My Hollywood Bowl experience

Yesterday, I went to the Hollywood Bowl again. It took over sixteen months between my last concert before the pandemic lockdowns, and it took just four days after that for my next one. The pandemic threat still hangs very much in the air, but at least I feel some sense of normalcy by being able to be back at classical music concerts. I even missed the annoying people:

  • The hungry snacker reaching into a noisy bag to retrieve something and worsens the disturbance by doing so slowly and carefully which slightly lessens the noise by prolonging it over an excruciatingly long period of time.
  • The music lover providing audible sound effects by sighing and moaning accompanied by head nods and sways just to show how emotionally touching they find everything and prove to no one in particular that they know what the music is about to do.
  • The “connoisseur” providing audio commentary before and after so we can all know how cultured they are because they read the program or Wikipedia.
  • And unique to the Hollywood Bowl: the eager patron preemptively lifting their ass out of their seat as the conductor approaches the podium so that those around can go from confusion to awe as they realize that this person has been to the Hollywood Bowl before and knows that every performance there starts with the national anthem. 

Yes, I can be slightly judgmental, but I behave and show no outward expression of what is happening in my mind. When the music begins, I let everything go and lose myself in my thoughts (barring any egregious interruptions). I like to enjoy my music simply. I like to do my research on the music and educate myself about it as much as possible, but when the music begins, I let myself fall into a state where I let go of logic and allow the emotions to take over. There is no culture or ignorance, connoisseur or novice in this state, just raw music as it exists for you. It’s your own personal experience.