Category Archives: Music

Concert Audiences Today: iPhones Down and Quiet, Please!

For a die-hard fan of a favorite band or musician, nothing is more irritating than another concert goer who is talking during the entire show.  And with the advent of smartphones, suddenly the contraband camera is no longer policeable as smartphone cameras are next to impossible to control within concert venues.

Artists have all but given up on trying to prevent photos and video recording of their performances.  But the other distracting factor is the sea of raised hands snapping pictures and recording entire songs for patrons to upload to Facebook or Instagram.

From an early age I was conditioned to not walk into a theater performance while dialog is being spoken, to wait for a break or a song to end before making an exit out of my seat or to enter a performance.  In classical music, applause is generally not given after a movement but only when the entire piece is completed.

With regards to performer respect these days, patrons are often up and out of their seats during songs they don’t know or don’t like, or they see the concert as a place to assemble and be with friends, in essence the show just happens to be going on around them as they enjoy their drinks and conversation.

Shooshing these concert goers almost always returns some sort of “I paid for my ticket….” type of rebuttal.  If not a full on fight or continued bad sentiment from the annoying person.

At last night’s Glenn Tilbrook show in New Haven, CT the performer resorted to collecting a half dozen iPhones and then used them to take selfies from the stage, or asking his assistant to record the audience with them.  “Come up and film yourselves, it’s a much more interesting angle” he sarcastically said from stage.

I applaud Glenn’s efforts to bring attention to this growing annoyance.  For every person that buys a ticket feels they have the right to enjoy themself by carrying on a conversation with their friends while the music plays, the other group has just as much right to enjoy the music undisturbed.

Singer Mary Lambert with Berklee professor and performer, Caroline Harvey.

Concert Review: Mary Lambert Wows Berklee’s David Friend Recital Hall

Seattle poet and musician Mary Lambert gave an intimate performance Saturday night to Boston’s Berklee School of Music.

The David Friend Recital Hall located on Boylston St. served as the perfect venue to connect Lambert’s soft voice and personal stories to the some 200 attendees, most of which were students of the school.

Lambert was joined on stage with fellow poet and Berklee professor Caroline Harvey @thetinyrhino, who also performed poems dealing with female body image, love, rape, and sexuality.

Throughout the 90 minute set, comprised of material from Lambert’s EP “Letters Don’t Talk”, new material written within the past 48 hours, and a cover of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag”, Lambert spoke of her exciting new found fame as the lead female voice on the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis single “Same Love” which peaked at #11 in the Billboard Top 100.

Lambert wrote the chorus to “Same Love” and later expanded the verse to create her latest single “She Keeps Me Warm”.  Both songs express same-sex companionship, while Macklemore’s lyrics directly extol the rights of same-sex couples including that of marriage equality.  What makes Macklemore’s version so profound is that he is a heterosexual rap artist, and has found such favor and support with “Same Love” among his audience and top 40 radio in general.

In between songs, Ms. Lambert also told stories.  One recent event related to her performance on the MTV VIdeo Music Awards, where she returned to her seat only to find it occupied by another person.  In a feeble attempt to intimidate Mary, the gentleman refused to give up the seat and it was cast members of GLEE that stood up to the seat stealer and led him to flee!

The show consisted of Mary alone on stage with a beautiful sounding Steinway piano, which she gently played as she cooed heartfelt and often painful emotive lyrics, telling of pride in one’s body, character sketches of people whom she’s met, and the light and dark sides of love.  A highlight of the show was an electronic looping effect added to her voice and to the percussive noises and choruses sung, which created a layered effect as Mary continued to sing over the lush tones.

Following the show was a brief Q&A session with Caroline Harvey, who reiterated Lambert’s dedication to poetry and performance prose, in addition to her musicianship.  Audience members were invited to ask questions, one of which was “When you win your Grammy, or Oscar or Emmy because let’s face it, you have that potential, who will you thank?”.  Lambert paused and said in addition to thanking her mother, she would definitely thank public relations and management because “those people rock!”.

Mary graciously met with audience members after the show for a quick photo, a hug, and sincerely thanked them for attending the night’s show.  Copies of Caroline’s CD “Bird Wing or Bone Marrow” were available for purchase in addition to a book of poetry by Lambert.  Those in attendance were wearing smiles and seemed full of gratitude to witness such a remarkable event by an up-and-coming artist.