At first I thought you were being facetious, but that's a lot of writing for a joke. Seems like a silly thing to complain about. People are having fun and getting into the music. How can that possibly ruin your experience? Jeebus.
Already commented on the ridiculous length. What can I say, it had been rolling around my head for a few days.
And I'm not saying that it ruined my experience -- if it could have, I wouldn't have come back for the fifth time. It's just one of those really annoying things. There are basically two kinds of annoying festival behavior -- shit that is annoying, but that you can tune out, and shit that is annoying that directly interferes with what you're trying to do. In the belt sander category falls shit like the dude standing next to you shouting the same song request throughout the entire set. In the former category falls shit like the girl behind you who won't put her fucking camera phone down, because hey, move your head and you no longer have that annoying shit sticking in your peripheral vision.
Clapping falls in the belt sander category, because it's annoying as fuck and it makes enough noise that you can't tune it out. Shut up guys I want to hear this song.
I've noticed this at shows in the past year or so too. I never remember clap-alongs happening much before that. Maybe 1 per set, and only if there were actually hand-claps in the album version of the song or if there is an extended instrumental break.
It seems that everybody wants to be the one to start the clap-along, or the first to clap when the song ends, or whatever. Just enjoy the fucking music and let the artist decide what comes next.
I was at one show where the frontman got mad at everyone for clapping. It was kind of awesome. He was in the middle of an unplugged acoustic song and people started clapping and he stopped and told them not to. I've seen the band since then, and before that song he says 'if you know the words, sing along, if you feel like clapping, sing along.'
OH. MY. FUCKING. GOD. I'm all over this thread tonight!!
So I went to see The Airborne Toxic Event (great show!!) and there was this guy, right beside me, who seemed to think it was necessary to try to start "the clap" for every single fucking song!
I mean, buddy, just because there is a steady kick-drum going, it doesn't mean you have to try to replicate it with your hands every single time. And also, when it's a nice gentle unplugged intro to a song I love (Wishing Well), no one is interested in hearing your loud clapping over it, to the beat you think you are hearing. Best part was, he was so drunk that when the band did want us to clap along, he couldn't match the rhythm.
I guess I should thank him for being so fucking irritating-- and I did some really nice mdma for tonight's show, so if he was bugging me while I'm in this fantastic happy place, I can only imagine how bad it would have been if I had been drinking instead; I probably would've been in my first bar-brawl-- anyway, he was so irritating, it forced me to move closer and closer to the front to get away from him. And because of that, I got to dance with the lead singer, and he somehow got his belt and mic cord caught in my belt so we had to jump together until I got my pants undone. Great sweaty moment.
So still a great show, but I am in total agreement about this clapping phenomenon. Even the band themselves did incite the crowd into clapping a few too many times, I think like four or five different songs. I'm good with one or two key moments, but it's getting out of hand here. We need to put a stop to this.