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

teleman1

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AS you get older you realize that you had to tolerate a lot of Bs at concerts. But what really has killed it all is, ROCK IS DEAD. There is nothing overly excitingly new except for single acts. THe quality of people at shows has changed too. Super fans are few and a concert to the balance is the same as the sat 50 cent matinees. They are going to a concert, yeah, not to dwell on how great the act is. THe act for most people at concerts, could be switched, and the crowd would think, wait, they wouldn't think. You could put puppets & loud recorded music through the PA and the difference would be unnoticeable to them.
 

Stratellafella

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Just think the music biz is filled with a bunch of pretentious politically correct full of them self asses now (not all) long gone are the days when musicians were rebellious and edgy Now they're in in for the money everything is carefully planned with career longevity in mind got to be careful what you say in the press I think social media killed the spontaneity of the biz I saw Cream at MSG for the reunion show as a gift from my girlfriend att against my better judgement she paid 450 bucks each for floor seats( think I paid 22 bucks for Led Zeppelin at MSG in 77 or 78) paid 85 bucks for 7th row at the Garden for Van Halen in 84 Ginger Baker was complaining the whole show about he wasn't making money off of and dont buy the bootleg T shirts outside on the street LOL How times have changed
 

KokoTele

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No spontaneity can exist in this environment:



No spontaneity is intended in that environment. That concert might as well be a Broadway show. They're trying to make note-for-note recreations of the hits for their baby-boomer fans, and do it exactly the same every show.

Contrast that with a group like Tedeschi Trucks Band. Similar stage and FOH gear, and 12-14 musicians on stage, including 5 harmonies at some points, and LOTS of spontaneity.

It ain't the tools, it's how you use them.
 

Tonyapple

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I think there are still some really great bands live. But what has changed is the crowd. For some reason every other idiot thinks its a good idea to have their phone out to record the event. Instead of being in the moment and experiencing the energy and bouncing around, they stand dead still with a stupid iphone in their hand to watch it later. I think bands play off of the energy of the crowd and I cant recall the last time I was at a show where I could feel the place pulsing. Maybe 2012?
 

Lockback

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I've never been a concert guy. I am not a fan of crowds at all and back in the day, so many live shows simply couldn't hold a candle to the recorded versions of the songs.
Recently, I've considered seeing both the Eagles (a few weeks ago) and Eric Clapton (coming in September).
That is until I check the prices. Clapton is my favorite guitarist of all time, I think he's a cool guy and he actually has a home in my area but I'm not paying $150/ticket in the nosebleed seats or $550 to sit closer.
I'm sure the sound quality will be much improved over my old concert days.
But I won't be there.
 

Si G X

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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.

I was 20 in 1990 and I do think a lot of what I'm feeling is about age and your absolutely right that performers feed off of the energy from the audience. But I have been to see younger bands with younger audiences and the atmosphere was just as flat and it's not always just because people aren't going nuts (sometimes they were fairly mellow gigs musically) but often people aren't even really making any noise, no cheering, no expression of excitement at all. Some are too busy filming on their phone to even clap. I don't really know ... gigs just feel weird to me these days and this year might be the last year I bother... which is kind of sad.
 

Timbresmith1

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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.
Yep. I wanted to see Jeff Beck last year. Prices started at $125. Nope.
 

Timbresmith1

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Just think the music biz is filled with a bunch of pretentious politically correct full of them self asses now (not all) long gone are the days when musicians were rebellious and edgy Now they're in in for the money everything is carefully planned with career longevity in mind got to be careful what you say in the press I think social media killed the spontaneity of the biz I saw Cream at MSG for the reunion show as a gift from my girlfriend att against my better judgement she paid 450 bucks each for floor seats( think I paid 22 bucks for Led Zeppelin at MSG in 77 or 78) paid 85 bucks for 7th row at the Garden for Van Halen in 84 Ginger Baker was complaining the whole show about he wasn't making money off of and dont buy the bootleg T shirts outside on the street LOL How times have changed
I can’t imagine a universe where Ginger Baker isn’t complaining about something or someone.
 

noname_dragon

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The way things are now, I don't like crowds anymore, hate feeling trapped. Earsplitting sound levels ruin it. The phone thing. In "my" day, there was more respect and excitement for live music. A more innocent time perhaps with less fear and rules and control. I like smaller venues where you can get closer to the players and actually see them. I saw Tom Petty at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley... I was pretty close... it was awesome, not only Tom's personality and casual friendliness, but one killer song after another. It was a calm, inviting vibe.
 

rave

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I think part of what has made it boring is the internet and the other is a general trend about people. When I went to shows in the 70s and 80s you didn't know what your were getting, there was a surprise element. Now after the opening night the show is on youtube, so you know the setlist how the band is going to sound and the "surprises" they have like the McCartney Lennon video duet.

The other factor is that nowadays people are not going to shows to hear a band they are going to sing along, post on social media, wear an outfit etc, so IMHO it makes the whole experience depressing for me. I also find it sad that people my age would rather sing along to Journey or the Eagles as opposed to finding a new band to listen to.

I don't see myself going to any stadium shows in the future, as I either caught those bands in their prime (Stones, Who, Eagles), or don't care about them. I would absolutely like to see people like Tab Benoit in smaller venues.
 

Stringbanger

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Concert goers tastes have definitely changed. As mentioned above, my wife and I enjoy the smaller venues/theaters.

We are fortunate to have quite a few in our area. Right before the pandemic, we saw Dwight Yoakam and Elvis Costello & The Imposters a couple of months apart, both at small venues.

In July we will see Sheryl Crow, my wife’s favorite, at a smallish outdoor venue. Yes, the tickets were quite salty.
 

slauson slim

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My wife and I go to see music, all size venues. We are going to see Dylan and Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Dave Alvin next week. In August we are seeing The Lumineers and in July Dream Syndicate. In the recent past we have seen The Mavericks, Marty Stuart, Lady Gaga, and Tower of Power. Before times we saw Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake. We’ve been on three Outlaw Country Cruises.
 

Flip G

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Ticketmaster charges $300 for tickets, you have to buy them in the first five minutes they go on sale online, and the show is staged like a Broadway musical of Disney's THE LION KING. Only phones and photographs are now allowed, so you're view is blocked by all these little glowing rectangles.
 

oatsoda

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Last really big stoopid exciting high energy show for me was the Stones bigger bang in 2005. High energy tight opening acts that I hadn’t heard of but really enjoyed. Went wth a cousin who is about same interest and responsibility level as me, so i could really let go knowing I wasn’t either going to be led into trouble, or having to worry about a spouse or kid being gone to find the potty or food or shade for too long. No responsibility, just let your hair down and enjoy. And we were front row outdoors so got to see all the ques between Watts and Mick, see Keef throw out the poses, right on the edge of loosing his balance, then catching himself and smiling, etc.

Really great opening acts too. Had never heard of Maroon5, but man they rocked the hill, OLP was great, and Tragically Hip could have headlined the whole thing.

Hard to believe that was 17 years ago, ugh.
 

TunedupFlat

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Shows in North America have gone downhill I think primarily due to ticketmaster and other corporate nonsense charging us through the nose.

Concerts I have been to elsewhere in the world still have that vibe that we all remember. People lined up, stuff going on outside, crowd excitement.. (except japan, haha, anywhere in japan is it's own totally different vibe)

These days it seems like if you stand up in your seat you run the risk of getting punted by security.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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Small shows, up and coming bands, no ticketmaster nonsense - that’s where you’ll find the energy. Corporate rock and big shows are a different atmosphere. As someone mentioned, more like a Broadway show. I’m somewhat fortunate in the sense that where I live isn’t a big tour stop for bands that would fill an enormodome or headline a festival somewhere in Europe. Like seeing Johnny Marr in a club with a few hundred people. Or Kasabian, or Nitzer Ebb.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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Shows in North America have gone downhill I think primarily due to ticketmaster and other corporate nonsense charging us through the nose.

Concerts I have been to elsewhere in the world still have that vibe that we all remember. People lined up, stuff going on outside, crowd excitement.. (except japan, haha, anywhere in japan is it's own totally different vibe)

These days it seems like if you stand up in your seat you run the risk of getting punted by security.
Isn’t that the truth. Go see a rocking show at the Jubilee Auditorium and have a gang of heavies watching to see who might want to get excited or enthusiastic. They‘ve killed the vibe at nearly every show.

And then at the other extreme have Matthew Good of all people have to stop a show because some people take thing WAY too far. Same at a festival with Alexisonfire having to stop and call some people out for hurting others. Or the guy I almost had a run in with at a RHCP show who insisted on picking fights the whole night and would head butt the back of anyone who tried to ignore him.

The happy medium is the small venues. Punk and metal shows - those scenes people are respectful to each other. When I was doing sound at a bar they were always the best crowds. Enthusiastic, supportive, and respectful that everyone is there for the same reason.
 
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