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Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Old 12-13-20, 02:13 PM
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Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

So this may be a bit of a 'I didn't want to do it anyway, so THERE!' since we can't (shouldn't) go to what were known as 'concerts' now, but...
What are some of the worst/least enjoyable concert experiences you've had (that you care to share)?
EXCLUDING - "opening band sucked", "tickets were so expensive", and "they didn't play my favorite song".

Couple come to mind for me:

Moby in the 90's. I have always leaned more rock/metal, but I did like Moby at one time. My usual concert wear was black tshirts. This crowd wore tons of white, pigtails, and used baby pacifiers (?). In addition to the fact that Moby came on like 1.5 hours late (with no communication), there was almost no setup/teardown so we didn't understand why so late. Then when he came on, he beat on a bongo and screamed into a mic for like three minutes. I would have had a better time at home listening to the CD. We left early and I haven't listened to him since.

DRI a couple years ago. The band was great, the venue was a little local hole in the wall. But there was one obnoxious jerk who, throughout most of the opening act, the break, and the first part of their act, constantly yelled 'Who am I? DRI!" Like a billion times There was also a young woman near me who, during maybe the first 10 songs, was holding her phone up filming the band. She was dancing and stuff too so that was OK. But come on, put the phone down. She even had the flash on and it was literally right in his face - he asked her 2 or 3 times 'can you at least turn off the flash?' He could have let go of his guitar and taken the phone from her. She finally heard him, turned the flash off, put the phone away, let them finish that song, then left and I didn't see her again the rest of the show. I felt bad for the band and she (and the other guy) were just really annoying.

GWAR - I went to school in Athens GA and I did see them a few times, both in Athens (including a show that was shut down and made a lot of press) and Atlanta (where Techno asked me for feedback on the previous night's show while in the pit.)
My then-gf at the time were at some store or restaurant, and I picked up the Flagpole magazine (the local "news and entertainment" free paper many cities have) to flip through it and check out the "A is playing at B on C" section. Well, I found out that GWAR was playing in town a five minute walk from my dorm for like 8 bucks.....THE NIGHT BEFORE. Argh.....

Those are a couple that stand out at present. Luckily I've had mostly good concert going experiences and a few great ones. And even "it's not the real band because Member X isn't there," or, "this opener sucks", I usually still have a good time and enjoy (or at least appreciate) the music and the experience and the fact that someone's up there doing it.
Old 12-13-20, 02:24 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Hands down worst was Three Doors Down. It was a free show when I was in college, and while I wouldn't say I was a fan I didn't hate them so went to check it out. Nappy Roots were the openers and were actually really fun live. Three Doors Down came on and just had no energy what so ever and looked like they would rather be anywhere else. The dude next to me kept screaming "play the fucking superman song" and about halfway through the show they did. After Kryptonite I would say easily half the crowd departed. To cap it off, my buddies were working security and said the whole band was nothing but egotistical assholes. They did say Nappy Roots were awesome though and invited them on the bus.

Old 12-13-20, 04:13 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Originally Posted by beavis69 View Post
Hands down worst was Three Doors Down. It was a free show when I was in college, and while I wouldn't say I was a fan I didn't hate them so went to check it out. Nappy Roots were the openers and were actually really fun live. Three Doors Down came on and just had no energy what so ever and looked like they would rather be anywhere else. The dude next to me kept screaming "play the fucking superman song" and about halfway through the show they did. After Kryptonite I would say easily half the crowd departed. To cap it off, my buddies were working security and said the whole band was nothing but egotistical assholes. They did say Nappy Roots were awesome though and invited them on the bus.
(More generally).

These are some of the primary reasons why I don't attend concerts anymore.

Too many classic/legacy bands seem like a shadow of their former selves, where it appears they're just "going through the motions" or "calling it in" on stage. Not even trying to make an effort, where a free concert mind as well be a complete waste of time to attend.

Even back in the day, I learned very quickly that you should not ever meet your "heroes". They will amost always be a huge disppointment, which shatters any and all illusions and preconceived notions I ever had of them.
Old 12-13-20, 05:28 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Lol I can't speak to how they were personally, but a few years back, Night Ranger played a free summer concert/fest thing downtown.
After they played Sister Christian (the third song) the crowd cleared out like they said 'last one here pays the bill'.
You could almost hear audible groans when the band said "We'd like to start with some new material".

It sucks when the band phones it in. I know things happen, illness, etc. But when you can tell they're just checking off a box, that's a bad show.
Old 12-13-20, 05:36 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

This is easy.

One week my then girlfriend and I were in Myrtle Beach SC for a vacation. Turned out to be bike week. David Alan Coe was performing at the House of Blues, and she wanted to go. We went. He was drunk the whole performance, and so was the crowd. Did I mention it was bike week? And here are 2 early 30's preppy looking folks in there, hoping to get out alive, or at least not beer-soaked..
Old 12-13-20, 05:39 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

The show itself wasnít bad, but when I went to Social Distortion at First Avenue in Minneapolis in 2012 I think it wasnít the best.

Just not the type of venue Iíd prefer going to as it was crowded and a bit uncomfortable/stuffy. My friend I went with also didnít love the experience.

I much prefer bigger arenas and ideally I prefer to sit versus standing in a pit or on a crowded floor.
Old 12-13-20, 06:53 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Originally Posted by Mike86 View Post
The show itself wasnít bad, but when I went to Social Distortion at First Avenue in Minneapolis in 2012 I think it wasnít the best.

Just not the type of venue Iíd prefer going to as it was crowded and a bit uncomfortable/stuffy. My friend I went with also didnít love the experience.

I much prefer bigger arenas and ideally I prefer to sit versus standing in a pit or on a crowded floor.
And when do we need to get off your lawn?

I always prefer a stuffy club to a big arena. Seems more personal. Arena shows, I might as well stay home and watch it on TV, that's what it feels like.
Old 12-13-20, 07:22 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

For me, I have a routine for most of the shows that I attend. Purchase meet and greet if possible otherwise show up an hour before doors open. Get my spot on the rail, and document a couple songs per band with videos and pictures. 95% of bands and clubs are fine with us wannabee amateur photographers as long as we use cell phones or non pro pocket cameras.

But randomly, band managers or club security will raise a stink without any sort of warning of this policy. So I'll listen to a few songs then take out my camera and then security will drag me out of the club like my hair caught on fire. I think the worst example for me was for Slayer at the Riv in Chicago. Security dragged me out then wanted me to delete the photos off of my camera. And this was just the openers (Carcass?). Head of security saw that I purchased the Slayer VIP, so he let me back in as long as I didn't take pictures.

Thinking about it more, at the House of Blues, a couple times they've made me check in my camera which is definitely preferable to getting kicked out during the show.
Old 12-13-20, 07:28 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
And when do we need to get off your lawn?

I always prefer a stuffy club to a big arena. Seems more personal. Arena shows, I might as well stay home and watch it on TV, that's what it feels like.
Meh. Just not my scene. Iíve really never liked being in big crowds. Especially when itís a confined, stuffy space.

I like the more personal shows, but generally I prefer them in a theater or something. Probably my all time favorite show was actually Eddie Vedder when he played a theater (the Orpheum Theater) in downtown Minneapolis.
Old 12-13-20, 08:21 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

I've told this story here before. I saw Dylan and the Dead in the Foxboro football stadium. There was not enough to drink for a crowd baking all day in the July sun. One of my friends waited more than an hour to get a cup of soda. Some good person turned on a garden hose and I refilled my water bottle there after a long line. A woman who was ill from the heat begged me for some of my water and she drank most of it. The line for the hose was a lot longer, so I gave up. My next drink was when we got back to the car that evening.

I was around the 50 yard line. The Dead were fine, but only played half a concert. Dylan was awful. He was so drunk that he couldn't pronounce any of the words. I was watching on the big screen so I didn't see anything wrong, but a couple years later I met someone who had worked his way up to the front. Dylan was puking onstage.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 12-13-20 at 08:26 PM.
Old 12-13-20, 08:35 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

I've been to a few of those shows where everyone leaves after hearing the one song they came for. If anything, that's welcome, as I don't want those people there. Two examples come to mind. One was just a few years ago, when The Primitives played a VERY limited (5 shows, I think, US tour). It was marred by a low stage, and one guy who blocked my view to spend the entire time talking to his girlfriend. Except when he's shout at the band "Just play the hits!", and it was a small enough venue that they definitely heard him. Maybe to shut him up, they played "Crash", and mercifully he was gone after that.
The other time was a show by Bow Wow Wow. Most of the crowd was nowhere near the stage, they hung in the back, where the pool tables and bar was. Then when "I Want Candy" came on, suddenly I'm over run by a bunch of middle-agers with their phones up. As soon as the song was over, so was half the crowd. Which was fine, I got to watch the rest of the set with the more sparse, but knowledgeable fans.

I think the one that sticks out for me was Weezer, but again due to the audience and not the band or venue. It was a free show, after the last race at the horse track. Since people didn't pay, they acted like it was just a hang-out and not a concert. In other words, there was groups of people in circles, hanging out and talking as if it was just a party they were attending and Weezer was on the stereo. The people that weren't talking to their friends were singing. Badly. And I wasn't right up front, so I could hear the crappy singing by the fans more than the band itself.
Old 12-13-20, 08:48 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Originally Posted by Paff View Post

I think the one that sticks out for me was Weezer, but again due to the audience and not the band or venue. It was a free show, after the last race at the horse track. Since people didn't pay, they acted like it was just a hang-out and not a concert. In other words, there was groups of people in circles, hanging out and talking as if it was just a party they were attending and Weezer was on the stereo. The people that weren't talking to their friends were singing. Badly. And I wasn't right up front, so I could hear the crappy singing by the fans more than the band itself.
Oh man I hate that. There's a warehouse type venue here that is fine for loud rock and roll (I've seen Steel Panther there a couple times), but for anything less, awful. Tickets are usually pretty cheap, and sometimes on Groupon or whatever, but apparently a lot of people go there and treat it like a bar with a band playing in the corner, instead of a concert. We saw an acoustic folk band there and the people at the bar(s) talking about their day or their cars were louder than the band. Not fun.
Old 12-13-20, 11:56 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Originally Posted by tonyc3742 View Post
Lol I can't speak to how they were personally, but a few years back, Night Ranger played a free summer concert/fest thing downtown.
After they played Sister Christian (the third song) the crowd cleared out like they said 'last one here pays the bill'.
You could almost hear audible groans when the band said "We'd like to start with some new material".
For many legacy/classic bands, it seems like hardly anybody is interested in their "newer stuff" released long after their heydays. They're essentially a "greatest hits" act, like what happened to Elvis during the 1970s before his death.

Out of the "has been" rock stars/bands I've listened to a lot, I can only think of one where I actually liked their later stuff long after their heydays: John Lennon.

Otherwise for most other legacy/classic bands, I only ever listened to their post-heyday albums once or twice.
Old 12-14-20, 12:08 AM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

I am doing a Cut & Paste from the previous thread on this topic, from 2004.

Originally Posted by Decker View Post
Worst : George Michael, LA Forum, circa 1989. Biggest star on the planet. It was more like going to a concert of George Michael fans. Here's his act : "Well I guess it would be nice" .. (holds the microphone towards the crowd for 20 seconds) .. " I gotta have"... (holds mic)...."Baby"...
What a disaster!

First Runner Up: Fiona Apple in Honolulu, Dec. 1997. Last stop on her world tour, and don't we know it. She's nearly fall-down drunk and mentions repeatedly how happy she is that the tour is over, thank God. Hey, Fiona, let's make a deal -- I'll pretend you're a good singer and profound songwriter if you pretend you're at least sort of enjoying playing for us and delay the post-show party for like 90 more minutes.
Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I would never blame an artist for bad seats, sound or weather. Those things are beyond the performer's control (normally), but one of the worst concert experiences I ever had was seeing The Rolling Stones (with GnR opening, as I mentioned in another concert thread). It was at the LA Coliseum, which is a huge venue and terrible for concerts -- think not only an entire football field, but a large track around the football field as well. It was pouring rain. Worst of all, our seats were so far back, it made watching the Stones perform look like a flea circus -- just little specks going back and forth across the stage. It was so far away that the normal alternative, watching the show on the Jumbotron wouldn't work either : We were so far back that the images traveled faster than the sound and therefore the songs were out of synch like a badly dubbed martial-arts movie. The huge inflatable women that popped up during Honky Tonk Woman appeared about life-sized. It was that bad for me and my crappy seats.
What's really funny is I had a patient mother come into my office last week wearing a reproduction Guns N Roses t-shirt. I looked at it and it said Los Angeles October 18, 19, 20, 21, 1989. I asked her where she got the shirt. She said at Target. I said I think I was at that show. While she was still there I Google Guns N Roses + Rolling Stones and sure enough it was that same show I described above. Guess I should have bought the Merch, but I just got an ugly Rolling Stones hat instead.

Edit : Here is the shirt



Last edited by Decker; 12-14-20 at 12:21 AM.
Old 12-14-20, 02:05 AM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

It's a no-win situation when it comes to concert talkers. If you're in the back, they'll disrupt the show with their talking. If you're closer to the front, they have to yell in each other's ear to be heard, and if you're short like me it totally fucks with your line of sight, the constant moving heads back and forth.

The only solution is to be right up front, and the sound usually sucks there cuz you're even with the speakers instead of being in the throw pattern.
Old 12-14-20, 09:43 AM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Impotent Sea Snake. They opened for the “Misfits” at the House Of Blues. I had never heard of them before and I wish it was still that way.
Old 12-14-20, 11:13 AM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Bruce Springsteen canceling the day of show to protest a law that had been in effect for two weeks. Could have gotten all my travel expenses refunded if he had just given a little more notice.
Old 12-14-20, 11:42 AM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Originally Posted by beavis69 View Post
Hands down worst was Three Doors Down. It was a free show when I was in college, and while I wouldn't say I was a fan I didn't hate them so went to check it out. Nappy Roots were the openers and were actually really fun live. Three Doors Down came on and just had no energy what so ever and looked like they would rather be anywhere else. The dude next to me kept screaming "play the fucking superman song" and about halfway through the show they did. After Kryptonite I would say easily half the crowd departed. To cap it off, my buddies were working security and said the whole band was nothing but egotistical assholes. They did say Nappy Roots were awesome though and invited them on the bus.
A friend of mine won meet and greet tickets to Three Doors Down back in the early 2000's. We show up, go backstage and meet the band, where she also won an autographed guitar, too. They provided a guitar case, and an extra seat to put it in for the show. I remember absolutely nothing about the show, because my friend took the guitar out to get pictures with the band, and I spent that time filling up the guitar case with their beer.

Worst showis probably Ozric Tentacles sometime around 2009. The sound was absolutely awful, no matter where I went in the venue. I toughed it out for about 20 minutes and then bailed.
Bush was also pretty bad, but mostly because all I could hear throughout the show was "Gavin, I love you!!!!"
Old 12-14-20, 11:56 AM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Probably the worst was a double bill of Tom Petty/Bob Dylan. The sound was nothing but a dull indistinct roar from the general direction of the stage. We finally walked around to the blocked obstructed seats. Still couldn't make out any actual music, but at least could see them standing around smoking cigarettes backstage while switching sets.

This was the show that made me give up on arena concerts unless I could afford decent seats.
Old 12-14-20, 12:36 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Just remembered an Eric Church show at MSG about 5-6 years ago. Some drunk asshole kept on seat hopping in our section whenever someone would get up to get refreshments, take a piss, etc. He would just go sit in their seat until they got back, then go find another one that wasn't occupied. He was spilling his beer on people as he was moving around and fell over a couple times. It was obvious that he knew people scattered around the section and was just trying to stay close to his friends, so I think that most people who were getting ticked off didn't really want to complain. I let it go for a while because I didn't really want to miss the show, but had finally had enough and went and found a security guard and told her what was going on. She went down and talked to him and just told him to sit down, which didn't really do anything. She didn't even ask to check his ticket. Finally, he was walking through the row behind us and fell over knocking my girlfriend to the ground. I was really close to slinging his ass down the aisle, but thought rationally long enough to realize getting arrested out of state wouldn't really turn out well. Once my girlfriend was back on her feet I went and found the same security guard and told her "If you don't do something about him, I'm going to, and then you're going to have to kick both of us out". She finally got the police to come and get him and as he was being escorted out his dad or someone else went with and called me a stupid mother fucker and threatened to kick my ass as he was walking out. I made some smartass comment about how I knew we had a bunch of trailer trash rednecks in the south but didn't realize they were up north too. He turned around to try to fight me but the people behind me held him back long enough for the police to grab him. Once they were finally gone our whole section started clapping and I had people buying me drinks the rest of the night.
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Old 12-14-20, 02:12 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

My bad sound story is when I saw Indigenous open for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones at the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater. The architect, Paolo Soleri, was a concrete enthusiast, so the whole place was a semicircular pit with long concrete shelves for seats. It must have been tricky to balance the sound. Indigenous sounded dreadful, and I could hear the sound man keep fiddling with the sound for the whole set. Then the
Bela Fleck and Flecktones came onstage, and it took his sound man about 45 seconds to get the sound perfect. That was when I learned the difference between a proficient sound man and an expert sound man.
Old 12-14-20, 02:12 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Another I just remembered was Velocity Girl back in the 90s. Even though they were an uptempo "buzz pop" band, they'd also embraced the "shoegaze" motif for their live shows, and spent the entire set glued to their spots on stage and looking like they'd rather be doing anything else in the world. They lost me as a fan that night.

It was contrasted by a show I saw the same week, Moonpools and Caterpillars. They were a LA-based Filipino band that had a minor 90s alternative hit "Hear". The first time I saw them, they were the opening act for the Hoodoo Gurus, and they recognized that everyone in the hall was there to see the Gurus. So they went out and put on an all-out "please like us" show, and it worked. The audience demanded an encore that they didn't get because the Gurus were set to go on at a specific time. Anyway, M&C maintained that "please like us" energy with every show they ever did, even when they were the headliners. The week I saw them after Velocity Girl, they did an amazing set as the main act, and to this day I'm still a huge fan.
Old 12-14-20, 02:16 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
My bad sound story is when I saw Indigenous open for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones at the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater. The architect, Paolo Soleri, was a concrete enthusiast, so the whole place was a semicircular pit with long concrete shelves for seats. It must have been tricky to balance the sound. Indigenous sounded dreadful, and I could hear the sound man keep fiddling with the sound for the whole set. Then the
Bela Fleck and Flecktones came onstage, and it took his sound man about 45 seconds to get the sound perfect. That was when I learned the difference between a proficient sound man and an expert sound man.
Agree, I've been to shows where the sound guy was totally incompetent. That said, at the show you went to, what probably happened was that Bela Fleck got a LONG soundcheck earlier in the day, with all the levels marked off (or saved, if it was a digital soundboard). Indigenous probably had much less time to get a sound check, and I assume Bela Fleck's setup was already on stage, so they had to work around that. Bela's sound guy only needed the 45 seconds to adjust for a full auditorium vs. what they had at soundcheck.
Old 12-14-20, 02:49 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Most of my bad concert experiences involve other concert goers.

When I saw Rush about 20 years ago at a summer shed, some dipshit had to stand through Neal's drum solo, directly in my line of sight about six rows ahead of me. He was the only person in the section standing, and wasn't even air drumming. Just standing there with his hands in his pockets.

The chick a few rows in front of me who was blasted out of her mind in the upper deck during the first half or the Roger Waters The Wall show was so distracting and annoying I was hoping she would fall off the edge, except I knew that would stop the show. Fortunately she passed out during intermission.

The six foot 10, linebacker with a ten gallon hat at a Whitesnake theater show was annoying but, except for the ridiculous hat, really can't help it. Sound at that show wasn't much either.

I lucked out with the absolute worst of the bunch. Saw Billy Joel at a baseball park. The family seated next to me were pleasant, well dressed people. But their teenage son changed seats to the one next to me so he could take a family picture. Motherfucker straight up smelled like day old bacon grease. Thought I was going to vomit. Fortunately, smelly went back to his seat to nauseate some other poor bastard.

Worst actual show was Robert Palmer in 88. Boring as shit. Oh, and Dream Theater's "The Astonishing" tour. Security was incredible vile to the audience, threatening anyone with a cell phone taking pics. It was their guy, too, not one of the locals who are actually pretty chill. The show was pointless and the material sucked. Why they were so protective of it was beyond me.
Old 12-14-20, 03:18 PM
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Re: Worst (least enjoyable) concert experiences?

Reading these keeps bringing back memories I must have repressed.

James Taylor/Bonnie Raitt in DC. I had field level front row seats. Wife and I were excited as shit. We get there, walk up to the stage and can't find our actual seats. Got an usher to help and it turned out there was a woman so ungodly fat she took up three fucking seats.....hers, and both of ours. When she saw us, she tried to scoot over and squeezed a little more towards the guy she was there with, but that barely helped. All the Nats would do was offer us other seats in the seating bowl. We spent the entire show unable to sit down, obviously blocking people behind us, standing sideways towards the stage, just so we could cram in to the small area we had. My wife eventually got so pissed she just started standing directly in front of her seat which completely blocked the woman's view.

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