So there. Take your ring, do your victory dance, smack each other on the ass and proceed to Disneyworld.
You don't get a show like that (TR's voice was the best I've heard on this tour, amazing for a last show. His vocal on JOV was completely marrow-mulching---go watch/listen) and three --THREE! you don't get Three Encores by being a lackluster audience. It was a great show in a great venue and I was again impressed by the welcoming vibe of Chicagoans, who seem to wanna share the joy like missionaries on my Saturday morning doorstep. (Susan, they totally tolerated our crazy lobby dancing during TODAY!)
However,in debriefing with other friends, who saw this and other shows, as well as reading some of these reviews, there is one point I'd like to explore...
Apparently "in the past", the Park West had no seats and people grooved in a serpentine love fest all over the floor, doubled and tripled up on their boyfriend's shoulders wearing their sequined American Flag Tube Tops, shouting, groping and waving their lighters. Of course the joints back then were the size of fine Cuban cigars, the tickets were free and they pumped pure oxygen into the venue.
Afterward, naturally, Todd ate dinner with people's families on a grassy hillside, healing the blind and charming their service animals.
But NOW, according to some, there is a general middle-age malaise threatening to overtake the room and there are even some reviews posted by those complaining that people get up and dance, tube top or no tube top.
I'm thinking we've got to come to some consensus on the SITTING vs.DANCING thing. Several native Chicagoans grumbled to me post-show that they were a tiny bit ashamed by the sedate behavior of SOME of the audience on Friday night.
There is Rock Concert Behavior and there is Opera behavior. In that vein, there is ARENA behavior and there will be AWATS behavior.
For future Arena or similar shows, I propose an area for wild abandon. A decent-sized space with no seats, a little elbow room and a don't-ask-don't-tell waiver implied in your ticket purchase. B.Y.O. vegetable oil, flak suit and Purell dispenser. "My safe word is Banana" is also a phrase to consider learning in several tongues, including American Sign Language.
Additionally, I suggest we set up a shady place for those in their Snuggies, with their Maalox drinks resting on their Sham Wow coasters. These folks may expect a view unobstructed enough to be able to use a remote control they can bring from home (or conveniently purchase at the Merch table) to point at the stage if they disagree with any political rant they may be subjected to. They will likewise be guaranteed a spot that is free from those who want to duck their goofy face into a photo so it will appear Jesse Gress was perched on their shoulder for Panic, or that they crushed Kasim's head during Trapped.
I personally anticipate the day we may ALL be in a series of Lay-Z-boys, wired for sound and equipped with IV's, watching this band who will still be on fire (A point here: the band stands for us the entire show. Why can't some of the Audience?) so I've got no judgment here...just be NICE, be clear and organize yourself in the area that best suits your needs.
But ya better shut yer mouth and git Holy this coming Labor Day weekend in the city of my birth, y'all. I won't be making my Hajj to listen to you bellow "get down TODD!" during Zen Archer! (However, if you don't get up and shake it for Cool Jerk, we're gonna put Digitalis under your pale, flaccid tongue)
P.S.-- did anyone yet mention the moment when TR Gripped his Business on Friday night and told us all to "Twit This?"
Worth the Service Charge.