Tag Archives: Neville Brothers

Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings in Bloomington, or Why People Who Talk at Concerts Need to Die.

I caught these guys in Bloomington last, and wow, what a stupendous show. Their harmonies were dead on, and Dave whipped out one great solo after another. I am amazed that a show featuring two people on acoustic guitars (with the occasional banjo) can produce so much raucous energy. The set list included new material, as well as killer versions of “Red Clay Halo,” “Pocahontas,” “I Want to Sing that Rock and Roll,” “Elvis Presley Blues…” To top it off, Mr. Rawlings took the lead on “Ruby” and “Sweet Tooth.” At the beginning of the second set, Welch announced that they had totally “trashed the set list.” Any serious music fan loves that kind of spontaneity.
But this isn’t about the serious music fan. Alas. No, it’s about the despicable person that haunts every musical event: The Talker. You know, the shitbag who carries on full blown conversations in the middle of songs, destroying everybody else’s experience. They’re even worse than losers that determine the quality of any event they attend by how much they drink. Very often, Talkers only stop the flow of verbal diarrhea between songs so they can clap politely. I put these sub-humans on the same level as suicide bombers and the guys who ask you “How’s it hanging?” in public urinals. Last night was no different. Gillian Welch played the Bluebird Theater, one of those no chair clubs. I found myself a nice metal pole to lean against. Half way through the opening number I was thinking, Boy, these two are like angels. Such beauty! Such grace! But sure enough, by the second song some middle aged woman next to me started yapping. I remember thinking, you know, if there truly was a God, He/She/It would enter me right know, fill me with love and grace, and then command me to slam this woman’s head into the metal pole. When the townspeople of Gomorrah started to binge, King Lot offered them his daughters so they wouldn’t rape some angels. God seemed okay with that. It/She/He wouldn’t put up with some fucktard with dyed red hair while Heavenly Creatures tried to fill the Creation with Truth and Beauty.
When I was younger and more reckless, I’d just tell these cretins to shut up. I still remember telling a girl to shut her trap during the quietest bits of “And You and I” at a Yes show back in 1983. She was shocked and dismayed, but complaining to her date didn’t help. He was more interested in Jon Anderson’s voice than defending her honor. Then a few years later, I told some joker to shut it while the Grateful Dead ripped into “Tennessee Jed.” The guy started in with me: “Dude, this is the Dead, you know, dude? It’s about, like, you know, just doin’ your own thing. Just hittin’ your groove, Man, like, you know, what makes you happy. Like, you know, dude?”
I simply glared back. He looked to his friends for support, but now that he was no longer yapping at them, they had turned their attention, certainly relieved, back to Jerry Garcia.
Once, at a Neville Brothers concert, I had to threaten a waitress with a report to her manager if she didn’t cease making time with a “cute” patron during “Amazing Grace.” “Amazing Grace,” for godssake!
The Talker. Jesus. A few years ago I saw Lucinda Williams at a club in Chicago. The crowd was pretty good. I had no problems…until the encore. A couple grooved in front of me. They seemed to be totally enjoying themselves. Then, four seconds into “Lake Charles,” the guy started talking about, I shit you not, his love for macaroni and cheese. “Lake Charles.” Macaroni and Cheese. Now maybe not everyone out there is familiar with Lucinda’s “Lake Charles.” Allow me to draw an analogy: one weekend some clown flies to Paris. He immediately hits a shady, tourist-only café and fills up on “Tureen of Turned Horse Meat.” He then goes to the Louvre where, like every other idiot, makes a bee line for the “Mona Lisa.” He fights his way through the crowd, rips the painting from the wall, throws it to the ground, and then does a doggy ass drag across Mona Lisa’s face.
That’s the same as talking about anything, let alone macaroni and cheese, while Lucinda Williams (just a few feet away, mind you) is playing “Lake Charles.” Clearly, no angel whispered in this horsefucker’s ear. I wished upon him a fiery, painful death. Hopefully, he died in a car crash that night. If so, this is the conversation he had with St. Peter at the Pearly Gates:
St. Peter: You? You’ve got to be kidding me.
Horsefucker: What do you mean? I went to church every Sunday.
St. Peter: You talked during “Lake Charles.”
Horsefucker: I honored my mother and father. I never even cheated on my wife!
St. Peter: You talked during “Lake Charles.”
Horsefucker: I gave half my money away to the poor!
St. Peter: You talked during “Lake Charles”
Horsefucker: I saved a baby from a burning building!



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