Until recently, 15th December 2012 to be exact, I had never attended a music concert held in a Vineyard.
Perhaps my neurosis was not on par with other Kiwis my vintage because wine vineyards seem to be the ‘in’ place these-days when it comes to open-air concerts in N.Z.
I had previously been well out of the loop confining my concert going to the strangest of venues – a concert hall.
On Saturday 15th I tasted (pun intended) my first experience of bands plonked among the vines, deckchairs, blankets and pissed kindy mums.
Devo, Simple Minds and the Church playing Villa Maria in Auckland.
If this was a bottle of over-priced vintage I would have spat it out, protested to the waiter it was corked – not that I even drink wine – I’m way too unsophisticated to waste money on that muck.
I’m not taking away anything from the bands or the sound on the night.
Devo had lost nothing from the last time I saw them 25 years ago.
Simple Minds were on key, played too little of their ‘interesting’ earlier stuff for my liking.
The Church were always a bit soppy for my tastes but to be fair to their fans they put on a great performance.
However all of these bands performances were impinged by the incessant chatter from the crowd.
Soon after The Church twanged their first chord I learnt a sizeable chunk of the crowd was only there to sing-along to the one or two songs they could vaguely remember from their last listen.
That was when cars came with cassette players.
It may as well have been the races at Ellerslie or Addington as far as they were concerned.
Now I’m not adverse to getting pissed at concerts – even if the beer offerings on this occasion was isolated to the sponsors watery, sugary lager offering – but at least I have respect for people who paid money to listen to the bands by keeping my trap shut.
This was thought of as more of a social occasion for many rather than a musical occasion.
A chance for four-wheel-drive owning mums to compare kids reports and government property values, eat cheese and crackers from well-appointed picnic baskets.
A grand opportunity for their similarly over-dressed husbands to get-together, natter about sailing on the harbour earlier in the day, golf handicaps whilst their kids, yes couples turned-up with brats, could kick an empty wine bottle about getting bored shitless with their parents taste in music. So much for it being a R18 gig.
I would doubt it most punters at Villa Maria would even own an album by Devo or Simple Minds.
Conclusion: If you are vaguely into music, truly love a band Vineyard Concerts are going to piss you off, better left alone unopened on the shelf.
SEE WHAT I MEAN ANNOYING?!