Bob Weir Walks Off and Tells Crowd to Shut the Fuck Up

weir-2055.finger.830713So here’s the news… Last night, Good ole’ Bobby Weir was playing at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, CA – a venue which he just reopened a year ago. He was scheduled to play a solo acoustic set followed by an electric performance with his band, Ratdog. Bob’s solo set was cut short when he stormed off stage halfway through Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall”. It seems that a group of people, or perhaps an even larger contingency of folks, would just not stop talking during the gig, and with Sweetwater being such a small room, that shit must have echoed a little more than usual. Bobby looks visibly frustrated through the song, and pauses for a moment to ask the folks if he’s interrupting them before totally abandoning the track. I wonder if he started the tune in the first place so he could sing the line: “Ive seen ten thousand talkers whose tongues are all broken.” But you know Bob, sometimes hard rains fall and sometimes you gotta push through that shit. During the full band “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” encore, he reportedly yelled “Shut the fuck up.” I’ve thought about this all morning, and I’ve decided that Bobby was right in telling them to shut the fuck up, but wrong to walk off stage. Here’s why…

I’ve brought up this whole ‘talking during the show’ thing for a while. It totally fucked up the 2nd night of Phish’s 3-night run in San Francisco last year, and I totally wanted to kick a girl in the cooch during New Year’s. Here’s the thing – if you’ve paid a bunch of money for a band and have totally gone out of your way to see them, then why the fuck are you not going to pay attention to the show? This same thing happened when Trey played the 800-capacity Higher Ground in Burlington, VT 7 or 8 years ago. It seems that once inside these small venues, some jerk-offs feel a sense of entitlement. What’s even cooler about seeing a huge band in a small place? Not even giving a fuck that you’re there – it’s the ultimate hipster fuck-face move. So talking during a tiny Bobby solo gig is wickedly poor form. What surprises me though, is that there weren’t any other heads in the crowd who told them to fuck off. I wasn’t there, so perhaps there were, but usually in these GD crowds the older heads are not at all afraid to tell some younger lot trash to go suck a fat one. Perhaps the talkers were older fans themselves, which makes for a slightly more perplexing situation, but still one that you have every right as a fellow fan to tell them to close their traps.

Bobby telling these douche-bags to shut up is a well-deserved move, and one that we should totally respect him for. Surely bringing it to attention in such a small room is going to insure that it stops. Walking off the stage, however, is not the classiest way to handle the situation. By doing that, he not only let the talkers win the battle, but he fucked over the show for everyone else in the crowd. Yes, he can blame it on the gabbers, but that still isn’t fair for the people who are being respectful and not talking – you just cut them short on music they paid good money for. By watching the video, it does seem like a good portion of the crowd is being pretty loud, but it’s hard to tell exactly where it’s all coming from. I think the reason for his move is that he came up in a band that was always part of a greater collective scene. Unlike other smaller, hard working bands, the Dead never had to deal with inattentive rooms. If they had, then perhaps Weir would have learned that part of being an entertainer is being able to push through no matter what. You put your heart out there all the way, no matter if there’s only 2 people there, or if there’s people talking really loudly. I mean hell, the man owns this venue, it’s not like he couldn’t have asked security to intervene if they didn’t shut up after he asked them to. Anyway, it’s a shitty situation and I probably would have been really pissed off if I was there. But basically, he should have told the dumb fucks to shut up even sooner, and not let them get him so riled up. Take control, don’t act like a victim. Oh well, we all have our shoulda-woulda-coulda nights I guess. Check it out for yourself…

One comment

  1. Eli says:

    Well said. I guess it’s his venue and his panties…

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