I Was Appalled That a Nashville Concert Venue Kept My Water Bottle Cap Until I Learned Why
On Saturday night, I went to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to see Sam Smith's Gloria Tour. He was excellent, by the way. He crushed it. His set, voice, performance, dancers, band and backup singers were on point.
I live a couple of hours from Nashville so I was pretty hungry when I arrived for the concert. We got there an hour early so we could eat and settle into Section 106. So, I ordered a grilled cheese and then bought a bottle of water to take to my seat. When I went to pay for the water, the cashier told me that she was going to have "take the top off" and keep it.
Now, here's the deal. Most people probably wouldn't have asked any questions. But, I have this weird thing about bottles without tops. I can't stand them. That triggers a random, deep-rooted OCD affliction I have. I believe that ink pens should have tops and that bottles should have caps.
Seriously! If I am drinking from a bottle, I screw the cap back on between EVERY. SINGLE. SIP. Saturday, when I learned that I wasn't going to be able to do that because the cashier was discarding it, I asked, "Why?"
She responded, "Artist request."
I asked, "Artist request???"
She said, "Yes! They want us to keep the tops so no one can throw them at the stage."
Of course, I immediately thought about where I was sitting. I mean, I had excellent Row B aisle seats in Section 106, but I would need the arm of a New York Yankee outfielder to hurl a bottle cap to the stage from that distance. Or a slingshot. Then, I shifted gears and started thinking about just how stupid this is that arena cashiers have been tasked with policing the behavior of adults. Or, at least, people who should be acting like adults.
People, is this really what concert behavior has become? If so, it's precisely why we can't have nice things.
News stories have broken recently about a variety of instances in which "fans" have thrown things at performers on stage and hit them.
It happened to Bebe Rexha. However, she was hit with something way heavier than a bottle cap. She was hit with a flying phone and it busted and blacked her eye. Badly.
The man who threw that phone is facing criminal charges (and should)!
Shortly after the Bebe Rexha incident, country music star Morgan Wallen was hit with a flying boot. You could tell it angered him, so he took the boot and threw it in the complete opposite direction. I am personally hoping that fan never got their boot back and had to hobble out of the arena.
Then, Kelsea Ballerini was basically hit in the eye with a flying bracelet. She had to leave the stage temporarily, then come back and lecture the crowd about how they should and should not behave. Silly me! I thought that was a given.
Here's my question. Why are people doing this? Who thinks this is a good idea? It's another prime example of how it takes just a handful of idiots to ruin an entire experience for everyone else.
As I mentioned, the guy that hurled the cell phone at Bebe's head is facing criminal charges. He should and so should anyone else who does something that stupid. Not only do the artists have to pay for the carelessness of a few, the rest of us do too and will likely continue to do so. Mark it. If this doesn't get remedied quickly, artists and their tour managers will be forced to act accordingly.
Pretty soon, we'll see artists expanding the distance between the floor seating and the stage. They'll be putting up plexiglass in front of the stage to protect themselves from flying debris. Standing room only pits will be moved to a "safe" distance away from the singers and bands. And people are going to continue carting bottles without tops around stadiums.
Or, you may make the mistake a Cardi B fan did over the weekend. He threw a drink at her and she responded by hurling the microphone at his head.
Grow up, People! And if you can't control yourself in public, keep your dumb ass at home.