And Now, A Question of Etiquette

A question for the readers: When at a small, dingy rock venue — I’m specifically thinking of sub-200-guest rooms like DC9 or the Black Cat’s backstage, but also slightly larger places like the Rock and Roll Hotel as well — is it rude to carry on a conversation during a loud, boisterous rock show? I ask because I never thought it was, rock clubs typically being both loud and freewheeling, but I can see how it might be perceived that way. I can especially see it because last night, while catching the Dirty Projectors’ mesmerizing set at the Black Cat’s backstage, a friend and I were asked, rather sharply, to hush (his exact words were, “Hey. Do you mind?” and the tone was somewhere between crotchety bookstore owner and snooty hipster). I suppose I’d be more inclined to sympathize were the band quiet and low-key, or were the room completely packed, thus making moving around (and away) easier. But neither were the case. I mean, it’s a loud, unruly bar. You’re not supposed to talk?