(Bad) behavior at shows

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paddyinthepub
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Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

(Bad) behavior at shows

Postby paddyinthepub » Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:38 pm

Shake Russell and Dana Cooper had alot of great songs and times playing for the folks round Texas. They still do reunion shows now and then. I just love em. When you're from Texas, and I am, you may not learn proper ettiquettes but you surely learn and understand a thing or two about manners. We got em covered, both good and bad manners.

As it relates to music and crowds and listeners and revel rowsers, I'd like to open up a discussion that sort of focuses on the behaviors of folks on both sides of the equasion. The performer and the audience.

Just read something that really brought this to the forefront for me. Seems
Ray Lamontagne stormed off the stage while opening for Guster last week here in Philly. Some loud mouths up front at the outdoor beerfest atmosphere show were more than Ray could take. He was nearing set's end and asked the crowd for a little quiet because the next two songs were going to need it. Well, the crowd turned ugly fast and actually got louder. He said OK...FINE.. how about this then? Threw his guitar down and walked offstage. End of set.

Ray's debut is awesome, his bio a lil strange, I'd love to see him play live.
This was hard for me to read. Almost glad I missed it. Was he in the right? Or should he have hung in there for the diehard fans? I think maybe beyond the noise there were personal slurs being aimed his way. In the interest of fairness, I'm sure most folks would do the same.

I've seen Lucinda Williams Booed off a stage in 1974 when she opened for a solo Jerry Garcia. She was a flower in the sun hat folkie and the Liberty Hall Crowd was having no part of it. I was appalled frankly.

I've seen a pissed off David Crosby throw acoustic guitars around the concert stage in the middle of a song. Like he was mad at the guitar tech.

Bono with U2 did the same with a malfunctioning microphone as he was halfway thru a song and down on a knee and wailing into the mike and nothing was coming out.

When Springsteen needs quiet, he asks for it, he gets it.

When will the general public get it......?

I thought it would have been a nice touch if Guster had come out and instead of starting their concert, allowed Ray to finish his.

Course we are in Philly and you don't take those kind of chances I guess. :(
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

Richard + Jela
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:56 pm
Location: West Sussex, England

Postby Richard + Jela » Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:56 am

It's that old chesnut - I can never understand why people pay to see a live performance and then chat all the way through it! It drives me mad.

I have to say though that in the UK it doesn't seem to be as bad as in the US. That said, the Ray Lamontagne incident is similar to one reported in London recently where he was so cross about the disrespect shown to the support artist (can't remember who she was) by the audience talking throughout her set that he refused to appear and his road crew started to pack up the stage. The audience didn't know what to do - go or stay? However he did make an appearance, I think it was an hour/hour and a half late and by all accounts the gig was a good one.

At SXSW this year we went to a Val Den showcase which included Gretchen Peters, Ray Bonneville, Tom Russell and Jimmy LaFave. Initially the audience, especially those further back wouldn't stop talking but after a prompt from the stage, Tom Russell got shirty with them (quite right too) the front part of the audience all turned around and told them to shut up which they did!!

On a sort of related subject I've been to a few shows in my time where I felt the performers were going through the motions and would never ever pay to see them again or buy any CDs. If they don't like what they're doing and just doing it for the money believe you me it comes across - don't insult the audience.

Jela

paddyinthepub
Posts: 3768
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby paddyinthepub » Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:17 am

Jela, not surprised to hear a Texas audience telling folks to pipe down in back. I also enjoyed hearing that the headliner stood up for the opener. Here's the deal for me about an artist who phones it in:
How on Earth do they sing em nite after nite and keep em fresh? Each new audience is treated to the songs like the artist has been waiting all year to sing em. Poor James Blunt. You're Beautiful has made him instantly famous. Tell me he doesn't phone that one in most nights.

A friend once told me at a James Taylor concert that he found it hilarious that the crowd would applaud thunderously at the first notes of a song the crowd instantly recognized. HE was a bit of a skeptic to be sure and not a huge fan of James Taylor anyway. But he did find humor in the fact that the crowd was goin nuts that James Taylor was playing another James Taylor song.

To me, beyond the talent to write, sing, record, and tour, the true artistry comes when the song is performed for an audience like it was written recently and played just for them. I don't know how they do that.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

Richard + Jela
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:56 pm
Location: West Sussex, England

Postby Richard + Jela » Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:54 pm

I guess its about being a true professional as well as appreciating that the audience has paid good money to see and hear the performer - without the audience they'd be nowhere. I can do no better than to paraphrase from an article that I read today '....the same law of survival applies...if musicians make their live performances thrilling enough, you and I will leave the comfort of our homes to hear them. And if they don't , good riddance'

There are so very many artists who always put on a good show and many of the ones we see and speak to, seem genuiney thrilled that people come out to see them, after all we all make choices in terms of how we spend our money and whether we get off our backsides to go and see live performances - we could so easily stay home doing other things.

Jela


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