Rock crowds drink the most at Merriweather

Baltimore Sun reporter

From the Midnight Sun blog:

richard branson serves beer at last year's Virgin Mobile FreeFestLast November, when I saw Bruce Springsteen at 1st Mariner Arena, the number of drunk folks stunned me.

Some people were so sloshed they could barely walk, before the show even began. I was strolling up the street next to two dudes who were trying -- and failing -- to have a conversation with each other. It was more like a stream of drunken ramblings.

During the show, I saw one dude tumble head-first down the aisle next to me, and another sloshed sucker kept yelling for "Streets of Philadelphia" while Springsteen did a solo piano version of "For You." I wanted to open-palm slap him.

So it should come as no surprise that rock fans tend to drink more than most other audiences, according to Michael Palad, operations manager for Charm City Hospitality, which handles Merriweather Post Pavilion's drink and food sales ..."Those guys love to drink," Palad said. "Anything that rocks, sells."

The most recent example of this was the M3 Rock Festival, which featured the Scorpions, Kix and everybody's favorite dough boy '80s singer, Vince Neil.

I'm going to generalize for a bit and try to explain why older rock fans love to drink so much. In the '70s and early '80s (before I came along), my parents were huge live music fans. They used to hop on a bus from the Eastern Shore and head to Merriweather for shows all the time. Back then, crowds used to get sloshed all the time, they said. They make it sound like quite the scene.

I'll bet many of the folks who still go to see Poison, Motley Crue, Kix and even Springsteen drink like fishes because they always have, and they always will. For them, a show wouldn't be the same without a case of Miller, Coors or Bud in the belly. And this is probably tame, compared to what they consumed pre-show back in the day. Again, this is just my guess.

Country music fans like to eat and drink, Palad said. And this past weekend's David Gray/Ray LaMontagne double bill stood out as well, he said.

"We sold the most wine all year," he said.


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