The front row is a responsibility
I've sat in the front row when Steve Jobs is presenting. Same with Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, and lots of other tech stars. Why do I sit in the front row?
1. Because I have A.D.D. and if I'm in the back row I tend to get bored more easily.
2. Photos are better when you are up close.
3. Sometimes you get to meet the folks easier. I shook Steve Jobs' hand after he launched the iMac and was able to sneak past his PR staff and say thank you.
But when it comes to concerts there's another responsibility: to have fun. If you aren't going to have fun, sit somewhere else because generally performers can only see the people in the first row or two (I know I can't when I'm on stage because of the bright lights in your eyes) and performers ALWAYS respond better if the people in the front rows are having fun.
Also, the folks up front generally can start the audience doing hand waves, or other participatory things, so they have a responsibility to getting everyone else to have a fun time too.
This weekend I attended the Live in the Vineyard concert series in Napa. This is VERY hard to get into (they only sell two seats, both of which went for $10,000 to raise money for Musicians On Call, a charity that helps musicians that have deep health needs -- the other seats were given to sponsors and to radio station winners, I got in thanks to Southwest Airlines).
At one point there were people outside in back talking too loudly during a performance by Passenger and I went out and yelled at them. After the performance everyone around me said "thank you." That's how seriously I take the responsibility of sitting in the front row.
That performance turned into something quite special where you could hear a pin drop. I hear some of the performances will be on VH1 this weekend (and satellite radio too).
But since +Maryam Scoble
and I got the tickets for free, we have a deeper responsibility: to pay forward the love that Southwest Airlines gave to us.
How are we going to do that?
1. We're giving $500 to http://wish.org/
Make a Wish foundation. This helps kids who are facing terminal disease. Most of which will never get invited to something like Live in the Vineyard.
2. Live in the Vineyard has several guitars to give away to people in the audience for things like "most photos of the event on Instagram" and "most likes, or +1s." If we win any of those guitars we'll also give them to Make a Wish foundation, too, to auction off and raise more funds (or give them to kids who wanted that as a wish).
Some notes about this event.
1. It's the best concert I've ever been to. By far. Way better than Coachella (which I'll be going to in a couple of weeks, thanks to JBL/Harmon -- they make speakers and are taking a few influencers down there). Way better than SXSW Music, which was freaking awesome this year too. Why? Intimacy. There's only about 300 people who get to have this experience (more than a million applied).
2. I hadn't really been a fan of most of these stars, and many were playing for US audiences for the first time this weekend (or broke out new music never performed for people before).
3. The most mind-blowing performer was Mary Lambert. Wow, she breaks ALL the molds of what a music star is supposed to be like and had this emotional performance that had both my wife and I crying.
4. Sarah Mclachlan had a feathery, beautiful voice, that just carried us to heaven.
5. Hunter Hayes was the most popular with the teenage set. He had the girls in the audience screaming like we were at a Beatles concert. Wow.
6. Many of the acts were what I'd call "for the niches." Of the best was L.P. who just sang her ass off and she had the whole audience trying to whistle like her.
7. The artists hang out with everyone after their concerts. Passenger, for instance, ate my wife's french fries (she's on a no carb diet). That dude (his real name is Mike) has 173 million hits on Spotify. He gave one of the best performances I've ever seen, using no electronics and had everyone eating out of his hand.
I built a Spotify Playlist of everyone who played for us: http://open.spotify.com/user/scobleizer/playlist/7963d8otxAwvUgki9bdJvY
Please do listen. Please do help us donate those guitars by +1'ing and liking these photos and post. Thank you!
Enjoy my photos (there's 40 of them here) and I'll see you in the front row at Coachella, where I'll be attending with +Thomas Hawk +Redgie Snodgrass +Sam Levin +Loic Le Meur
, and +Brian Zisk
Another thanks to +Southwest Airlines
and to +Rackspace
, which helps me go to things like this too.
Apply to attend this (it's held twice a year) here: http://liveinthevineyard.com/ #music #concert