An Open Letter to the Jerk at This Week’s Savages Show

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 27: Lead singer Jehnny Beth of London based band Savages performs live on stage during the Laneway Festival on January 27, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images) Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

Dear Sir,

I have just received word that you are considering yelling out a comment regarding the appearance of the female musician on stage. On behalf of myself and many other audience members, I would like to offer some words that were recently trademarked by Taylor Swift: “Just … don’t.”

I saw you at the Savages show on Wednesday night at Mercury Lounge. Did you have fun? A lot of people around you did not, right after you felt the need to yell at please-evacuate-the-theater volume, “The drummer is so sexxxxxxy!” First of all, I take you to be the kind of person who spends a good 75 percent of the show on your phone, so you couldn’t even bother to look up her name? Her name is Fay Milton. She plays with steady wildness and I think she is one of the best rock drummers in the world right now. If you absolutely had to yell something out, and I still wish you hadn’t, “You’re awesome, Fay” would have been a slightly more humane choice, although there is still like no wayyyyy she is going to date you. Sorry/not sorry.

But here is something you probably don’t realize. Not unlike when someone farts at a show (although that was probably you too, wasn’t it?), a comment like this, especially in a small venue, has the power to completely change the atmosphere around you. Everyone starts to feel a little uncomfortable. Most of the men feel kind of uncomfortable. One hundred percent of the women feel uncomfortable, and are silently rolling their eyes at you or worse. We don’t want to engage you by yelling back, because we are totally sure you’ll say something even stupider to us, but then we also feel guiltily complicit in our silence. It’s this whole gross cycle. But the worst part about this atmospheric change is that your yelling opens the floodgates and suddenly makes other Loud, Entitled Men Who Think Their Opinions Are Important think, “Finally, a space where my voice can be heard. Remember when that happened on Wednesday, and your yelling paved the way for another guy to (repeatedly) yell, “THE BASSIST IS ON FIRE,” because he suddenly thought that was an okay thing to do? (In a crazy coincidence, she has a name too! It’s Ayse Hassan.) He yelled it so much that it really got to her, to the point that she messed up the intro to the next song enough times that they had to skip over it. I am bummed we didn’t get to hear that song, and I don’t blame her; I blame you. As an acquaintance said to me after the show, “The whole reason you become a bassist is so you can stand far enough to the side of the stage that no one yells shit like that at you.”

“I mean, we were all thinking it,” is probably something you would reply, in defense of your comment. I can respectfully assure you that we were not. We were thinking things like “we’re seriously still doing this in 2015?” and “God, this is so embarrassing” and “that is definitely the same guy who farted.”

Anyway, I see you getting ready to open your big, beery mouth again, so I just wanted to relay this information before it was too late. Keep in mind that just because we don’t want to play you at your own game doesn’t mean we agree with you, or that women all around you weren’t making fun of you at a more respectful volume. For one example of I hope very many, right after the lead singer Jehnny Beth said, “This next song’s called ‘Shut Up,’” a woman behind me gestured in your direction as she whispered to her friend, “Dedicated to that asshole.”

Best wishes,