10
Mar
11

To sit or stand? The grand concert dilemma

 As many of you may have read HiFi recently attended a Trey Anastasio show in our city and it was incredible.  Well, perhaps I should say that it was incredible for some of us and “incredibly frustrating” for others; specifically those in the row behind us.

Unlike the Al Dimeola show that we attended last year whereas everyone sat in their chairs almost the entire show except for the encore; the Trey show was the complete opposite; since for the entire 3-hour show it was voluntary standing room only!  Perhaps concerts depending on the artist are one of those classic “buyer beware” situations; clearly Phish and Trey shows are full of people that clearly want a “quality” experience, and well, standing and dancing are all part of getting your monies worth at a show.  Having it be my first Trey show, clearly I understood why people want to groove all night long, it’s more than just a concert; it’s an experience unlike anything I’ve witnessed. 

The issue at the Albany show was that my row consisted (on average except for my HiFi pal Ericstraus who’s about 5’10”) of an average height of about 6’3″, so for the poor soul’s behind us who were shorter, it must have been a bit of a bummer not being able to see as well as they may have hoped. 

Was this our fault that they could not see a majority of the show? 

Well, no, but they again yes. Yet, if everyone was standing and I decided to sit down being courteous was I then cheating myself ?  Clearly if I did then I wasn’t going to see anything.   So my question is:

When does traditional courtesy take a backseat and the general theme or behavior of the majority define what is and what is not appropriate?  And does it?

During the end of the first set one of the people in my row, a father and son who each were around 6′ 6″ were haggled by the older folks behind then about their ability not to see the show; it actually got a bit ugly and words were exchanged to almost the point of a physical confrontation, not cool.  The father was merely defending his son (and his) right to stand as rightful ticket holders and that they were not purposely doing anything intentional to spoil the row behind them and their evening; it was simply just what it was.  I had to agree with the father, how did he own any of their inconvience other than being born tall?

Luckily, fellow Trey fans settled the issue down and the father regained  his composure, but it does present a very fickle issue.  The father even commented later to both of us that out of all the Phish and Trey shows he had attended this was the first time that it was an issue, otherwise people are usually very cool and make the situation the best regardless.

However, when you look at it, it is a bit retarded to stand at a concert when you have a perfectly good seat.  Ok, so a Trey show is probably a bad example since clearly it is an opportunity to dance and move more than just tapping your feet and slapping your knee.  But why do we feel compelled to stand at shows where we could sit, like a Rush concert?  I don’t recall dancing to Tom Sawyer or Natural Science, have you?  At best it would be better for a fan to sit while pretending  (like the other thousand 30-something geeks in attendance) that  their Neil Peart drumming to YYZ.   Why the need to stand at metal or rock concerts, do we think that the lead singer is going see us?  Do we feel that we can see better?  I think it’s kind of goofy that we feel compelled to stand for hours, especially when a ticket costs on average $40+. 

I recall several concerts that I attended during high school (ZZ Top and Robert Plant) where I had tickets on the sides of the arena, probably the best place to see a show in my opinion; you are up high, got a great view, and can see above the crowd below.  But oddly, people still chose to stand the entire concert, which made me have to stand since I could not see.  Perhaps, it’s just a domino effect, whereas one person starts the standing thing and ruins it for the rest and then they have to stand, and it goes on, and on, and on…ugh.

What is your experience and thoughts on this issue?

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3 Responses to “To sit or stand? The grand concert dilemma”


  1. 1 ericstraus
    March 10, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Firstly, if you think I’m 5’10” then you are waaaayyyyy off. As for the standing/not standing issue, it all depends on the artist/show. Nobody sits at jam band concerts, be it Phish, moe., whoever…nobody sat at Dead shows, did they? Any type of concert that features “dancing” music I would expect people to stand. I’m sure nobody sits at a Lady Gaga show either. You can’t “dance” to Rush, forget it. So we sit. Basically I think you need to go with the crowd – if they’re standing, you better stand. If they’re sitting, you’ll look like a jerk if you’re the only one standing. And if you’re the only one sitting like that old guy at Trey, then it’s your loss.

  2. 2 jacobull
    March 10, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    Ok, so your 4’11”? I agree that the crowd and the band dictate sitting or standing.


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