Trumpet Wom'

You’ve been practicing and promoting really hard for your show and finally the big day is here! You set up and begin to play. You're putting all your heart and soul into a song that means very much to you when suddenly a loud laugh cuts through your concentration and the voices at the table in front of you get louder. You’re furious and insulted and ask them to please be quiet.

Now switch perspectives, it’s been a long week and you’re excited to head out to happy hour with your friends. You’ve gotten a drink and have started to settle in, the ambiance is chill in this place and you excitedly chat. Then your buddy tells a hilarious joke that has you dying! You and your friends start talking about the joke when all of the sudden an irritated voice cuts into your conversation and tells you to “please be quiet”. Now you’re furious, insulted and kinda want to leave.

So who’s right? I’ve personally been on both sides of the fence and when I was younger felt like people should keep their voices down when a performer is playing. But through the years I’ve gained a different perspective and I think the answer is, it depends.

In the book “Live Music Method” by Tom Jackson, he compares the band - audience relationship to that of a romantic relationship. If you go into a room where no one knows you or had any intention of seeing you perform you’re on a blind date, if they came out to see you specifically and have seen you before, you’re dating and if they buy every single thing you put out and come out to all of your shows you’re married.

Now if you were on a first date with someone would you show up, slap them on the ass and then proceed to talk to them about every bad thing that ever happened to you in your life? Hopefully you answered no. Now if you’re married you can get away with such things as there’s a connection formed.

I equivocate showing up to a bar where people aren’t there to see you play and having expectations of them raptly listening to you to slapping the ass on the first date. The fact is we’re entertainers and if you’re entertaining enough, people will stop and look over at you. Putting in the work to make this happen feels so much better than scolding an audience member into staring at you. Furthermore, if you’re leaving your house to play music for others it’s probably about making others feel good, as painful as it can be to have someone talk over your performance, reproaching them definitely is going to help with that mission.

That being said, I go to open mics where 90% of the people present are there to play the mic and people loudly talk and ignore every act until it’s time for them to go on. This imo is rude as open mics aren’t just about you but are about the music community, you should support others just like you want support.

Moving beyond this if I payed money to see an acoustic Christina Aguilera performance and somebody was talking loudly in my ear the entire time I would be QUITE annoyed. As we all payed to specifically see Ms. Aguilera do her thang, we should be quiet and let her do her thang.

So, yes I think it can be rude to talk during a show depending on the scenario. What do you think? Should we always be quiet when a performer’s playing or should we be able to talk freely no matter what? Please comment and let me know!

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