasn’t Mr. Chatterbox one row over.

This time, it was the Chatterbox Sisters one row behind me.

Yep, they were yapping and sputtering and singing into their beer cans as if it was karaoke night at the local Sip ‘n Go.  Just totally annoying everybody around.  Ugh.  And if they sang the Star Spangled Banner, it would have sounded as if it was composed by Francis Scott Off-Key.

Now of course, I’m on a date, and the last thing I want to do is act like a goon and shout them down.  But I could tell that the girl I took on this date was getting annoyed with the extra show behind her, and I didn’t want this date night to be ruined.

What to do, what to do…

And just when I couldn’t take any more chatter from the Victrola Sisters behind me…

Someone one row behind them stood up, and shouted, “Hey shut the up, we’re all trying to watch the concert!”


Two songs later, I looked behind me – and the talky-talky twins were gone.  They must have relocated to other seats, or maybe they realized that they were embarrassing themselves with their antics.

I didn’t see who shouted at them to be quiet…

Maybe it was Mr. Muscle from the Australian Pink Floyd show, that would have been some sweet poetic justice.  Maybe not.

I get it, though.  We all enjoy concerts and live shows.  And sometimes we enjoy them – shall we say – too much.  Just know that if your enjoyment borders on the obnoxious, and it interferes with our enjoyment, then someone’s going to talk to you.  It might be a fellow patron, it might be an usher.

We all came to see the performers on the stage.

Not the performer in the mezzanine.