Dave Grohl Don’t Mess! Foo Fighters Front Man Kicks Out Fan For Fighting At His GigAugust 30, 2011
Dave Grohl: drummer in Nirvana; guitarist and lead singer of Foo Fighters and now hero of the gig etiquette. How so, you may ask, dear reader? Well, this is how it happened. In July, Grohl was playing at the Roundhouse in London as part of the iTunes Festival. He suddenly stopped playing and proceeded to rip into a man who he saw fighting in the audience, identifying him by his striped shirt. He then ordered him to “get the fuck out of my show!” Several times. In a smorgasbord of versions. It was a rare free gig for Foo Fighter fans and this muppet was going to spoil it. Good job, Dave.
Watching this video posted on Facebook recently (thanks, Tim) set me thinking about the way audiences are at live shows these days, because Grohl’s not the first to go in hard on audience members who step over the line. Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age is well known for pushing off stage invaders when they’ve outstayed their welcome. Here in Blighty, stage actors have had a go at people whose mobile phones go off in the middle of a performance, even though they’d been told before the show starts to turn it off, or set it to silence. However, you couldn’t get better castigation than from the great Patti Lupone. No one and I mean, no one would’ve behaved badly at one of her shows and got away with it. And they didn’t. Someone was taking photographs while she was performing. She was not happy. She gave it to them with both barrels.
Is it unprofessional to stop mid-performance to tell off an audience member? Possibly. Is it a case of the poor, precious, fragile artistes having their egos dented and they can’t handle it? Probably. But I suggest that if the artist has worked hard to be able to show their best to an audience and someone decides to try and derail it, they have every right to give them what for. Watching the main act pull up an audience member for their stupidity is effective (and usually entertaining). Once that person is cowed or removed, everyone else can continue to enjoy the show.
The artists are fighting back, ladies and gentlemen. Go and set off those mobiles! Go and start a fight! Light that touch-paper and stand well back…