Frustrated with recent experiences at Denver concerts, Maria asked last week if Denver has the worst concert-goers. The answers came in fast and furious...in some cases, furious that Westword would even publish her thoughts. But other readers agreed that Denver audiences can be bad. Are they the worst? Here's the word from Gene Sobczak, a longtime arts administrator and promoter:
However, incapable of being silent during performances, irrespective of genre, venue or attendance?
Without a doubt.
And the problem is not limited to small venues. Performances at Red Rocks are routinely compromised by groups engaged in continuing conversations on just about any matter except for the performance, itself.
Why does this occur? Because it's permitted, which creates the impression of encouragement, which, when addressed, is defended as an entitlement.
I've attended concerts all over the world. And while this problem is not uncommon in other locations, it's uncommonly pervasive in Colorado.
Other readers offered their own specific complaints. Says Joan:
I went to X at the Summit Music Hall last month, and some drunk flung his beer up onto the stage, definitely dousing Exene and John Doe. Seriously? These icons of the L.A. punk music scene who have been providing incredible music for forty years deserve that kind of treatment?! I’ve never been ashamed of Denver in my life until that moment. Get some class, concert-goers!
Just saw your article asking if Denver has the worst concert-goers and I had to write and say I totally agree. As a native who has been going to shows for many years, this seems to be a recent phenomenon as well.
When I saw the article, I thought for sure that the Pinegrove concert on October 14 at the Gothic was going to be the main example of this. My wife and I went to that show and were seriously embarrassed to call Denver our home as the crowd got louder and louder during the intimate set of Florist. The lead singer was clearly pissed off and finally told the crowd to "shut the f*** up." Kind of ruined Pinegrove for me and I was really looking forward to seeing it.
Anyway, not sure if it is the influx of newcomers to Colorado or what, but it's pretty embarrassing as a music lover and musician to see this happening regularly at shows in my home state. Show respect to the artists that you PAID to go see!
And then there's this from Ian:
I haven't been to shows in many other areas, so I don't have much for points of reference, but I've always felt like Denver crowds (especially at the Ogden) are incredibly disengaged and rude to people who are actually trying to watch the show. I've never understood buying tickets to a show just to spend the whole time yelling over the music, but there seems to be an endless supply of Denver concert-goers who consider shows a social hour. Honestly, glad to see this topic come up. I figured it was just that way everywhere.
But others took issue with the initial complaint. Says Crystal:
This broad sounds like she wants a private, unplugged show. Maybe she needs to move vs. Denver needing to shut the eff up. That would be an easier solution.
First-world problem! Put your big-girl panties on!
If I bought a ticket and wanted to get drunk (I don't) at a show, my prerogative! Maybe you should go to a venue that does not sell booze!
And then there's this from Matt:
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I stopped reading after the "I've been going to concerts for the about three years, now..." I get it, it's a drag when people are dipshits at shows, but... certain shows attract certain people. You can't go to a metal show and complain that it's too loud or that people are getting rowdy. You can't go to hippie show and expect to NOT reek of garbage weed and the patchouli that got rubbed off on you as the kid with the dreadlocks and halfway decent fake ID made his way back to his nineteen-year-old buddies with an armful of overpriced IPAs. Lighten up, folks.
If you want a serene musical experience, you CAN fire up a bath, open your favorite bottle of Two Buck Chuck, and press "play" on your Spotify playlist...AT HOME.
What do you think about Denver concert-goers?
You can see many more comments on the topic on this post on Westword's Facebook page. But probably not from Angie: On a post about Coloradans hating food from other regions, Angie posted this: "This is the second Westword article of the day with a headline dissing the people of Denver. First, concert-goers, now this.....I'm unfollowing the Westword. Get some real content and get off my FB feed."
If you're off our Facebook feed, you can still share your thoughts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, as several people who read Maria's original complaint did.