Going to live music shows means dealing with audiences that are sometimes unpleasant. I have gotten frustrated with audiences in the past for one reason or another. For instance, there are the people that inexplicably decided to go to a music show in order to chat about things while the singer is trying to sing. Or cases of fan-girls going gah-gah and embarassing themselves over an attractive singer. The guy who doesn’t see the “no smoking” sign. And I’m sure there are those that would complain about me obstructing their view.

In only one instance have I been so frustrated with an audience person that I wanted to throttle them.

Shane Cooper is a folk-type singer in Delosa that I stumbled across due to a particularly clever song about Buddhist monks, bubble gum, and bad luck. I listened to more of his stuff and heard a sensitive, insightful, descriptive, and humorous singer. Despite his vocation that puts him on stage in front of crowds every night, Cooper is a serious introvert. It’s hard to get him to talk at all either in person or on stage. I wonder if he took up songwriting because it was the only way that he could communicate.

One time Cooper and this other guy named Max Knowles were doing a show at a local sit-down bar. Knowles was a songwriter who has had songs taken up by Willie Nelson, Dollie Parton, and others that you’ve heard of, though Knowles himself was a guy I’d never heard of until that night. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder on how some of the songs that were taken up by big artists were reworked and bastardized and he was not shy talking about it. I found it all kind of interesting, but I could see how some might get irritated. Nobody ever said anything to him about it, though.

Cooper, meanwhile, chose this particular night to finally open up. He started actually talking about a song that he wrote about a family friend that took him hunting when he was 10 or so. It’s not my favorite song, but it has more depth than most. The attention to detail and sort of feel of the song told you that this was one of those that was based on something real. And there he was, at the club, actually talking about it. I couldn’t have been more excited.

Then… out of nowhere… at that precise moment, some drunkard in the audience told him to just shut up and sing. Cooper did just that, post-haste. He didn’t need any more excuse than that. The rest of the night the audience tried to prod him into talking again, but he would say “By popular request, I’m just going to shut up and sing.” And he never talked about his songs again.

Category: Downtown

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you are interested in subscribing to new post notifications,
please enter your email address on this page.