Big Thief To Concertgoers: Please Stop Talking During The Opening Set

Big Thief To Concertgoers: Please Stop Talking During The Opening Set

Adrianne Lenker would like you to please be quiet and pay attention to the opening act. On Instagram Tuesday, the Big Thief singer-songwriter posted a video message to concertgoers requesting respect and mindfulness when a performer is onstage. It’s captioned “Feelings re talking during openers and attention in general.”

“When music is happening in a room, there’s a performer onstage playing and doing their craft, when you enter into that space, try to be mindful of what’s happening and pay attention and don’t talk,” Lenker said. Later in the message, she rephrased the same thought: “When you come into this space where music is happening, even if you’re coming just to see a specific act play, be mindful if there is somebody performing and playing, to either listen or at least be quiet so that other people can listen. Or go and put yourself elsewhere.”

This isn’t the first time Lenker has posted a video message to fans about live music procedures and etiquette. In November 2019, she explained that Big Thief do not play encores unless it’s part of an organic exchange because “we’re definitely not monkeys, and we’ll definitely not ever do things just to adhere to other people’s expectations.” This latest message is similarly centered on the dignity of performers.

Here’s Lenker’s whole four-minute message typed out:

Hello, friends. Hello. This has been on my mind for a few days now. Actually I should say this has been on my mind for a lot longer than that. It’s really come forward in the last few days that: When music is happening in a room, there’s a performer onstage playing and doing their craft, when you enter into that space, try to be mindful of what’s happening and pay attention and don’t talk. And if you want to talk and greet people and socialize, you can totally do that. But just when you do it in the room where a performance is going on, other people who are there to listen don’t have any say at all in what’s happening. And then suddenly the space is loud.

OK, here’s a better phrase. Here’s how I want to phrase it. There is a real magic that happens when there is a floor of actual silence when somebody is playing or performing. Sometimes I have this feeling like, “If only the room were quiet, this could just be so incredible.” Like, people are missing so much. Because every time there’s meant to be a silence, there’s all this sort of white noise chatter. So I guess what I wanted to ask is that when you come into this space where music is happening, even if you’re coming just to see a specific act play, be mindful if there is somebody performing and playing, to either listen or at least be quiet so that other people can listen. Or go and put yourself elsewhere.

I just think that because it’s a common space people should be able to enjoy the full breadth of what the artist has to offer. Speaking for myself, I feel that when there is quiet, it allows for so much more dynamics, and it makes me feel like I can breathe as somebody creating sound waves. Yeah, so if you can be as respectful as possible, and just mindful. Sometimes people walk in and aren’t aware of where they are. Their priority is to greet their friends or family who you’re seeing. But just look around and if there is somebody who’s onstage they’re probably, like, pouring their heart out, and it’s hard to sort of just be talked over. Do your best, and I appreciate you.

The opener on Big Thief’s current tour is Kara-Lis Coverdale, who presumably has not been getting the attention Lenker believes she deserves. Watch Lenker’s message in video form below, and listen to Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You if you haven’t.

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