Singing in Closed Spaces
The other night some friends called with an extra ticket to the Tori Amos show. I accepted the invitation and ten minutes later I was heading downtown. As evenings in Pittsburgh go, I’m going to say that this was an exceptionally fine one. The autumn air was just crisp enough for a light sweater but not enough to warrant a coat. The Cultural District was abuzz with activity as many people were out celebrating Halloween a day early. We made our first stop at Olive or Twist for a round of drinks and headed towards the Benedum. Oh, and did I mention my ticket was free? Because if there’s one thing that can make a perfect Pittsburgh evening even more perfect it’s getting something for nothing which is exactly what I was doing. Simply put, all was going well. We headed into the show, Tori took the stage attired as a coquettish angel and started to play. That’s when it happened – my friend on the right turned to me, his eyebrows raised, his face begging for help as he whispered “I’m sitting next to a singer!” Oh, the horror! The inexplicable horror of sitting next to a singer!
I’ve went to many a show in my day and encountered many different types of show-goers – you know, like the little guy with the big afro who can’t stop dancing, the unattractive make-out couple, the disdainful hipster, the old dude leering at young chicks, and the girl with sloppy breasts who flashes the band. Yeah, there’s lots of different “types” who frequent shows, but none of them (at least to me) is worse than the singer. If you like somebody enough to take a night out to see their show, chances are you want to hear THEM sing, not the person next to you.
I like to sing. I really like to sing. I even like to sing in public sometimes (hello, karaoke!). But for the life of me I have never understod the need to sing along with a concert (unless it’s the kind of shouting sing-along that harder music sometimes warrants) or, for that matter, in other closed spaces.
On my bus I have encountered two different women who like to sing. They like to sing to the music on their headphones or sometimes the music in their head. They like to sing while they stand next to you holding onto the pole or while they sit in the seat alone. And they like to sing loud, either completely oblivious to the others on the bus or in the hopes that record scouts will for some reason be riding the 71A. They have nice voices actually, but I don’t know, call me crazy, but it’s annoying. I don’t want to be serenaded by my seatmate at a show or on the bus. If I don’t know you and we’re sitting by each other at a show or in a closed, public space where there is no escape, is it too much to ask that you refrain from the singing?????