“You guys, this is not a Van Halen concert.”
Manchester’s Doves blinded audience members with their bright lights and Brit slur at Baltimore’s Sonar Saturday night, but not before a group of five drunken townies came close to ruining the night for people surrounding them.
One might’ve been able to shrug off the Ryan Cabrera ‘do-sporting crew. Not so - the crimes committed were too numbered. Over half of the same group was wearing the tight-fitting, light blue Doves t-shirt purchased at the show. Just picture the scene - dropping $25 for the garment at the merch table and running to the bathroom to make the switch before anyone can notice.
First, the fab five bobbed their way into the front. The most annoying one, the boy most like a cartoon character trying to live out his Laguna Beach concert fantasy, alternated between Black Panther fist-pumping, turning sideways to mouth the lyrics to his girlfriend and jumping up and down with his arms around members of his posse, creating a jumble of limbs and spilled drinks.
The group’s enthusiasm for opening band Longwave was as borderline offensive as a dog’s breath. The New York City band, though not horrible, was terribly boring and unoriginal. This did not stop said crew from drowning out the band’s sound with song requests and holding their hands against their hearts in a flurry of weep-worthy emotion.
During the period between opening band and headlining act, the five proceeded to belligerently fight with those around them. After being reprimanded by their neighbors and encouraged to take a time out, the group got offended.
“What, you don’t like having fun at a concert? We’re just having a good time! Oh, yeah, it’s so terrible to be having fun at a concert!”
FYI - here’s when “having fun” at a concert becomes a problem: when it encroaches on other people’s desire to not want to touch strangers and when it prevents other audience members from watching the act on stage.
Despite these acts of heinousness, Doves’ performance put smiles on the faces staring upward at the band. Songs like “Pounding,” and “Black and White Town” were deliciously conducive to hip-shaking, while “The Last Broadcast” and encore “There Goes the Fear” sounded so twinkling and pretty that the star-shaped yellow lights made it almost dreamlike.
The wave of relief provided by the adorable (and stoned) men from England’s north made wading through the pool of probable first-time concertgoers worth the effort. However, consider this a lesson learned: the inherent value of personal space is something worth fighting for. Especially when the band flew across the sea to get there, and the ticket cost $20 plus handling fees.