(People) Watch Something: The Josh Groban Crowd
It’s time for another installment of twentysomething people watching. Or when I not so creepily observe and write about human behavior in specific situations.
The event: A Josh Groban concert. (If you don’t know who he is, I don’t know if we can be friends).
The location: An NBA basketball arena.
The demographics: Mixed. Unlike say, oh, tween sensation Justin Bieber, Josh Groban attracts more than just screaming girls – although, Groban concerts do have enough middle-aged women to fill that void. No, at his concerts you literally see everyone and their mother: daughters and their mothers, young sons and their mothers, old daughters and their mothers, and mothers without their children. Oh, and even if they won’t always admit it, the men come out in droves too.
So, without further ado…
Top four observations of the Josh Groban crowd:
1. They’re the wandering kind* – and not in a good way. You see, many Groban-seeking souls, aged twentysomething to seventysomething, could barely make their way around the parking complex. They walked the concrete structure befuddled and forlorn as they searched for the skyway to the arena. They rode elevators up and down, and watched the doors open and close to disappointment after disappointment. And the directory maps shed no light on their location for even the youngest eyes. It might as well have been the blind leading the blind.
They finally found the elusive skyway after many attempts, but they probably couldn’t tell you how they got there because some of them also got lost on the way out. Next time, they should probably just follow the sound of Josh’s voice to the venue. They’d probably get there faster.
*If you didn’t catch the song reference in the first line of this observation, you need to listen to more Josh Groban.
2. They’re dressed to impress everyone (and not just Josh Groban). Okay, so some of them were dressed in typical concert-wear: homemade shirts, past concert shirts (guilty), and yes, lighted headbands. But the others – they weren’t fooling around. They weren’t just looking for some Groban attention. They were just looking to, well, look good. High heels clicked and clacked around the arena as scores of women in dresses made it to their seats. And as not to let down their well-dressed companions, men in sport coats and dress shirts were seen trailing not too far behind.
In other words, they were kind of dressed like an Oprah Winfrey Show audience, except there was no Oprah and no free giveaways. (Dang!)
3. The men want to pretend that they’re there by default, but their actions betray the truth. There’s no denying that a recording artist who croons mostly love songs and pop-rock ballads is going to have a large number of female fans. And there’s no denying that some of those female fans drag their otherwise Groban-less male companions to his concerts. But, as disinterested or indifferent as they may seem with their hands rested tiredly on their faces, their true colors will eventually show. Indeed, I’m talkin’ about you, Mr. Excited Groban Fan. We all saw you lunge and push a woman out of the way to retrieve that drumstick Josh threw into the stands. (And if that’s disinterested, I’m a little afraid to see what ‘interested’ looks like).
Admit it male companions: you’re a man, and you like Josh Groban. It’s perfectly okay.
4. They’re not really a sing-along set. In a way, it’s kind of nice that you don’t usually have to listen to someone near you try to sing-along to Josh’s baritone. You paid to hear him sing, not someone else with a terribly off-key voice try to sing like him. But, it also makes any encouraged crowd participation a bit awkward. Sure, they clap (sort of) to the beat when prompted, but when asked to help sing one of his most well-known songs…crickets. There’s always a few brave souls in the primo seats who will belt out, “You raise me up!,” but the rest of them – nope. And Josh knows it. Here, have a listen:
Josh knows the crowd can sing louder, but nobody wants to.
They just want to listen and clap, damn it! That’s it!
Yes, I people watched the Josh Groban crowd. Who have you people watched lately?
– l xo