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Ray LaMontagne Storms Off Stage Because Couple Was Talking During Concert at Meijer Gardens

Neilson Barnard, Getty Images

Ray LaMontagne lost a few fans in Grand Rapids on Wednesday night after he stormed off the stage during his concert at Meijer Gardens.

The Grammy-winning artist was upset about a couple who was talking during the concert.

LaMontagne swore as he exited the stage saying he wouldn’t return until the talking couple left.

The concert continued minutes later after the couple left.

Many questioned the singer’s unprofessional behavior, while some supported him.

WZZM 13 talked with Shawn Virgo who was the target of LaMontagne’s rant.

Shawn Virgo says he and his fiancee were whispering about using his hit, “You Are the Best Thing” as their wedding song when LaMontagne stopped performing a different song, then began cursing at them.

The audience booed until the couple walked out.

“It was embarrassing, humiliating, and in front of everyone,” said Shawn Virgo, after he and his fiance were kicked out. “It was just whispers in the ear about our upcoming wedding and how excited we are. We were holding hands and talking about how excited we were that this was coming about.”

There are a lot of factors that go into whether or not, or when, talking is OK at a concert. That line may or may not have been crossed at Meijer Gardens Wednesday night, but it was the behavior of LaMontagne that was most out of line.

LaMontagne has a right to address the talking couple and even to ask security to do something about it, but he went too far last night. LaMontagne held the entire concert hostage and put the couple in an uncomfortable and possibly unsafe position.

This wasn’t the first or last time audience behavior will create a distraction at a concert. Artists like LaMontagne should know this, be prepared for it, and handle these incidents in a professional way when they arise.

Follow Matt Milhouse on Facebook and Twitter.  Listen to 100.5 The River weekdays, 10 a.m.– 3 p.m.

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