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Author Topic: Disappointing Name Acts?  (Read 4477 times)
Tycho
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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2008, 03:54:17 AM »

Someone mentioned performers having bad nights as well.  I have seen Tommy E several times and one of those times just flat out sucked!  He looked like he'd have rather been anywhere else.  He was just going through the motions it seemed and was playing way too fast and with what seemed to me very little emotion.  I wasn't surprised to read a few weeks later that he had burned completely out and had to cancel a large leg of the tour that year.   

I really love live music, and will pretty much watch anyone, but if they are 1) drunk, 2) preaching the world as they see it, or 3) the audience is out of control I have no problem getting up and walking out.   

Tommy is now very candidly admitting that his "exhaustion" last winter was treatment for alcoholism.
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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2008, 05:18:52 AM »

Tommy is now very candidly admitting that his "exhaustion" last winter was treatment for alcoholism.
  I hope he has success. Cheers,   Danny
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« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2008, 11:17:11 AM »

I have had the pleasure of finding great music in the opening act not having any expectations.  A few years ago when I went to see Tom Petty Lucinda Williams opened the show and I fell in love with her music not knowing much about her before hand.  Recently at the Black Crowes show I thought Grace Potter was amazing and have since picked up her cd's.

Of course there are the opening acts that disapoint and leave you wondering how they got the gig too.
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« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2008, 12:58:39 PM »

I have had the pleasure of finding great music in the opening act not having any expectations.  A few years ago when I went to see Tom Petty Lucinda Williams opened the show and I fell in love with her music not knowing much about her before hand.  Recently at the Black Crowes show I thought Grace Potter was amazing and have since picked up her cd's.


That's interesting, cos I was thinking about the same thing and one of the opening acts I had in mind was Lucinda Williams. She opened for Rosanne Cash in 1992(?) at Central Park's Summerstage in NYC. I thnk she was pretty unknown at that time, but her live act was superb and endeared me to her forever.
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« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2008, 01:37:25 PM »

It's amazing isn't it, how many of us dream of making a living creating and performing music. Just for the sake of playing every day, of the comradery with your band mates, of the adventure of seeing the world, meeting new people, sharing the energy and excitement of live performance.
Then you see so many artists who clearly have lost the love of what they do. They seem to have forgotten why they made music in the first place.
The problem you're faced with is the difficulty of combining the two:
1."making a living"
2."creating and performing music"
The first is not about music, it's about business - and setting up and maintaining any successful business will suck up a good portion of your time - the time you used to have playing, writing and singing. If you get successful, you have less and less time for the fun parts. The performance every night is maybe 2 to 4 hours of your day. The rest of the day is taken up with traveling, meeting people, buying equipment, getting stuff repaired, sound check and hopefully getting some food and somewhere to wash up.
If you hire people to do the "business stuff" (a business manager, road manager and potentially a whole bunch of others) - you will soon find your bank account drained, or worse, in the red.
I toured for 10 years and did quite well financially, but learned some lessons that a large number artists learn too late. I can see why some appear to be world-weary and tired. They probably still love the music, it's the business that can get you down - and if you do the same songs night-after-night - it's easy to start "mailing it in".
I feel sympathy for anyone that's trapped in a job they don't enjoy anymore (and in the music business, that's what entertaining an audience is - your job).

To keep this on topic - my biggest disappointments were Joe Cocker - drunk and vomiting, he cut his set very short... and Rod Stewart and The Faces. They were so drunk that I'm sure they were enjoying themselves, but the performance was dismal - like an amateur garage band doing bad covers of Rod Stewart songs.

dg


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« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2008, 02:36:30 PM »

To keep this on topic - my biggest disappointments were Joe Cocker - drunk and vomiting, he cut his set very short... and Rod Stewart and The Faces. They were so drunk that I'm sure they were enjoying themselves, but the performance was dismal - like an amateur garage band doing bad covers of Rod Stewart songs.

dg


How apt!  This started out with a complaint about the Black Crowes and my view that they are the reincarnation of Rod Stewart and the Faces. So they inherited the drunk and disorderly trait also!
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« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2008, 02:58:10 PM »

Quote
  any successful business will suck up a good portion of your time - the time you used to have playing, writing and singing.

Its like a guy who likes to fish so he opens a Bait Shop - then he doesn't have time to go fishing.

Quote
not about music, it's about business 

Once you ' sign a contract ' then you belong to the system -
go where they send you, sing what they tell you.
Maybe you start out doing it ' for the music '  but you end up trapped in a system that is ' about money '
You signed a contract - giving ' money ' the control.

The system doesn't care about your love of the music or creativity unless it makes money from it.

If you stay independent then you have control but you may not get rich and famous.
You may have to do something else to support your ' hobby '.

Personally, I'd rather have a hobby I enjoy than a job I hate. I've taken the road less traveled.

- Larry

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Jeff
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« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2008, 03:22:27 PM »

Of course there are the opening acts that disapoint and leave you wondering how they got the gig too.

Or the opposite.  Years and years ago I saw Rory Gallagher open for Deep Purple.  Wearing just a plaid shirt and jeans (and this was the time of glamrock)--he absolutely blew the audience away.  Deep Purple seemed like a bunch of overhyped poseurs in comparison.  I mean Rory's guitar was practically on fire, and he was followed by Smoke on the Water power chords.

Jeff
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« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2008, 06:05:48 PM »

I think it has a lot also to do with where the artist is in their career. Like they say...timing is everything. For example; saw Gordon Lightfoot twice, first time at his peak of song popularity and the show was great. Four years later when things were not so good for him, the show was disappointing-he told the same jokes, had the same set list and when someone loudly requested "Sundown" he rudely said he'd play it when HE was ready.

Saw Robert Palmer at his peak-Addicted to Love. The best concert I have ever seen. He played for 2 hours, no breaks and only 2 minutes max between songs. I recall at least 3 encores.

Saw Jefferson Starship, they were awful, played for 5 minutes, screwed around for 30 minutes, repeated this 3 times. Billy Joel opened for them, which is why I went, and he put on a great show, but declined an encore since he wasn't the main act.
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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2008, 10:38:45 PM »

Tommy is now very candidly admitting that his "exhaustion" last winter was treatment for alcoholism.
Interesting.  The show I'm talking about was about 3 years ago.  He was drinking a lot that night as well.  I thought his "break" was due to some heart problems? 
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« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2008, 11:50:43 PM »

Worst concert was Chicago back in 72 or 73.   This was right after they had released the brown woodgrain album, which followed the live album.  Terry Kath came out and said "We're going to play everything we know!".   They then played just the new stuff from the new album (I think the only hit off that album was Saturday in the Park) and left the stage after 45 minutes, no encore.   the audience was stunned - ended up booing for 20 minutes.
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Tycho
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« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2008, 01:07:07 AM »



To keep this on topic - my biggest disappointments were Joe Cocker - drunk and vomiting, he cut his set very short... and Rod Stewart and The Faces. They were so drunk that I'm sure they were enjoying themselves, but the performance was dismal - like an amateur garage band doing bad covers of Rod Stewart songs.

dg




I'm guessing that would have been back in the '70s, right?  When Albert Lee does guitar clinics, he talks about how when he toured with Cocker in those days, he had to do a solo at a certain part in every set so that Joe could go backstage and throw up.

 
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« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2008, 01:10:12 AM »

Interesting.  The show I'm talking about was about 3 years ago.  He was drinking a lot that night as well.  I thought his "break" was due to some heart problems? 

Well, admittedly I might be putting 2+2 together and getting 5.  I saw him this past spring and he spent a few minutes discussing having to take time off to deal with his addiction.  When I saw him last year ('07), I'm pretty sure I remember seeing a glass of wine onstage.  So I assumed he had done rehab somewhere between then and now.
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« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2008, 03:11:19 AM »

I'm guessing that would have been back in the '70s, right?  When Albert Lee does guitar clinics, he talks about how when he toured with Cocker in those days, he had to do a solo at a certain part in every set so that Joe could go backstage and throw up.

 

I wonder who had the honor of holding the bucket for him?
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« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2008, 10:57:46 PM »

Speaking of drunk acts, after I was raving to a friend of mine about how great REM are on their current tour, he told me he was never interested in going back to see them again after seeing them perform a drunk and sloppy club show on the "Document" tour in the mid-80s.  It's interesting because they're now almost the epitome of a slick, professional, well-paced and very satisfying show, and they have been for years. It just shows how careless performances can haunt you for a long time.

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« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2008, 12:01:25 AM »

It's pretty safe to say that I virtually gave up on large venues twenty years ago because the venues themselves lend to bad performances and a disconnect from the audience. I have seen some pretty fair guitarists in groups from my youth including the Doobie Brothers, CSN&Y and Seals and Crofts but all of those performances were forgettable.

The two guys who were pretty fair pickers in their own right with great supporting guitar players (Steve Weisberg, Pete Huttlinger and Doug Walker) who NEVER disappointed in any venue (large or small) were John Denver and Harry Chapin. I saw the two of them 11 times (Denver 6 and Chapin 5) and they really knew how to connect with their audience. I am sure they had their share of off nights too.

For an interesting take on legendary performers overcoming adversity, copy the link below and read the two stories that Leo Kottke told about Son House and Homer & Jethro in his commencement address at the University of Wisconsin in May.

http://www4.uwm.edu/news/stories/upload/20080518-Kottke-UWM-Commencement.pdf
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« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2008, 08:05:40 PM »

I just mentioned this in the thread on awful covers; I saw Dylan in Toronto in the early '80's. Let me describe why it was so awful. He wore this inexplicable white clown-face makeup and a black hat that was pulled down to his eyebrows. So the light caused a deep black shadow to his nose and under that was a brilliant white clown. He plunked away at his stratocaster and inhaled and exhaled into his harmonica with seemingly random notes. In between he would whine into the microphone in a monotone with indecipherable lyrics (his new stuff). When he got to the classics (Blowing in the Wind) he would swoop his nasal tones up with "blowin' in the wiiiiiind!" and the soul-sister backup singers (doing unison jive moments a la the Supremes) would sing in three part harmony "Blowin' in the wiiiiiiind"!

It is a really good thing that I was stoned cause I laughed so hard I cried through the entire set.

Then the real musician came out... you see, Bob was opening for Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. They rocked! 
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« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2008, 10:50:38 PM »

The worst I can remember has to be front row center seats for the Allman Brothers back about 1976. I  used to work at the Long Beach (Calif) Arena back in the late '70s, so I saw too many concerts to remember. Another worst was Robin Trower back around 1977 or '78. Totally boring. I have seen him twice recently and the wife and I enjoyed the show. The promise I made to myself concerning outdoor shows has to do with the Rolling Stones back in the early '80s. Too many people, too many poor opening acts (a very young Prince in Speedos and a trench coat followed by Peter Tosh) and no way to enjoy a concert with that many people leaning on you.  angry
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« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2008, 02:12:34 AM »

Chicago? I recently saw them and they were very good,being a long time fan,and having seen them a number of times,but I guess every grpup has a bad show.
My worst show was Toto in the eightys.Steve Lukather was obnoxious and trying to act cool.the sound was awful as well.
And speaking of "Luke" , I used to see him at a local L.A. club in Los angeles and he would just act
like the  biggest Jerk,Cussing and being Loud.
then theres the story of how my bro in law saw him at a party and told him how much he enjoyed the band and his playing.
Steves reply? He pulled down his pants and mooned him.I guess he thought that was funny.

If it was me,I would have kicked his bare butt while his pants were down, I dont care who you are, no one is better than anyone else just because you have some fame and fortune.
He is a bad drunk.
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« Reply #39 on: July 30, 2008, 04:33:03 PM »

Speaking of drunk acts, after I was raving to a friend of mine about how great REM are on their current tour, he told me he was never interested in going back to see them again after seeing them perform a drunk and sloppy club show on the "Document" tour in the mid-80s.  It's interesting because they're now almost the epitome of a slick, professional, well-paced and very satisfying show, and they have been for years. It just shows how careless performances can haunt you for a long time.


Well, I saw R.E.M. in Detroit a few years back.  It was insanely loud.  Michael Stipe was wearing some kind of war-paint on his face.  Sound Quality of the PA was terrible - but it did thump the chest, but it was so loud that there was no discernable detail with any guitar playing of any sort.

I was really glad I didn't pay for the tix - and they were pretty good seats.

The opening act was a band called Sparklehorse.  Pretty crummy as well as their style is to intentionally distort the lead singer's vox so that the words are unintelligible.

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