Yeah, you read that right. I know you've probably never heard anyone say that before, especially if you live in certain places, but it's true. I'm sure there are a few people out there that also don't like it but if they're smart, they'll never admit it. I, as you well know, am honest about everything, so I'm hiding no longer. I'm coming out of the closet. I really just can't stand live music.
I wasn't really aware that this was such a big deal until I left Austin, where I spent my adolescence and college, and told others where I had come from. "OH, I hear Austin's GREAT! Why did you leave there?"
To which I would often reply, "It's okay, the food is good but the weather is awful."
This would always spark the "But I hear there's so much good live music! I'd love to go there, it sounds like so much fun! Did you go see bands all the time??"
No. No I didn't. As a matter of fact, when my friends and I would go out to bars, we'd get pissed off if some band was playing at one of our spots instead of the normal Saturday night DJ that played stuff we could dance to. When it was SXSW, we actually took the entire week off of going out because suddenly our fun, cheap dance bars had been commandeered by unknown bands and were charging cover. We hid inside until the tourists and the bands rode away into the sunset and gave us back our social life.
Upon hearing that I not only didn't take advantage of the live music scene I was so "blessed" to have at my disposal for years but I actively didn't like such activities, the person I'm talking to looks at me as though I've just said I set puppies on fire for fun. How can you not like LIVE MUSIC? Do you not have a SOUL? There are children in Africa with AIDS and no food who would DIE to see live music and you're throwing away this gift of American culture? YES, YES I AM, SO LEAVE ME AND MY QUIET PLACES ALONE.
Why do I hate live music? Oh, such a list. First, I'm a grandma. I don't like loud noises. I don't care what that noise is - if it's loud, it's irritating. I also don't like people. Especially crowds of people. Now put those two things together and you have live music. The only way to make it worse would be if you handed me an infant as I walked through the door and forced me to drink IPAs all night.
Now don't get me wrong, I like MUSIC. I'm not some weirdo who doesn't appreciate musical sounds. Yes, I have an "eclectic" taste in music, and yes, this music doesn't generally include music that's played live (unless it's at a giant arena concert). Granted I have a strong affinity for hip hop and rap, but I'm not completely one-sided - my likes include talented artists such as Adele, Marvin Gaye, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sarah Bareilles. I enjoy a good symphony, which is technically live music but I'm sure you see the enormous difference between a night at the symphony and a night in a dingy club listening to a no-name band with their guitar amps on too loud and sharing the space with a bunch of drunk, sweaty hipsters.
But you're right, I DON'T want to "discover new music" or whatever the hell people do when they just go see random local bands play around town. I can discover new music just fine - there are apps for that. And don't get all up in my shit about "too much technology" - I wouldn't have discovered new music by going to live shows BEFORE I got my smartphone, it just allows me to listen to things I would never have heard by choosing new music that is similar to things I'm playing on my Pandora or whatever. The best part? I can discover it in the quiet comfort of my own home or car. No sticky floors and temporary deafness of a seedy club.
Wait, so you haven't ever been to a concert? No, that's also not true. I don't particularly like concerts except ones in large venues with amenities like "seats" and "personal space." I've seen Weezer, the Rolling Stones, RHCP, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera (NOT SORRY), Sarah Bareilles, Snoop and I'm sure some others that I've forgotten. The commonality? These are people that I REALLY LIKE and their concerts were held in places where I could sit down and enjoy the music. I'm lazy. I hate standing in one place. If I'm walking, fine, but standing on one place touching people on all sides of me who are moving in all different directions makes me feel like I'm on some sort of weird grope-y rollercoaster and that's just not my idea of a good time.
I also just generally don't care for the type of music that's played live - alternative, whatever hipster shit like Mumford and Sons is happening right now, folk music, country... All of those genres I wouldn't listen to anyway, let alone at hyper-volume. Sometimes jazz is ok, if it's not super loud, but honestly I wish they'd just play the same stuff on a cd at a lower volume so I could talk to the people I'm hanging out with.
Then there's the whole issue of live music in random places... a singer-songwriter playing on the patio of a food court or in a coffee shop. Those are places that most people didn't go to hear the music, it just happens to be there. Now what the hell am I supposed to do? Is it rude to not pay attention to someone I didn't come to see? I just wanted to get some goddamned dinner and I didn't know you were going to be here with your guitar and emotions. Should I clap? I feel obligated to clap when you're through even though you've suckered us into it, but I really don't want to encourage you to continue. You're interrupting my meal and my conversation. But then if I don't clap, as one of the ten people around, I look like a giant dickhead. So thanks, not only for making me feel uncomfortable but forcing me to pretend like I want you there so as not to appear like the giant asshole I am. I JUST WANTED A SCONE AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS.
So no, I don't want to go check out that band with you. No, I don't want to go to that particular bar because they always have some loud live band. And I sure as hell don't want to go to the 3-day music festival and spend it listening to bands I don't know while I sweat profusely, get dirty and have to hang out in a giant crowd of other dirty sweaty people. Concerts are just a combination of everything I hate with the exception of children.
Sorry. My complete and utter lack of a soul and I will just be hanging out over here, in the air conditioned place with places to sit and some goddamned peace and quiet.