Dear Bands,

Please stop turning the microphone to the audience so they can sing the chorus to one of your songs. Yes, I understand that it’s a very catchy song and fun to sing, but I paid 65 dollars to come see you perform, so I want the full experience of hearing only you sing it.

This is one of the few nights a year I get to relax and see something I like. I may never get to see you live again. So when you turn the microphone to the audience and give us a chance to sing your song, I get a little bummed out. Now, instead of paying good money to hear you sing, I’m listening to thousands of tone-deaf people I don’t know sing a song I paid you to sing. You can’t get that many people to sync up on any song; It doesn’t even sound like they’re all singing the same song; It’s just a bunch of mashed up sounds that kind of fit to the beat of the song.

More than half of these people are drunk or on drugs. Do you really want to rely on them to finish off a song that helped you win the Grammy for album of the year? When you do things like that I feel like I’m at karaoke night with my co-workers, which is not a good feeling.

I don’t see any other professionals or artists asking their fans to do their job for them. Picasso never turned away from his easel and said, “Here, you paint the eyes where the mouth should be.” Hemingway never grabbed someone and said, “Now it’s your turn to write in brevity about what it feels like to be a Lieutenant in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army.” And Michael Jordan sure as hell didn’t pass me the ball in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA finals with 5.6 seconds left against the Utah Jazz. They all did it on their own.

Do you not have enough confidence that you can nail the chorus? That would be ridiculous to think. You’re great at what you do. I would argue that you’re one of the best. So take that microphone, hold it right up to your mouth, and sing your heart out. Leave the listening to us amateurs.

Luke Pohjala