22 January 2012

Concert Etiquette or, The Embarrassing Parts of Living in Provo

So Matt Costa came to Provo town.  For the past 2 weeks or so, as I walked by several posters advertising his upcoming BYU concert, this question kept entering my mind:  WHY?  

I mean, he's Matt Costa.  He's a fantastic musician.  He's up there with the likes of Jack Johnson, Mason Jennings, and other Brushfire greats.  What could possibly attract him to perform at BYU?  Does he realize what he's getting himself in to?  I was overjoyed and tremendously worried at the same time.

You see, Mormons do not know concert etiquette.  They are clueless.  Typically, when I refer to Mormons in this context, I'm talking about the born-and-raised Utah Valley-ites.  I'm not friends with a lot of you, but if one of your kind happens to be reading this, here is a healthy serving of food for thought.  Bon appetit.

At one point during the show, dear Matt said something along the lines of, "I'd like to thank Brigham Young University for having me out tonight.  There's no place I would rather be."  I can tell you right now, if I was a famous musician, BYU is the LAST place I would ever perform at.  Here's why:

First, meet Dream Couple.  Dream Couple is composed of the World's Most Idiotic Man and the World's Most Idiotic Woman.  They've found each other!  Can you believe it?  Soul mates!   An artistic rendering of Dream Couple is found below.

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you.  Midst a thronging crowd of eager concert-goers, Dream Couple sprawls out like they're sunbathing in frickin St. Tropez.  RIGHT in the front.  Behind the blue anti-groupie rope.  First, I was confused.  Did they slip?  Should I help them up?  Then, I was annoyed.  Who do they think they are, taking up room for at least 8 people and preventing any one of those 8 people from getting a good view of the stage???  

I suffered through my annoyance only for about 4 songs of the opening band.  I couldn't take it any longer.  Not to mention my view was becoming more and more hindered by, well, anyone over the height of 4'11".  So I did what any sane person would do and awkwardly stepped over Dream Couple and stood in the spot marked with a big red X.  Ah, perfect.  Prime location.  Not 3 seconds passed before I feel a pinch on my boot.  I turn around to a fiery cloud of expletives as Dream Couple chews my head off for obstructing their perfect view.  I civilly inform them that there are no assigned seats, and that there is plenty of room right in front of them for me to stand.  If they would like to see better, they can stand up as well.  LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.  Well that didn't fly.  Oh no.  I was yelled at and cursed at more than I have been since my mission, and even then, swearing doesn't hit as hard when it's in a foreign language.  Actually, I don't think I've ever been cussed out in my native language.  Interesting that my first time was at a BYU function.  And it was ugly, let me tell you.  I just turned around and tried to enjoy the show, but I was a bit shaken up. You would be shaken up too if you were whipped with the venomous tongues of Dream Couple, oh-so-ironically clad in a BYU sweatshirt for her and an Elmo beanie (yes, as in Sesame Street) for him.  It was difficult to take them seriously. (I tried to draw an Elmo beanie, but it just made him look like Santa.)   

Then, THEN, the Dumb Crowd Control Dude had the nerve to come up to me and say "Now, I'm not telling you to move, I'm just asking you to consider that they were here first."  I told him that I wasn't moving.  He was, like, 18.  I couldn't take him seriously either.  

HAVE THESE PEOPLE EVER BEEN TO A CONCERT IN THEIR LIFE???!  I mean, outside of Vocal Point or MoTab.  Seriously!  Do you understand how this works?  I can't tell you how many times I have been smashed up and spooned against beer-breath moshers all in the name of a great stage-front spot.  That's just how it is!  The joy of concerts!  I don't care if this was Matt Costa and not Flogging Molly, and that his audience would more likely elicit pot smoking chill-ness than beer drinking mad-ness.  The front is STILL prime and anyone who can fight for it deserves it.  I started thinking I had gone crazy; that somehow my logic was off.  But my friends and other bystanders assured me I was not insane.  So I held my ground.  

The other reason I would never perform at BYU is this: BYU students are rude.  I was so utterly embarrassed by the amount of people talking.  I did not picture them above.  They were behind the normal concert-goers.   At one point, I couldn't hear what Matt Costa was saying because of the overwhelming background noise of stupid kids who thought they were at a stake dance, not a concert.  It was incredibly disrespectful.  Just shootin' the breeze.  Obviously had no idea who Matt Costa was.  And they, too, had never been to a concert and had no clue how ridiculous they were being.  

The MC applauded us for a sell-out show and suggested the idea of even more big names coming to play at BYU.  God forbid.  I don't think I could stomach another BYU show.  Matt, if you read this (I know you secretly follow my blog), I sincerely apologize on behalf of my colleagues.  There is no excuse for them. 


  1. Oh it's painful just reading about it! For all that I love BYU....that's just ridiculous. It's too bad you didn't get to enjoy your nice stage view! Haha the dumb crowd control dude didn't kick out the dream couple for their profanity?

  2. Oh geez...when I first saw the title of this I thought of other concerts, like orchestra concerts where the BYU audience unfailingly always applauds between movements. Thanks for writing this- BYU is definitely and interesting place nowadays

  3. I agree with you on everything except the claim that all these idiots are born and raised utah valley-ites. unfortunately, this lack of common sense is found practically everywhere. and byu is the perfect gathering place for all of these clueless people. common sense is not that common.