Saw Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm tonight at the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. JoCO and the boys put on a good show, as usual, but there was an annoyingly high number of people in the audience who thought this was some kind of interactive performance, who kept derailing the show by shouting "hilarious" comments and demands for specific songs. It's intensely fucking annoying, as you might imagine--I didn't pay for the tickets and then drop another forty bucks on food and drink in order to hear some drunk douchebag slurring bad jokes at high volume. I live in a college town; I can experience that for the cost of a pint of Yuengling any weekend of the year.
The thing is, I've been to two other shows with these guys (yeah, I know; five more years at this rate and I'll probably be LARPing), one in Alexandria, VA and one in Annapolis, and at neither one, was the audience this disruptive. Meanwhile, at a Lewis Black show I saw in Philadelphia last year, there was the same fucking thing--dipshits in the audience disrupting the show. Not even by heckling, which you at least understand is a possibility at a comedy show. Just trying to participate, like the other three thousand people in the theater paid to hear you and Lewis Black have a fucking conversation.
For that matter, I remember it happening when John Stewart performed at the Tower Theater, in Upper Darby (just over the city line). Though Stewart just talked right over them; in a big venue, the guy with the microphone owns the show (I was a bit annoyed, actually, that Lewis Black responded to the jerkoffs in the audience rather than bulling right over them). So I'm wondering, is this a common thing in Philadelphia? Or am I just unlucky? And if it's common here, is it only common here, or did I just happen to run into unusually well-behaved crowds in Alexandria and Annapolis?