Announcing Our Musical Turkey of the Year: You, the Concert-Going "Fans" of Houston

Rocks Off was looking at tour schedules recently when we realized that two artists we love, Danish band Mew and Swedish songstress El Perro Del Mar were planning trips to Texas. Trips that included stops in Austin, of course, and Dallas, and even San Antonio. But not Houston. Sometimes our favorite bands will even head to New Orleans before or after playing Austin and we'll think to ourselves, "Hello? We're right here!"

John Nova Lomax addressed this issue in a cover story last year, but one group who got a pass on the blame for Houston's musical woes was the show-goers themselves.

After our experiences this year, Rocks Off is wondering if the crowd really is the problem. We've had a number (two in the last month) ruined by dickhead audience members who seem to forget that there are other people in the venue who are trying to enjoy the show too. And it's one thing to annoy your fellow fans, but to insult the performer to the point that they have to stop performing and call you on your bullshit? That's enough to make Rocks Off wish we had our very own TechnoViking in Houston.

So this year Rocks Off is naming the Houston concertgoer as our musical Turkey of the Year. Witness:

In April, musical comedian Stephen Lynch told an audience member to "bowl yourself into my nuts" and "I am not a jukebox, assholes!" after drunken calls for certain songs started to get on his nerves.

  • This summer, Jenny Lewis, during her show at Warehouse Live, ended one of her more mellow songs early because conversations in the crowd where either distracting or overpowering her. This led to retaliation by her guitarist Johnathan Rice, who told the audience that Austinites were cooler than Houstonians. That move led to mixed comments about the show on Twitter, and a debate over whether a musician should just play it cool when the audience won't STFU.
  • Kings of Leon apparently disappointed several of their "fans" by not playing the one radio hit the band has had out of four albums. Half the audience left early. Leaving early is for football games. When your team is 40 points ahead. Not for concerts.
  • Earlier this month, Lucero cut their show at Meridian short when a member of the crowd got into a verbal altercation with bassist John Stubblefield:

    "Four dudes on the side of the stage ... told John C. Stubblefield they were going to 'fucking kick his ass' because he balked at them trying get onstage where he was trying to play his instrument."

  • Rocks Off's Craig Hlavaty almost had a coronary when someone choked - literally choked, as in sent to the medic's station - his little brother at the Mastodon show a few weeks ago. Going crazy in the pit is fine, even encouraged by Rocks Off, as long as you realize that your right to rock out with your cock out ends at that other guy's nose.

    And don't be a dick. Moshing is not for bands like Dinosaur Jr.
  • [Ed. Note: Rocks Off Sr. would like to add the people at pretty much any House of Blues show we can think of, who will just not... shut... up... no matter who is onstage.]

    Especially after the Jenny Lewis show, there was a lot of talk about what constitutes concert etiquette, both on the side of the fans and for the performers. No one likes a turkey, especially when they ruin your own experience at a show.

    Are there any more fan horror stories we've missed from this year? Rocks Off would like to hear your gripes in the comments.

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    Shey is an experienced blogger, social media expert and traveler. She studied journalism at Oklahoma State University before working as a full-time reporter for Houston Community Newspapers in 2005. She lived in South Korea for three years, where she worked as a freelancer.
    Contact: Brittanie Shey