I grew up deeply involved in the local punk rock scene, and I’m fairly certain I never imagined myself writing a diatribe in The Daily Universe decrying the lamentable state of modern youth. But, well, here I am.
I was impressed recently to learn that BYUSA managed to book nationally-recognized singer Matt Costa. When my wife and I showed up to the concert, I commented on how refreshing it must be for Costa to play to such a bright, clean, happy crowd of kids. Light emanated from eyes, and a joyful buzz filled the air. And that buzz became the problem. It never stopped.
Good-hearted, self-absorbed, incredibly disrespectful young people talked excitedly to each other throughout the entire concert. Costa tried to warm up the crowd by sharing the background to one of his less-known songs. I inclined my ear and caught perhaps three words. But I learned a lot about the insecurities and the microbiology class of a young man near me who was trying to impress a young woman. Every once in a while a wave of hushes would try to silence the kids, but it never worked.
When I finally did turn around in frustration to ask a small group of conversers to leave the area if they wanted to talk and told them how disrespectful their behavior was (who would have thought I’d be a 30-year-old curmudgeon?), they responded with genuine surprise. “Thanks for letting us know,” they said. And they stopped talking. But others didn’t.
I left the concert with a sinking, sick feeling in my stomach, deeply disappointed in our lack of respect for this musician. We had an opportunity to show Matt Costa what a world-class bunch of kids attend Brigham Young University. But I’m afraid we sent another message entirely.