A little hate, a lotta love.

Last Friday, the fabulous Jason Mraz graced Austin with his groovy tunes and positive outlook on life.  This leads me to many things I love about Austin.  First, we attract such fabulous musicians to our city.  And while sometimes scenes get left behind, the diversity, not to mention the sheer number, of concerts hosted here is remarkable.  Last weekend alone, Jason Mraz, Ray LaMontagne, and Ben Folds all visited our capital city – and those are just the big names!  We have fantastic venues, like Stubb’s, where Mraz laid down his jams.  Stubb’s is great, because it is pretty gigantic (particularly considering it is in the middle of a large city,) and outdoors.  And Friday, Austin weather was absolutely perfect, as it (in my humble opinion) so often is.  It was cool and breezy, perfect for swaying your hips to “Dynamo of Volition,” off Mraz’s new album, “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.”

Photo by Kate Hawkins.

Jason Mraz taking a step back to take in the crowd at Stubb's in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Kate Hawkins)

I also love the vibe of Austin crowds at concerts.  People sing, dance, and are generally avid fans of whatever group they see.  It’s practically a guarantee that whether I attend a concert with a friend or alone, I will always end up with a few new pals by the end of the night.  And, for hipsterish me, it’s also a joy to have mini music contest showdowns, comparing notes on new up-and-comers or trying to out-name old songs by the musician you are there to see.  (I can foresee this being something others hate, of course.)

I do have to hate on Austin a little bit.  Tragically, not all fans are awesome fans.  This is obviously not an “Austin only” phenomenon, but because Austin hosts so many concerts, poor concert behaviour is a trait that turns up a little too often.  For example, when you are standing in line for two hours, and just as the line starts moving, a giggly group walks up from having just parked their car and sneaks into line with that long-lost “friend” that always seems to be a little more devoted than they are, and jumps in front of you…this is obnoxious.  Apparently, certain concert-goers believe that they are a little more special than the rest of us.  It is NOT acceptable, and I stand in my place thinking about all of the bad karma you are building when you pull these stunts.  Then, there are the yucky fans in the venue.  Tempers rose due to the crowded nature of the show; it was sold out, and Stubb’s has a capacity near 2500 people.  People on the balcony dropped ashes from their cigarettes onto fans below.  And far too many people took themselves far too seriously and did not dance!!  Considering Mraz’s new album continues the words, “We Dance,” this seems a little silly to me.  Indeed, the most obnoxious are the people at shows just to “be seen,” who stand at the back of the venue, alcohol and voices flowing freely and loudly.  At the very least, they keep to themselves in the back, which is a kind of courtesy.  But keep it down, for cripe’s sake!!

Ultimately, though, Austin concerts are wonderful, wonderful experiences.  And even though many fans were too young to recognize Mraz’s Steely Dan cover (consequently making me feel ancient,) the show was an absolute blast, made perfect by my happy memories.  Thank you, Austin, for wonderful music.



3 Responses to “A little hate, a lotta love.”

  1. 1 Jane Kim October 28, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    I HATE poor concert manners!! Last semester, I went to a Method Man concert that was in the Union at UT, and I was so embarrassed to be a student of UT. About 2/3 of the crowd really got into it, but the other 1/3 just sat on the floor and were too lazy to get off their asses. I mean, why go to a concert if you’re not going to participate and have fun? It ruins it for other people. Bouncers shouldn’t kick out the rowdy people, they should kick out the boring people.
    But anyways, I’m so jealous that you got into a concert at Stubb’s. I tried so hard during the summer but it was always sold out so now I’m discouraged:(

  2. 2 Saul October 28, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Yes. Bouncers should kick out people who aren’t dancing.

    Seriously? Seriously?

  3. 3 Caitlin W October 29, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Meh, I don’t mind people enjoying the show in their own special way. What I DO mind (personal anecdote time) is when my friend who came to the show with me was dancing around, not EVEN as crazily as me (not even close!) and the girl standing with a scowl behind her, arms crossed, leaned over and yelled at her to stop pushing up against her. That’s just silly. My friend was keeping to herself, the other girl was the one jabbing her in the ribs with her elbow.

    THAT should be outlawed.

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We all have a love/hate relationship with the place we live. In Austin, we're no different. Check out who we are and why we're here. What's to love/hate?

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