Let me just start off by saying that Ratatat was great at House of Blues. That should come as no surprise to anyone, since they’re fantastic in general, and were awesome at the Paradise last year.
What should also come as no surprise to anyone–or at least to me, given my experience seeing MGMT last year–is that on a Monday night, shows are generally full of obnoxious young hipsters capable of doing the top five things capable of dramatically detracting from my enjoyment of a show.
1. Smoke. A lot. Seriously, who brings weed to an indoor venue? At this point I’ve resigned myself to the fact that people will smoke at outdoor concerts, and that’s usually okay because even if they’re right next to me we’re outdoors, and the outdoors usually has a pretty good air circulation system. This is not always true of indoor venues.
2. Crowd surf and/or stage dive. This was clearly strongly discouraged by the management, but a few idiots did it anyway. Note to potential crowd surfers, and particularly stage divers: if you’re somewhere in the middle of a venue, you may not realize that there’s actually a barricade and a five-foot gap between the crowd and the stage. This makes stage diving actually kind of dangerous.
3. Text, talk on your phone, or spend a lot of time taking pictures and video of the show. And yourself. I think anyone who knows me knows that I really enjoy texting. I spend a lot more time texting than actually talking on my phone. So please don’t take me for some kind of luddite when I say for the love of all that is holy, get off your phone and enjoy the actual moment you are experiencing.
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that people are always going to take pictures–even at a venue where people with cameras have been expressly directed to the balconies–even though cell phone pictures (heck, any kind of pictures if you’re not a professional photographer) at shows are often the worst pictures ever taken.
But seriously, I came to the show to watch, you know, the show, not to watch you posing a lot next to me and working So hard at looking like you’re not illicitly taking a picture with your phone.
4. Dance like a crazy person. I’m not some crazy anti-dancing person, but given that all of us who scored (and defended) the front row vantage points were more of the bob-along-emphatically-with-the-music folks, it was really annoying to have a group of spastic dancers elbow (literally) their way in behind us and proceed to pummel us with their knobby limbs throughout the rest of the set.
5. Make it clear how much you do not know the show you’re seeing. Here’s a tip: when Ratatat closes out a set with “Seventeen Years”–arguably their most well-known number, and certainly recognizable because it’s one of their only numbers that opens with words, including the phrase “I’ve been rapping for about seventeen years”–you sound like a complete moron if, when they return for their encore, you start screaming “Seventeen Years! Seventeen years!!”
Anyway. Ratatat is amazing, but I would prefer to see them again at a smaller venue. Also Sig Fig and I have agreed that it is totally fine for either of us to sleep Evan Mast.