Watch the video, and then think about whether you would TALK ALL THE WAY THROUGH THIS SONG.
This lovely, wonderfully morbid, perfectly Irish piece - this was the moment at the Royal Oak Music Theater when the Andrew Hozier-Byrne realized he was back on the nightclub circuit, much to his surprised dismay. He had such a "WTF" look on his face it broke my heart, and the rest the performance, while still excellent, took on a bit of a "Let's get through this and get the hell out of here" quality.
The couple in front of us talked through everything, but they were certainly not the only ones. A depressingly large percentage of the entire crowd were talking constantly, adding an annoying chatty hum to the acoustics of the theater. They talked while waiting for opening act Asgeir to take the stage. They talked during Asgeir's show. They talked during the break, waiting for Hozier. And then they proceeded to talk through Hozier's show. They talked though his songs, they talked through his introductions and anecdotes, they talked through an audience member's marriage proposal (which Hozier graciously introduced by saying "We're going to do something a little different here...").
Yeah Hozier. Of "Take Me To Church" fame (currently the most overplayed song everywhere, but the rest of his album is fabulous). He performed at the Grammy Awards, with Annie Lennox, for God's sake (haven't seen that? Watch it here. Yes, you must.). Even without those credentials, like any artist he deserved a respectful crowd who forked out some cash to, presumably, listen to his music.
But I guess you don't get an interested audience at Royal Oak Music Theater. This is the second show I've seen there where the crowd dynamics were set to "dickhead."
And in case you are all "Oh, Rebecca, you are such a curmudgeon, that's just the way things ARE these days," (we do, after all, live in a time when teens riot at SpongeBob movies) well guess what - they aren't. The Ark, Michigan Theatre, Hill Auditorium, Wharton Center, even The Palace at Auburn Hills...I can't think of a single concert venue (bars and outdoor festivals being exceptions) where I've encountered such universal disrespect of a performance. And it's a shame - Royal Oak is an interesting and historic venue, with decent acoustics and a good and occasionally great schedule; but it's also one that I will likely be avoiding from now on.