Are gigs (shows/concerts) really getting more boring and why?

Si G X

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I was chatting to one of my best mates last night who hasn't been to see a band for years. His opinion was that it's boring now and he doesn't really get excited to see a a band any more, so he doesn't bother.

I agreed somewhat, but we couldn't really nail down why, and if we are just turning into a boring old men, shows aren't what they used to be, bands aren't what they used to be or we've just seen so many bands they have to be really special now to get us excited... or maybe audiences just aren't what they used to be... or it's just not an exciting time for music right now?

I mentioned this gig to him, for most of us it was the first time we'd seen Faith no More, it was 1990 and the atmosphere was electric .. from the queue outside, to the lights dropping, to the opening bars of out of nowhere. We figured last night that it was just because we were younger, but watching this..... damn I still get goosebumps and I remember it like yesterday, it was like a bomb going off.

 

schmee

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Sometimes. I like smaller venue concerts now. Theatres, maybe 1500 people or less etc. You get players either on the way up or on the way down.
I went to a big concert several years ago. Too far back and it was boring as heck. Santana. It was like a loose jam the whole night.
 

Timbresmith1

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I think the home theatre phenomenon has taken some of the allure from a live show. We can now select all manner of legendary performances from the couch. I’d have to think REALLY hard to access a boring live show in my memory banks…cyphering…cyphering…
 

Dismalhead

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Several factors at work here:

1. Price of concert tickets puts a lot of people off from seeing shows. I've never paid over $60 for a ticket, and I don't care who you are I'm not going to pay $200 to see you. Guessing a lot of real diehard fans don't get to see their bands anymore, thus making the audience "boring". Most of the people I know who've seen The Stones, Springsteen, or The Eagles over the last 30 years are corporate execs who got free tickets from work. Not exactly an exciting group.

2. Drop in level of musicianship = crappy shows. '70s and '80s were the peak of rock musicianship making it into popular music. Good bands are still out there, but they're never going to reach the level of popularity that bands had back then because they don't get radio airplay. Selena Gomez and Katy Perry have replaced Jeff Beck and SRV because they sell more tickets.

3. Concerts used to be a free pass when it came to what was acceptable behavior. I remember seeing Genesis outside and there were balloons and frisbees flying through the air, partying and other illicit substances were basically legal. It made for an exciting, carnival type atmosphere where it felt like "anything goes". Now you can't even smoke a cig at an outdoor venue, and they took the frisbees and balloons away a long time ago.
 

Si G X

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Several factors at work here:

1. Price of concert tickets puts a lot of people off from seeing shows. I've never paid over $60 for a ticket, and I don't care who you are I'm not going to pay $200 to see you. Guessing a lot of real diehard fans don't get to see their bands anymore, thus making the audience "boring". Most of the people I know who've seen The Stones, Springsteen, or The Eagles over the last 30 years are corporate execs who got free tickets from work. Not exactly an exciting group.

2. Drop in level of musicianship = crappy shows. '70s and '80s were the peak of rock musicianship making it into popular music. Good bands are still out there, but they're never going to reach the level of popularity that bands had back then. Selena Gomez and Katy Perry have replaced Jeff Beck and SRV because they sell more tickets.

3. Concerts used to be a free pass when it came to what was acceptable behavior. I remember seeing Genesis outside and there were balloons and frisbees flying through the air, partying and other illicit substances were basically legal. It made for an exciting, carnival type atmosphere where it felt like "anything goes". Now you can't even smoke a cig at an outdoor venue, and they took the frisbees and balloons away a long time ago.

I think you might have hit a few nails on the head there, it really does feel like half the people at a gig these days don't even really want to be there. .... and that's how we are starting to feel, so I guess it's a self perpetuating vicious circle too.
 

Texicaster

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Price and hassle is what keeps me away.

Last show I went to was Bill Frisell and Julian Lage ~2019. I knew it would be a mellow easy scene and I think I paid <$40 for good seats in a good theater.

I recall getting excited to see Dylan "Love and Theft" tour ~2001. Tickets then were $75 and since I've seen Dylan stink it up pretty good in the past there was no way I was gonna fall for that! That was the last time I considered it.

I wanted to go to Skull And Roses in Ventura CA as I'd seen the Grateful Dead there numerous times and always a blast! Back then it was $15 tickets and $20 to camp for 4 nights. So $65 out of pocket to get in. To bring my Airstream to S&R for the same; $1400!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A lot of great bands are playing smaller venues. Steve Earle is on a tour that has some night club dates I'd go to if close by.
 

Killing Floor

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I don't think shows are getting boring. I think as a whole we are hearing music that is made to be paint-peeling loud but it's played at hi-fi conversational volume. So some people in the room have bandwidth to look at phones or have chit-chat with their friends. I think in many instances the soaring costs of attendance, even at some middle sized clubs, is dictating the crowd and their expectations. I saw Faith No More open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and they were great. But I bet if I saw them today they'd be 60 and that's another potential problem...Bands I liked when I was 19 are all old and super lame live. If I want to see a show I have learned to avoid the temptation of seeing reunion tours because they usually disappoint. YMMV but if I want to see a young, high energy band I'll go see them if I am able. Last time I saw Amyl and the Sniffers I was not bored at all. They're in the UK next week. It won't be soothing and subtle.
First time I saw Red Hot Chili Peppers was "socks" and the show ended with the band and the crowd completely blocking Spring Street in Atlanta for half hour, wonderful mayhem. Last time I saw them it was a seated affair at "television" volume and frankly, boring.
 

Si G X

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I think as a whole we are hearing music that is made to be paint-peeling loud but it's played at hi-fi conversational volume. So some people in the room have bandwidth to look at phones or have chit-chat with their friends

Some great point there, this bit I especially agree with ... I guess boring isn't the right word, but it's just a whole combination of things that make you think 'nah, I won't bother' or you do go and it's just a crap atmosphere.
 

VonBonfire

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I play music to get paid so I can't afford to go to shows and even if I could I wind up being booked that night or too tired from gigs to want to go another venue. Ugly truth of the music business; entertainment events are mostly for non-musicians who make real money.

Sometimes on monday morning I'll run down to the store and get my weekly supplies and as I'm heading back I'll see people going to work in the a.m and think "hahaha suckaaaaaaaz" then come thursday or friday night when I'm headed off to sweat it out on some stage and everyone is looking towards a weekend off or are all done for the week and headed out for a night of enjoyment I think "this is so unfair". LOL
 

Ted Keane

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Several factors at work here:

1. Price of concert tickets puts a lot of people off from seeing shows. I've never paid over $60 for a ticket, and I don't care who you are I'm not going to pay $200 to see you. Guessing a lot of real diehard fans don't get to see their bands anymore, thus making the audience "boring". Most of the people I know who've seen The Stones, Springsteen, or The Eagles over the last 30 years are corporate execs who got free tickets from work. Not exactly an exciting group.

2. Drop in level of musicianship = crappy shows. '70s and '80s were the peak of rock musicianship making it into popular music. Good bands are still out there, but they're never going to reach the level of popularity that bands had back then because they don't get radio airplay. Selena Gomez and Katy Perry have replaced Jeff Beck and SRV because they sell more tickets.

3. Concerts used to be a free pass when it came to what was acceptable behavior. I remember seeing Genesis outside and there were balloons and frisbees flying through the air, partying and other illicit substances were basically legal. It made for an exciting, carnival type atmosphere where it felt like "anything goes". Now you can't even smoke a cig at an outdoor venue, and they took the frisbees and balloons away a long time ago.
The Dead & Co are playing here this weekend.No bags allowed at all.Fanny pack-no,clear plastic bags that I had to buy for stadium shows-no.what do I carry my jacket,hat,sunglasses,smokeable material,ect. in?Last year there was hail and a lightning storm.No parking lot spaces sold for Shakedown.No vending on campus.They will print your ticket for $10.This is the 1st Dead show I'm sitting out since '71.And tix were $200.
 

Timbresmith1

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I don't think shows are getting boring. I think as a whole we are hearing music that is made to be paint-peeling loud but it's played at hi-fi conversational volume. So some people in the room have bandwidth to look at phones or have chit-chat with their friends. I think in many instances the soaring costs of attendance, even at some middle sized clubs, is dictating the crowd and their expectations. I saw Faith No More open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and they were great. But I bet if I saw them today they'd be 60 and that's another potential problem...Bands I liked when I was 19 are all old and super lame live. If I want to see a show I have learned to avoid the temptation of seeing reunion tours because they usually disappoint. YMMV but if I want to see a young, high energy band I'll go see them if I am able. Last time I saw Amyl and the Sniffers I was not bored at all. They're in the UK next week. It won't be soothing and subtle.
First time I saw Red Hot Chili Peppers was "socks" and the show ended with the band and the crowd completely blocking Spring Street in Atlanta for half hour, wonderful mayhem. Last time I saw them it was a seated affair at "television" volume and frankly, boring.
FNM brings it. Esp. Patton.
 

rand z

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This is all so sad.

Unfortunately, it's also mostly true.

There's a minimal amount of record sales these daze, so they're trying to make up for it in ticket $$$.

Luckily, most of the acts that I enjoy are not big sellers.

They are doing for the love of playing and I support, and applaud, them.

Their ticket $$ are reasonable and the crowds are good and responsive.

Yes, I'm getting older and I'm pretty particular who I go see.

But, I still really enjoy seeing a good band playing great music!!!

imo.
 

KokoTele

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I read your question as being about the quality and atmosphere surrounding shows, so all the "get off my lawn" types of responses are kind of amusing to me.

It's hard to judge this in the post-pandemic times. Everyone's a little off. Large gatherings seem to have a bit of an edge to them because everyone's both deprived of the things they love and a bit uneasy about being around others.

But let's talk about the beforetimes. How old were you in 1990? Let's say you were 25. For people who were 25 in 2018 seeing their up and coming bands, yeah, I think the concerts were just as exciting as they were for you at that FNM show. In some ways even moreso. Stage lighting and multimedia technology has continued to improve. Sound systems are better. For most of these bands, it's not just a concert, but an event integrated with social media, merch you can only get at the show, etc. You can sometime text pictures or messages to get shown on the jumbotron. All that amps up the experience.

Is a Faith No More show just as exciting? No way. They're older. You're older. The rest of the audience is older. Most people probably wished the show started two hours earlier so they could be in bed by midnight. You'll be hungover all day if you have 3 beers. If you pogo dance hard you'll blow out your back or your knee, and don't even think about moshing. No matter ow hard the band brings it, you don't have the energy to respond back in the same way. Performers feed off of that energy, so the whole thing is brought down a couple of notches.
 

TeleT97

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Can't really speak to the past, but I'll say I pretty much exclusively go to shows for up and coming and not big selling bands I love at under 1500 cap/$30 ticket venues and I'm rarely disappointed in the energy of the band or crowd. There's a whole lot of awesome country and r&b acts on that circuit.

Was at this show and it was electric!
 

bottlenecker

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I was chatting to one of my best mates last night who hasn't been to see a band for years. His opinion was that it's boring now and he doesn't really get excited to see a a band any more, so he doesn't bother.

I agreed somewhat, but we couldn't really nail down why, and if we are just turning into a boring old men, shows aren't what they used to be, bands aren't what they used to be or we've just seen so many bands they have to be really special now to get us excited... or maybe audiences just aren't what they used to be... or it's just not an exciting time for music right now?

I mentioned this gig to him, for most of us it was the first time we'd seen Faith no More, it was 1990 and the atmosphere was electric .. from the queue outside, to the lights dropping, to the opening bars of out of nowhere. We figured last night that it was just because we were younger, but watching this..... damn I still get goosebumps and I remember it like yesterday, it was like a bomb going off.



The stuff I'm going to hear these days is as good as any show I've ever gone to. But I'm not looking for anything like the kind of rock shows I went to in 1990. If I was, I would probably find disappointment.
 




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