What are the funniest things you've seen at a live show? Mine would have to be last December at the Double Door in Chicago. Me and a couple friends were front row standing at the stage for the James McMurtry show. He rocked out, then sent the band offstage for a couple solo acoustic songs. It's real intimate, and everyone's quiet except for my buddy who had his back to the stage 'cause he was talking to a girl. I see McMurtry keep glancing at him, and I kicked the back of his leg to get his attention. Finally McMurtry stops playing, looks directly at him, and says "Hey, turn around, pay attention, and shut up." The crowd cheered and he resumed playing without missing a chord. I still give him grief about that.

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A year or two ago at the Tractor in Seattle... One of the opening acts (I forget who) had a very rabid fan-atic on hand. She was in the tank and over-enthused; kept hollering how much she LOVED the guy singing. He went to say a few words, but she kept up her adoration. Finally he said into the microphone - looking directly at her - "Will you please shut the fuck up and let me say a few things?".
Some great putdowns I've seen here in Atlanta:

Saw Jenny Lewis once take a cell phone from a girl at the lip of the stage, ask the person on the other end of the line their name and said "Hi, this is Jenny. Your friend is really fucking up my show talking with you. Would you please hang up now?".

Recently saw Kathleen Edwards at Eddie's Attic which is extremely "intimate". Went over to meet her after the show and after greeting us she said "I have to ask you a question. Was the friend with you bored out of his skull or what?".

Also was present for a Neil Young show at Chastain Park - a notoriously noisy and inattentive venue. Neil stopped his first acoustic song dead in its tracks and said "I quit playing acoustic songs in Vegas because nobody pays attention there. Nice to see Atlanta has a lot of Vegas in it.". Coincidentally, I saw him again the next month in Vegas and sure 'nuff - 3 1/2 hours of full-on Crazy Horse. Nothing under 110 db!
In the mid-80's when I was in my teens, the Marshall Tucker Band, way past their prime, was playing some small outdoor venue in small-town Marlboro, Mass. As dusk came, the band members started tossing glow-in-the-dark necklaces into the crowd. Then the crowd started throwing them back on stage at the band. Singer Doug Gray yelled out to the crowd "Hey, you keep throwing those things at us and we're gonna leave!" I'm thinking to myself, what the heck, you guys started it!
James McMutrty is pretty particular about audience etiquette! When I saw him at Knuckleheads in Kansas City, a bunch at a long picnic table got bummed out with people standing and dancing in front of them. They dragged the table up to right in front of the stage. He stopped playing and said, "sitters in the back, standers in the front...that's the way it's always been and the way its going to be. And I'm not playing a note until that @#$%& table goes back!" He stared them down...and they moved it!
When you can write songs like that, I suppose that the show ought to go anyway you please. And I think he was right on both occasions. My friend that got put in place told me he's seen him play about 15 times, and that it wasn't the first time he's seen something similar. I always tell him, though, that "I've only seen him play once, and that one time he told you to shut the &^# up!" Love his songs, he's a great performer and showman. I can't wait to see him play again.

I saw Garland Jeffries a year and a half ago at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Mass.  His band went on at seven and there was a different band on at 10.  After an hour and a half set, Garland said, I'd love to do longer, but I really want to sit and talk with all of you instead.  He sat at a table in the front, signed autographs, posed for pictures and simply was the most charming, affable rocker in the world.  One of the audience members told him that her sister in law was sorry that she couldn't be at the show, so he borrowed her cell phone and called the sister in law, and sang TEACH ME TONIGHT over the phone.  Classy guy and a helluva concert to boot.

Humor at the Expense of the Artist Dept.

Some years back I went to see Bruce Cockburn in Keene, NH. Though he sometimes was a bit cerebral for my taste , friends assured me " you gotta see him live!"

He hit the stage seeming somewhat low energy. Three songs in he announced  " I'm going to do something tonight that I've never done" Big cheers from the crowd and a pause ," I've got to hit the can". He and the band disappeared for five minutes, then returned to finish the show. It never really took off but no one complained, we've all been there.

This story made me chuckle.  Pee breaks are always awkward.

 I went to see Mojo Nixon at the Patio in my hometown of Indianapolis. Before the show started I was standing at the urinal taking a leak and Mojo comes in and stands next to me at the next urinal. I was wearing a "wife beater t-shirt " and Mojo noticed the large Foghorn Leghorn tattoo I have that covers my whole back. Needless to say Mojo absolutely loved it and wouldn't stop asking me questions and commenting on it while standing around in the john. Mojo shook my hand and said in his typical Mojo manner, "well gotta go and do this show, BOOOYYY!" and left. Halfway through his set he singled me out and got me on the stage and went on this rant about Foghorn Leghorn and told me to take off my shirt so everyone could see my tattoo. I started down off the stage and Mojo said in his typical Mojo voice, "son you ain't goin nowhere" and fed me beers from a cooler the band had on the stage the rest of the night while sitting on the stage shirtless the rest of the show. Ended up personally recieving a signed set list that was taped to Mojo's monitor and a cool picture taken with the man which is hanging in a cool frame with the set list. The picture was on Mojo's website for the longest time, until someone from Hanna-Barberra made him remove it. LONG LIVE MOJO NIXON!

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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.