A Remake Chronicles Extra by Adam-Troy Castro
We went to another show at The Hard Rock last night. Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Hollywood. Five great Broadway singers, an evening of terrific music. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously, and that’s all you hear me say about that, right now.
More to the point, I would like to offer these apparent excerpts from the official handbook of concert-goer etiquette, as traditionally understood by vast numbers… of the Hard Rock audience and as demonstrated with particular verve by hundreds of those who attended last night.
1) Always remember that this concert hall is attached to a casino and that large numbers of you are comped. Therefore, remember that the show is worth exactly what you paid for it. Ignore anybody around you who actually did pay for it; treat the concert hall as if it’s a casino lounge, the performers as if they’re the house band, and the venue as if just a place to sit down until the ache in your legs goes away and you’re ready to go back to losing this week’s social security check on Zeus.
2) To accomplish this: if the show is supposed to start at eight, make sure that the majority of you don’t start filing in until EXACTLY eight. Make sure that the auditorium doesn’t look even remotely close to filled until about a quarter after eight. Since this means that all shows must start at 8:20 or even 8:30 to accommodate you, you must also make sure that some of you start filing into your rows long after the actual show begins, at 8:45, 9:00, or even 9:20. If you file into your row during the last song, or even as the guy on stage is thanking everybody for being a great audience, then you win. Extra points if it’s a comedian and you’re in the front row, filing in just as he’s wrapping up, so he can look at you in aghast amazement and say, “Shall I start over?” A good way to make sure you do this is to go out to dinner at one of the good restaurants at 7:30 or so, when anybody with sense knows that you need an hour to be served, to settle up, and hobble over.
3) Conversely, remember that the concert is a big imposition on your time and that the performers are lucky to have you show up at all. A good trick is to file into your seat just before the concert begins and then, only ONE song into the show, grimly file out, forcing everybody in your row to stand so you can escape. Remember that everybody who just had to stand up to let you in now has to stand up again to let you out. Don’t let the fact that there is no possible reason for this behavior stop you. Show-stopping numbers are also a great possible time for you to suddenly realize that it’s been almost half an hour since your last visit to a slot machine and that you really need to go play Zeus RIGHT FUCKING NOW. A particularly polite time to make your bold escape is when the leader of the performers on stage mentions that they’re about to sing their last song and takes the opportunity to introduce the back-up band, one at a time; you have absolutely no possible reason to respect this information and should use this opportunity to beat the crowds, forcing everybody in your row to stand up so you can save a few minutes getting back to Zeus. Remember that the last song is never, never anything good, anyway. If it was good, they would have put it somewhere near the beginning, within your attention span or the carrying capacity of your kidneys.
4) Alternatively, you can be one of the diehards who stay in your row until the final song begins and THEN suddenly decide it’s time to file out. That’s good. Always remember, this is television. Those aren’t people on stage. Those aren’t other audience members around you. This is just television, only bigger. You can come and go any time you want. If you MUST listen to that last song, then at the moment you hear the final note, then, by all means, hundreds of you, all stand up and start walking out, without so much as a single grudging moment of applause. Why should you applaud? Other people are. They’re suckers. They’re the folks who stay behind to show some consideration while you get back to your car, or to Zeus, a few precious seconds earlier. This is especially important if you’re in the first row; by all means, all stand up at once and start fighting your way to the exits, because the most important message you want to give the performers at this particular juncture is that their show was an ordeal and that you couldn’t wait for it to be over.