Sunday, August 10, 2008

Am I Getting Old?

Yesterday, I made my annual trip to Alpine Valley Music Theater to see my all-time favorite band, Dave Matthews Band. I have seen Dave at least once a year since my sophomore year of college, so this concert has become something of a tradition for me. Although the show was fantastic--DMB played a kick-ass cover of "Burning Down the House" by the Talking Heads along with several other awesome DMB tunes--I can honestly type something that I never thought my fingers would allow me to type: I think that I just attended my last DMB concert at Alpine Valley.

The main reason for this major revelation is the fact that the crowd attending DMB concerts has seemed to change drastically in the past few years. When I first started seeing DMB live, before the band was mainstream, there was a large hippie contingent in the crowd, and although hippies can be annoying in their own right, at least they are generally courteous and give a crap about those around them. Now that DMB is a hugely popular band, the crowd includes what Aaron refers to as the "frat boy contingent". Yes, there are some of us older fans who go because we truly enjoy Dave's music, and then there is the large group of 18-22 year olds who go because they have heard one or two of Dave's songs on the radio and need an excuse to take Dad's car out and drink copious amounts of liquor and make out with their stick insect girlfriends.

The problem with these kids (I can say kids...I'm 30) is that, besides just generally annoying the crap out of me, they seem to have this sense of entitlement that I don't remember having at their age. They don't care about others around them...all that they care about is that THEY are having a good time, and screw everyone else. Three examples from yesterday:

-My mom, my sister, and I headed over to the Port-a-Johns and found that there were several well-formed lines in front of each stall, but there was one stall that didn't have a line. Seeing this, we took it upon ourselves to form our own line, and were promptly chastised by one particularly Abercrombie and Fitched-out young man for cutting in front of him in line and not having any class. We took a moment to explain the concept of each stall having its own line and that since he was the leader of the line for the stall directly next to ours, we weren't cutting in front of him in line since we were in a DIFFERENT line. He explained, using rather colorful language, that his girlfriend needed to pee, and when the stall in front of us became available, pushed said girlfriend in front of my mother and into the stall. Egged on by another young man behind us in our line who clearly thought we were in the right, I told the A&F boy that I was very sorry, but that due to some medical issues, my bladder isn't the strongest and that I had to use the facilities. He replied, "You can wait your fucking turn like everyone else." Oh, it was ooooooooon. The best thing ever was when my mom gritted her teeth and said to him, "You watch your language," and he backed down. Score one for Grandma!

-During the concert, Aaron and I were minding our own business, enjoying the music, when a younger girl behind us (who we had never spoked to) started beating Aaron over the head with her long plastic margarita yard for no particular reason. She was hitting him so hard that Aaron thought someone was hitting him over the head with a bat. We turned around and both asked the girl just what the hell she thought she was doing and she replied, "I was just kidding." After Aaron and I each gave her a piece of our minds, we turned back around to try to enjoy the show, and we heard the girl say to her boyfriend, "They are, like, the crankiest people ever." Again, it was ooooon. I turned around and, with my most obnoxiously sarcastic voice possible said, "I'm so sorry that we're so, like, cranky. You just need to learn how to act in public." They left.

-Towards the end of the show, I was getting tired and needed to walk around a bit, so Aaron and I took a stroll and I decided to purchase a tasty smoothie. While Aaron and I were standing in line, a young woman and her fat boyfriend decided that the rules of lines didn't apply to them and proceeded to step directly in front of me (and everyone behind me) to order, because clearly her needs were far more important than anyone else's. They ordered their food and when they turned to leave, instead of walking around me and the rest of the line like a normal person would do, the girl bumped into me full on and almost spilled her beer on me. I didn't even say anything this time, and soon after, Aaron and I decided to head back to the car.

I don't know...I hate to think that I am getting too old for DMB concerts, but all signs are pointing that way. I just can't stand people that don't seem to care about anyone but themselves, and unfortunately, that seems to be a common trait among the age group that attends DMB concerts these days. What happened to the good ol' days when the worst thing about attending a DMB concert was the contact high?


Jennifer said...

Awww... I'm sorry to hear your experience was sucky. Sadly my last DMB at Alpine Valley was two years ago when my car windows got busted. Nothing was stolen, not the wallets, purses or digital cameras that were in plain view; it appeared to just be for the sake of wrecking stuff. The kicker was the smiley face drawn into the dust on my car. The 18-22 year old crowd IS more entitled than we were, it makes my job very fun.

Boo. At least the music was great!

Mike said...

I'm am sooo in agreement. DMB at Alpine has become an annual rite of summer, but the Saturday show was amateur night to the maximus. Wonder if it's the same all over? Maybe a better time at Red Rocks? Virginia Beach? I don't know.... I was there Saturday with a buddy and my wife, and we all agreed -- Dave's concerts have matured, and we love them; Dave's audience has immatured, and we hate it. What are we to do??? The Dead are gone; Phish is gone; DMB is the last, best outdoor show - but the audience? Sheesh!