I remember seeing Elephant Revival at Swallow Hill on Yale and these awful people behind us we being so obnoxious, and I'm pretty sure it was during Bonnie's saw solo. Like, you can't just hear that super well unless you listen. Ugh.
Recently at Botanic Gardens was Buddy Guy. Also awful obnoxious people behind us being loud on top of the sound being not very good.
I could probably go on and on, but it's been this way for years and it maybe does seem like it gets worse. I go to much fewer shows these days, and it seems like every single one has people not respecting the paying guests that want to listen to the artists they paid to come see.
But take heart! One outsider looking in thinks that Denver audiences are not only great, they're helping to cultivate great art. Says Sean:
On the outside looking in...Philadelphia has soul/R&B/hip-hop. And that genre is very indicative of the music fans in Philadelphia. They own it; they have vindication from the world as to the brilliance of the talent they cultivate or birth. Play your own song that isn't the latter in Philadelphia, and you're looking at people staring, with their arms folded, the nerd snob army saying, "Amuse me."
Jump to Denver. Play the same songs and you see smiles. You see engagement. Whether it be drunk college girls looking for attention or the same nerds I'd see at Warmdaddies in Philly, you know what you're doing is affecting them. Not because you're especially good, a wunderkind, but the essence in the mountain air says, "Show me what you got, say what you have to say, I want to know how you see it."
Call me a pessimist or a snob myself, but the audience here is where great art gets cultivated. Good or bad is subjective, it's the mindset. It's why I foresee a wave of creativity coming from the area. Music fans or casual listeners alike have made it over the hump...they are the opposite of what Steven Pressfield refers to as "hierarchical." They are individuals who like what they like just because. A true friend of the artist.
What do you think of Sean's take? Of Denver audiences in general?
Let us know what you think in a comment, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.