Concert Foul No. 61: Being The Guy Who Talks Endlessly About a Band's Gear During Their Set

ou know this guy, but you don't usually know his name. Chances are good you've heard and seen him.

And, uh, it is always a guy. Never a female by my experience.

Anyway, right before a band he's about to see plays their set, he gets a close look at the band's equipment and his mind starts to race. 

Talking to his friend next to him, things get rolling. Shortly thereafter, you witness this Clark Kent transform into The Guy Who Talks Endlessly About a Band's Gear During Their Set. 

His super power is being able to ruin a concert experience.

Let's be careful here: It's not necessarily a concert foul when one guy says to the other in passing, "Hey, that's a nice Ibanez guitar!" or "Is that a Big Muff pedal?" 

No, things go afoul when this dude decides to prolong the conversation. Unfortunately for you and everyone around you, the conversation doesn't stop when the band starts playing. And it doesn't help that the guy sounds more and more like he's full of shit the longer he talks. 

Imagine trying to enjoy a band's set. You're taking everything in -- the band's performance, the audience reaction, the balance of sound and visuals, the general vibe in the room. And then you hear a one-sided, shouted conversation going on behind you that might sound like this: 

Guy: "Jesus, those tubes in his Marshall amp are humming like a motherfucker! He's just ripping on that Les Paul! And those Ernie Ball strings bend soooo fuckin' well! And listen to his processor! Digital tone gold!" 
Guy's Friend: "Yeah..." 

Listen: there's nothing wrong with being into equipment. Far from it. The thing is, not many people go to your average live show and want to talk shop. There are guitar expos every once in a while for that sort of thing. And there's always Guitar Center, too. 

As understanding and friendly as people can be, there is a grating feeling when these one-sided conversations continue at a show. 

Let's face it: Equipment doesn't necessarily make a musician play better. Endlessly babbling BS about equipment doesn't make the show a better experience either. 

Even if the dude does know what he's talking about, is it too much to ask for brevity with the shop talk?

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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs