17 January 2007

Lang Lang has lesbian hair (a concert-goer's notes)

Note to Lang Lang: Lovely recital tonight (though I did find the Liszt transcription of the Liebestod a bit lacking in poetic energy and ecstatic release; on the other hand, kudos for a delicate, understated first encore, and from a movie score no less -- a poignant waltz from The Painted Veil; yes, it's a tie-in to the soundtrack, but you waited until the second encore, one of those Hungarian Rhapsodies that always appear in Bugs Bunny cartoons, to give the audience the barn-burning chestnut their dirty hearts desired, complete with exquisite comic timing in the shift from head-thrown-back pounding to dainty little step-like figures), but seriously, dude -- get a decent haircut. That weird mohawk-mullet thing is not doing you any favors.

Note to the woman in front of me: Cough drops. For under a buck at Safeway you can get a little bag of them in various delicious flavors. They're even wrapped in paper, so that if need be you can swiftly and silently unwrap one. You might want to consider this, rather than coughing until you're red-faced the entire first half of the concert.

Note to the woman beside me: This is not a sing-along.

Note to the people behind me: Clearly you provided what Mozart and Schumann needed, which is an obbligato for sweaty nervous fingers and rustling program book. Nonetheless, you might want to rest your weary digits by placing the programs on the floor during the performance. No one will steal them! Also, you might want to wait until the music has stopped before expressing your opinion that the ancient Chinese melodies Lang Lang is playing "don't sound Asian."

Note to the woman promenading in the aisles during intermission: There are women who look totally hot wearing sleeveless black minidresses cut low front and back and knee-high black leather boots, but those women are not in their 70s. It was sweet of you and your grand-daughter to dress alike, even to the frames of your glasses, but to be honest, the outfit didn't look too good on her either.

Note to people who think exits, narrow aisles, and suchlike are the best places to stand: "Excuse me" is the polite way of saying "Get the fuck out of my way." You might even want to move ever so slightly right or left when you see people trying to get by. Let's avoid making the world an even uglier, more violent place than it already is.

Note to the audience: OK, this one is a little iffy, but I'm guessing it was not a spontaneous outburst of appreciation but rather a feeling that rousing chords = end of piece, but -- the Schumann Fantasy in C Major has three movements. It says so right in the program! Please hold your applause until the end, when you will have plenty of time to cheer and clap. . . .

Note to Davies Symphony Hall: Please become attractive. Or at least explain the bizarre "salute to Legoland" circles on all the balconies.

Note to BART: if we have to wait over 20 minutes for a train late at night, please make it more than four cars, all of which are already full of blaring iPods and cell-phone users before the symphony crowd even gets on at Civic Center.

Note to self: Possibly adjust intake of dinner and/or decongestants to prevent low blood sugar/impending psychosis. Possibly take up meditation. Maybe even stop greeting each new year with the annual viewing of Fight Club. Pause and consider: do you want to become known to tabloid fame as the Symphony Slayer?


sfmike said...

This entire rant is extremely funny. Thanks. Another Note to Davies Symphony Hall: How about designing an exit for patrons that is not an instant bottleneck no matter how many people are in the audience? I'm referring to the worst architectural design imaginable, which is having the "grand staircase" and the "orchestra" section all exiting into one tiny little area of the lobby. It's a recipe for future disaster. (And don't get me started on all those stupid mirrors in earthquake country.)

pjwv said...

Rant? I thought it was a clear and logical progression!
My God, Mike, I can't believe I omitted the ridiculous exit design! I snuck out through the back door yesterday because I just couldn't wait for the always slow-moving Symphonites to clear out.
And I'm using your comment as my excuse to add your always enjoyable blog to the roster. Thanks.

sfmike said...

Thanks, Patrick. If I had a blogroll, I'd put you on it too. Instead, I'll just bookmark this place, since your writing is wonderful.