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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

DC Editorial: It’s all about the fans, man

Published: October 19, 2007
Section: Arts, Etc.

Whether one is an avid concert-goer or simply likes to attend the economically-priced Brandeis show, it is easy to assume that one would prefer his or her concert-going experience to be fun and entertaining. One attends these shows to watch an artist perform music he or she is passionate about. Also, as a fan, one wants to be appreciated. It's up to the fan to purchase music legally and to pay to attend these concerts. At the end of the day, the power really does lie with the fans.

This is why Regina Spektor's behavior at her concert last week was so surprising. When Spektor pointedly asked the audience to be quiet or find something else to do, it showed that she felt comfortable reprimanding the fans that she should be appreciating. As Jordan Rothman stated in his article, the concert took place on a college campus on a Saturday night. It was a cheap form of entertainment for those who were not attending the Main Event. The acoustics were great in the room and the talking was not interfering with anyone's ability to hear Spektor's music. That is why it seemed strange that she would feel it appropriate to discuss the noise level with the audience. Even diehard fans of Spektor could not have felt comfortable with her actions.

Contrast this with the description of the Hot Hot Heat concert which occurred merely days before. Fans paid at least five to six times the amount that the Spektor show cost and were almost expected to sing louder than the band itself. Yes, a rock concert is very different than one featuring an artist with a piano, but that still does not put Spekor in the right.

Last week Radiohead showed its confidence in its fans by giving them the power to determine how much they are willing to pay for the new album, In Rainbows. This was groundbreaking and there is no doubt that fans were shocked at this decision, but at the same time, Radiohead is certainly appreciative of the power of their fans.

Perhaps Spektor forgot how important the fans are. Perhaps she forgot where she was and who she was performing for. Either way, it is hoped that she does not consider her actions appropriate and will soon come to value the importance of her fans. Hopefully she can one day hold the same opinion as Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, “One thing I don't feel is separation from the crowd. I don't feel like we're speaking from a platform, I feel like we are communicating on the same level.” All we can do is hope.