This past Saturday I had a good old fashion Girl’s Night Out. Four of us went to see Daughtry at Massey Hall in Toronto. Now I know all the serious musicians in my life are balking at our choice of music. Back off. We’re girls. We weren’t going to delight in the mastering of music. We were going to oogle at eye candy and dance. Or so I thought.
We started the night Sex in the City style with cocktails and sushi. We’re nothing if not original. When sufficiently stuffed food and clothing wise we headed out to Massey where we took our seats; front and center in the first balcony. If you’ve never been there, it’s a small intimate venue and an excellent place to see a concert. This was going to be so much fun.
Daughtry hit the stage and we were ready! On the floor everyone stood up. From both sides on the second and third level balconies; cheers and dancing. They were ready! The people all around us; not so ready. NO ONE stood up.
I was afraid of this. Toronto’s Concert Curse.
Growing up across the water from Detroit whenever one ventured over for a concert you knew once you got through customs, parked and paid the local gang member waving the big stick $20 for “parking insurance,” you were going to have a good time.
There was no sitting unless you were intoxicated. We danced our butts off, were covered in sweat, got to know the people around us, sang and yelled until our voices disappeared.
In Toronto (in my experience) this is rarely the case, especially if you go to a smaller venue. People associate size with rowdiness. So, because the concert was at Massey Hall there was a more diverse audience including some older, (some would say more sophisticated) people as well as younger less experienced concert goers. And it seemed, they were all piled together in my section.
“Hey Henry, let’s take the grandkids to see that fella from American Idol.”
In this situation I’m torn. I feel cheated and conflicted. Did I really get out of my yoga pants for this? On one hand I want to stand up. I want to dance. I want to show my appreciation to the artists who are playing to the best of their ability. I paid my money. I want to take back my Girl’s Night Out.
However the other side of me, the calm, rational, Canadian side doesn’t want to block Henry’s view. He paid his money too. I became painfully aware I was caught between a rock and hard place. There’s no way out unless you’re a particularly rude person who cares nothing of the ones around you. So I remained seated and chair danced.
I feel bad for the artist when this happens. It’s a small venue. They can clearly see we’re sitting. And I wonder about their conversations after the show about the lame middle section.
To Chris Daughtry and the rest of his band, I am one of the lame.
With everything I had I wanted to be able to explain my predicament. To stand up and make big swiping gestures exclaiming, “It’s them Chris, not me. I appreciate you. Even though you have a noticeable cold and the band seems to be playing one beat slower than your CD. Still, I don’t care. I’m here with my friends and I want to dance, but I can’t because the Canadian in me won’t allow me to be rude.”
Fuck. What do you want me to do Chris Daughtry? Get off my back.
I wanted to be a rebel like the two ladies to my right who are up and down like yoyos and kept getting polite taps on their shoulders. I felt for them. I wanted to send them a vibe of togetherness and understanding, but they were too far away and clearly not interested in me. This would never happen in Detroit. If someone was standing in front of you, well, you were either going to stand up too or get a face full of ass.
The only one who seemed to get away with it was a great big guy who boldly stood up daring anyone to tap him. No one did. Probably a good call. The guitar player noticed him and gave him the fake gunshot fingers followed by a thumbs up. He appreciated his rebellion. I wanted to be that guy. I’m needy that way.
Look, I know Canadians have a thing about being rude, but shouldn’t we have some protocol when it comes to situations like this? Who’s in the right, the people with their butt in their seat or the ones shaking it in front of you? Maybe we could section it out; dancers to the left, seat warmers to the right.
Maybe at the purchasing stage we could click a box with “Stander” or “Sitter” so they could arrange seating accordingly. Because it’s the experience you take home. All I took home was severely sore arms from waving them wildly and overcompensating for my lack of vertical grooving.