So we play a show last Saturday up at The Timberwolf Bar at Snoqualmie Pass in the main lodge, and let me lead this by first saying I love to play mountain resorts. They always treat us really good, it paid, several pitchers of good beer, salads, a full pizza, and a day pass to redeem anytime you want to go ride. Which is a badass perk if you love the snow which I do. It was awesome in that respect, and in turn our job is to play music that will keep people eating and drinking at the bar, which we did. But that’s not what this is about.
This is about the hecklers, who sat through almost our whole set, but proceeded to make fun of us with little dancy moves in their chairs and “play some Skynard” comments between songs. Who kicked over chairs, and glared, and eventually made comments to a member in the other band we played with about our music before they marched out in disgust. BTW, their girlfriends seemed to really like what we were doing. Anyway, I understand the type of music we play isn’t going to go over very well everywhere, and I’m totally ok with that. But I think it’s funny that hecklers actually think they can get under your skin while your performing. As if yelling the ever original “play some Skynard” was suddenly going acclimate us to break into “Sweet Home Alabama”. Then he and his buddies could lean back in their chairs and give each other the approval nod as if to say, “Now this is what I expect from a live performance!”. Come on, if your gonna yell shit make it good, yelling the same one or two lines over and over isn’t just old, it doesn’t even deserve a retort.
The reason I say this is because for years I had to play in a cover band to pay bills in Eastern Washington and Idaho. And no heckler (including a full on shouting match with the locals at the Blue Moon two years ago, or getting the breaker turned off in McCleary, WA during the Bear Festival because we wouldn’t play CCR) will ever be able to match the Roadhouse level of heckling as a backwoods Kooskie, Idaho bar. It’s like a combo of Deliverance and Roadhouse. and trust me when I say load out is interesting when there are literally guys waiting for you in the parking lot to “kick your ass” and there’s no real civilization for like a 100 miles.
Look I don’t mind being heckled, and I’ve even heckled bands so I know there are no real “rules” to heckling. But there is a big difference between heckling and being a dip-shit. A good heckler is usually doing it in fun, has some witty original comments to make, or is inciting the crowd. A good heckler expects to get ripped back by whomever he is heckling, and therefore play along, not get pissed off and want to fight cuz their insecure and can’t keep up. And a good heckler generally will share a beer with whom they were heckling later in the evening even if they didn’t like the music, because its all about good fun.
So to all you hecklers (myself included) don’t be a dip-shit. Your just opening yourself up to get slaughtered in a wits battle by the guy with the mic. And hopefully I’m not digging my own grave by writing this and inviting every heckling reader alive to show up to our show’s and yell shit. Just don’t expect much reaction to “play some Skynard!”.