The Ziggy Marley concert last week was possibly great, but for me the opening act was both embarrassing and humiliating. I left the Capitol (concert hall?) after about four songs because even after moving up to the stage, I could not hear him with any clarity.
The people drinking on the mezzanine never lowered their conversations at all when he began playing, and his music was inaudible to me while I was sitting at the back and although slightly less overburdened with loud chatter at the front, still impossible to enjoy.
Tickets to this show cost $56. I had not come for loud conversations. I came to hear music and dance. In a bar, drinking people are gonna talk during performances. I’m almost over it. But this was the Capitol. Normally a wonderful place for musicians to play and for music loving people to hear. Even though everyone was there for Ziggy, they could have shown some respect for the opening act. Sorry — not.
As far as I’m concerned the fact that the organizers did nothing to quiet the buzzing crowd on the mezzanine during this opening act shows that any professional musician is at risk of being drowned out by crowd noise playing one of their gigs. It would have been easy for someone from the organizers’ side to come on stage, ask the crowd to take their seats, and allow this young ukulele player to be heard, known, and probably appreciated. It never happened.
The worst part of the whole thing for me is what it says of music culture in Nelson. The people talking in back were outnumbered by people sitting in the seats. The latter probably would have appreciated hearing the performer on stage, but the talkers were having none of it and chatted on without pause. The message? It’s ok to conduct yourself cluelessly at a music venue in Nelson — even in the Capitol Theatre. We may get great acts coming here to perform, but don’t count on being able to hear them.