In November I had the opportunity to work at and see Matt Good perform an acoustic concert in Medicine Hat. As my friend is a co-owner of a live audio company, I also had the opportunity to see him do his soundcheck in exchange for helping him load out some gear after the show. It was a great experience to see Matt perform “Born Losers” at soundcheck with only ten people being in the theatre. It was very intimate.
The actual concert was great as well. Except of course, there were drunken jackasses yelling out during the show. This venue seats around 400-500 people and 3 people were booted out during the concert. A friend of mine saw Matt Good perform at the Jack Singer in Calgary which is much larger and no one was kicked out. During the show in Medicine Hat one person kept screaming out random remarks or comments between songs until Matt would respond and then the drunken audience member would keep the conversation rolling like it was a Q&A until he was booted. The other two people who were kicked out were just being obnoxious.
I believe that the audience banter with musicians can partially be blamed on Lynyrd Skynyrd. On their live album “One More from the Road” the band asks the audience “What song do you want to hear?” and the audience replies “Freebird!“. This has lead to many drunken audiences screaming out “Freebird” at non-Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts. It may have been funny the first few times but now it’s about as funny as “Git-R-Done“. Because of this, Lynyrd Skynyrd has led to audiences thinking that they can and should be allowed to talk with musicians even when they aren’t asked to.
As a side story, a few years ago my friends and I would go to Boston Pizza to drink. As we were drunken jackasses, we would go to the jukebox and choose songs that were long just to annoy people who were there. The live version of “Freebird” and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” and “Moby Dick” from How the West was Won were classics to choose. After doing this a few times a waitress finally got so pissed off and that she just unplugped the jukebox. We stopped doing this afterwards.