Last night Robin and I went to a horrible hockey game.  (We totally had fun, but the game sucked.) The combination of the Sabres lackluster play, and the frustration of the fans created, um, a situation.  That situation was a sold-out arena of people booing.  I think that last night was the first time in my life that I cupped my hands up to my mouth and said, "Boooooo".  I wasn’t even angry when I did it.  Yes, I was extremely unimpressed with the team, and yes, I was frustrated, but my booing was good natured, and so was the booing of the people around us.  I boo-ed because doing so was fun.  It was satisfying and downright enjoyable.

It got me thinking about the standing ovation. 

It has become pretty much common place for classical music audiences to automatically stand at the end of a performance.  I appreciate the gesture, but I have to admit I secretly enjoy receiving a lukewarm response to a concert I thought was less than stellar. I respect an audience when they are all "Meh" after a bad piece, or a poorly executed symphony.  There have also been a few instances since I moved to Buffalo, when the audience didn’t just give us a standing ovation, but they literally leaped to their feet in response to the final chords.  I respect those audiences too, for recognizing and responding to a particularly special performance.  I have never been involved in a concert where there was booing.  I can’t even imagine.  I like it when the response from the audience is an honest reaction to the performance, and some part of me would be interested to know what it would take to inspire someone to lift their hands to their face and holler out their disapproval. 

Passion is passion, you know?


4 Responses to “Boo”

  1. 1 Shalini November 3, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    I think the standing ovation thing is particularly fierce at orchestral concerts. I find at chamber music concerts, at least the ones I’m playing, it doesn’t happen as often. Of course, if it was Emerson or some other hot shit group , maybe it would. Maybe my concerts just suck.

  2. 2 Christina November 3, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Not that it would ever be believable from me, but I’ll boo next time I hear you guys perform. :)

  3. 3 elise November 4, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    kate, if you had mad-yawned before haydn this summer, they would have boo-ed! i totally agree with you re: desiring an honest response from the audience. i think my brother may have boo-ed once.

    i’m waiting for the Patriots game to begin in jerusalem!!

  4. 4 Pookie November 8, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Sorry this is a little late (I didn’t realize you were NaBloBlahBlahBobLoblaw-ing over here again) but I wanted to say that my dad instilled in me early on that standing ovations are supposed to be rare, and used only for the bestest of performances. I’m glad I listened to him because I can remember now the best things I’ve seen by thinking back to when I gave standing o’s and when I didn’t. I so clearly remember leaping to my feet after seeing Samuel Ramey in “Mefistofele” at the Met. His performance might be the single best thing I’ve ever seen, anywhere. I would have been really pissed at myself if I didn’t have some way of responding to that in a way that was as special as the performance.

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