Having spent enough time at both popular music concerts and classical music concerts, I can confidently say that outside of the actual music, the biggest difference between the two is what is considered appropriate audience behaviour.
At concerts for popular music — rock, punk, country, pop, etc — dancing, talking, and singing along is encouraged and expected. Act like that at a typical orchestral concert (not a sing-a-long Messiah or other special concert like that) and the people around you will give you disapproving glares. An usher might also politely, but firmly, ask you to leave if you get too rowdy. Classical music concert audience etiquette indicates that the audience remain quiet so that everyone can fully listen to and enjoy the music.
Now, imagine if a popular music concert requested its audience to act like a classical music concert. Odd and impossible, right? Well, apparently not.
Independent music series Wavelength are asking their audience to do just that. Last March they debuted “Don’t Speak” and with the concert’s success, “Don’t Speak II” is happening on March 18.
Programmer Adam Bradley came up with this concept in hopes of creating a more mindful, engaged listening experience amongst concert-goers at indie music shows. Although, writing materials will be provided to help you communicate with others around you, so at least you won’t be totally unable to ask a question.
The concert program consists of primarily electronic, ambient, drone music from Canadian musicians, including Kyle Bobby Dunn from Montreal and Toronto’s Off World, Bomb & Body, and Zone Support.
The concert is set for Friday March 18 at The Baby G on Dundas. Doors open at 9 and tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. You can buy advance tickets here.
For more information, check out the Wavelength website.