James Blake + Concert Etiquette


A few weeks back, the Duke and I were fortunate enough to see James Blake in concert at the Astor Theatre. The concert was very much enjoyable, with James Blake showcasing his wonderful talents, keeping the mood light in between songs with small chatter and humbly expressing his appreciation for all his supporters that were there that night.

During my years at WAAPA (West Australian Academy of Performing Arts), I quite often frequented the Perth Concert Hall, watching in awe as famous concert pianists dazzled the audience as their fingers flew across the grand piano and the thick sound of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra filled the enormous space. I had learnt the important rules and appropriate etiquette associated with these classical concerts – don’t applaud in between movements, don’t talk during the piece, try not to cough at the quietest moment of the music, etc. (you can read up on a few more rules here). I’ve also been to Perth’s Ellington Jazz Club in support of many friends. Here, you’re allowed to lightly talk amongst yourselves but we would often do so sparingly as we were there to actually listen to the music, not catch up.

The James Blake concert was the first contemporary concert that I had ever attended. Whilst I very much enjoyed it, there were small groups of people who were chatting and catching up at the tops of their voices throughout the majority of the performance, all sitting in close proximity to me, which proved rather distracting and frustrating. I’m very much curious as to whether this is very common in this setting. Would I have stepped over the line if I had politely asked them to lower their voices or take their conversation outside in the foyer? Would that be rude or would it be in my rights, as someone who is really keen to just have a good night listening to a favourite artist? What are your thoughts?

-The Fine Duchess

Image via It Sounds Better Live

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One thought on “James Blake + Concert Etiquette

  1. Pingback: Van Gogh, Dali and Beyond | A Spectacular Life

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