Public Service Announcement: Your Heckles Aren’t That Clever

Statler and Waldorf

We started a new series of public service announcements last week for do’s and don’ts in concert-going, and we opened up with our biggest concert-going sin: the crowd surf.

To continue in my curmudgeonly ways, I want to denounce the artist heckle today. Yes, I realize I’m speaking to a largely inebriated group of people here, but more and more, I’m finding people say dumber and dumber stuff at shows. I’ve even seen heckling create sort of a strange and hostile atmosphere, especially when hecklers interrupt the actual music. I saw St. Vincent at the Riviera Theater earlier this year, and while people heckled throughout the set, it hit a weird breaking point when she played the very quiet “The Party” in her encore, and the audience got ugly as a few idiots were drowning out the music with their “clever” heckles. You also see artists like the Avett Brothers completely unplug for truly acoustic encores, and these are often soiled by this lousy audience behavior.

I have heard some very odd and amusing heckles lately. I recently heard someone shout “Incredibly talented” which was really weird and sincere, and “very enjoyable” which was just flat-out hilarious. I’m not saying the occasional heckle isn’t just perfect, but these are so few and far between it’s not worth it.

(say what you want about Kanye, but this is how hecklers should be dealt with)

While heckling certainly is a way bigger issue in the comedy world, it undoubtedly leaks into live music since there are drunken idiots everywhere. So to you folks think you just thought up some clever nugget to shout at a show, just hold it in. Don’t pollute the show.