Tonight the bride and I went to see Josh Groban in Cleveland. As a result I need to do some TV catching-up tomorrow. But for now, some curious adventures at Groban, after the jump ...
The fun started almost as soon as we parked at Tower City and entered the walkway over to Quicken Loans Arena, where Groban was playing. It was about 45 minutes before the show and a long line snaked down the hallway. From what we could see and later learn, they were opening the doors to the arena just about the time we arrived, and some folks had been lined up for a good bit of time. Adding to the difficulty was construction in the stairwell up to the arena, creating a bottleneck.
People seemed to be in basically good spirits about the whole thing until the line began to move. Some of the later arrivals, realizing there was an elevator near where the line had formed, began marching past the folks waiting in line to get to the elevator.
This by itself did not create good feelings. But things got worse when some of the elevator-seekers, having not gotten into it, decided instead to merge into the standing line. Not to go back to the end of the line, that is, but to join it at the stairs -- far ahead of people who had been waiting.
Unhappy folks shouted things like, "The end of the line is BACK THERE." It did not deter the line-mergers, aside from embarrassing a few of them. One could be heard mumbling that there should have been signs indicating where people ought to go. Of course, anyone looking for a sign had one -- THE GIANT FREAKIN' LINE OF PEOPLE.
Still, the spoken back-and-forth was kind of entertaining. I mean, this was a concert by Josh Groban, famous nice guy, and anger was in the air. The bride and I have jostled our way through lines at Cavs games, and the atmosphere was more peaceful than this.
Then again, it appeared that many of the Groban fans were not accustomed to arena shows. For example, there was impatient clapping about 25 minutes into the intermission following the opening act. I've been to rock shows where a 25-minute break was considered kind. And older people, using canes, arrived after the concert started and then had to navigate stairs in the darkened arena.
Groban himself delivered what his fans came to hear, albeit with a few surprises. As previous reports have indicated, he is far funnier in person than his musical offerings would have suggested. And it was a little odd to be at a Groban concert and hear the tour violinist spearheading the band's rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" for an instrumental break. In fact, there were times when I suspected Groban sometimes dreams of fans rushing the stage in a frenzy instead of being so polite.