OFFSTAGE: Should Country Fans Shut Up and Listen?

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

The story in Sunday’s (July 28) Chicago Tribune has me feeling very chatty. Because I think I’m the very person this article set out to shut up. It’s about the incessant loud talkers at concerts. Not country ones, per se. But still. Concerts from outdoor fests like Lollapalooza to intimate little listening rooms, people are just talking too much. “It also seems talkers are growing bolder, more entitled,” it says, adding that the constant yammering is a distraction to other listeners and even to the artists. But here’s what I have a problem with: I think if the topic is relevant, that talking is kind of OK. Like if I wanted to tell the person next to me at a concert that Miranda Lambert wrote this song with her husband, or that Toby Keith almost gave up on Nashville before he released this song, or that Dierks Bentley just opened a cool new bar in Arizona, or that Carrie Underwood is a vegetarian, or that this Kenny Chesney song makes me cry every single time, shouldn’t that be all right? The article brings up the other kind of talkers, though. Like “the guy standing behind me at every show I’ve seen in the past few years who needs to moan right now about his fantasy football picks” and “the woman in a cluster of friends turned away from the stage, loudly wondering if she should go to law school.” I get that that would be completely annoying because it’s so off-topic. But don’t you think it depends on what the fans are talking about? I’ll be sure and bring that up to everyone standing around me at Blake Shelton’s show this weekend.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.