Sometimes, when Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker has a lot on her mind, instead of writing out her feelings, she takes to social media to share a video of herself talking through whatever topic she’s addressing. For example, in 2019, she offered a clip explaining why Big Thief doesn’t always play encores at their concerts. Now Lenker is again discussing an element of the live music experience: concertgoers talking while an opening act is performing.
Big Thief is on tour right now, and although Lenker doesn’t specifically address the band or its fans in her video (which was shared on the Big Thief Instagram account), she notes, “This has been on my mind for a few days now” and has “really come forward in the last few days.” In the video (which is captioned, “Feelings re talking during openers and attention in general”), she noted fans have a tendency to talk and catch up with friends while artists are performing.
So, she made a request, saying in part:
“There is a real magic that happens when there is a floor of actual silence when somebody is playing or performing. Sometimes I have this feeling like, if only the room were quiet, this could just be so incredible. People are missing so much, because every time there’s meant to be a silence, there’s all this sort of white noise chatter.
So I guess what I wanted to ask is that when you come into this space where music is happening, even if you’re coming just to see a specific act play, be mindful if there is somebody performing and playing, to either listen or at least be quiet so that other people can listen, or go and put yourself elsewhere. I just think that, because it’s a common space, people should be able to enjoy the full breadth of what the artist has to offer.
Speaking for myself, I feel that when there is quiet, it allows for so much more dynamics and it makes me feel like I can breathe as somebody creating sound waves. So if you can be as respectful as possible and just mindful. […] Just look around and if there is somebody who’s on stage, they’re probably pouring their heart out, and it’s hard to sort of just be talked over.”
Watch Lenker’s video above.