That the artists make money in these concert tours, there’s no doubt. Die hard fans past 50 will pay anything to watch them. Even young -uns watch them and come out impressed. Me, I’m too depressed at the deterioration in the quality of singing to even consider buying a ticket. But they will always be my idols, and pray that videos during their heyday will forever be available on the net --free.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers still fuckin rock.
I’ve seen Roger Waters twice and both shows were amazing. I’ve seen CSN and they still sound like they do on the radio. I’ve seen quite a few other good shows (and some bad), but if you want to see a great rock and roll show, go see Tom Petty.
Well, if you were 18, left home, joined a band and spent 20-30+ years touring, at that point sedentary life is a distant memory, and your entire adult life and lifestyle is ‘on the road’. Trying to adapt to living in one place and doing something else probably seems like either ‘failure’, or too different and difficult to wrap your brain around.
The singing thing is admittedly a bit…poignant, I guess. I’ll be seeing Elton in a month, and while in a lot of ways I am looking forward to it, he’s now a baritone…trying to sing his old tenor parts, and recent videos can sometimes be a big cringe-worthy on that score. Geddy Lee is the same way, but they can’t change the keys of the songs without wrecking them.
Long time fans will go just to spend a an hour or two with artists that have played a special part in their lives. Some of them might be like me–I listen with my heart instead of my ears.
In addition to the points already made, some of these guys had financial issues over the years for reasons ranging from spending on hookers and blow, imaking unsound investments, bailing out family members, etc. They have to have a paycheck coming in and touring beats working at the 7/11 any day of the week.
Carol King still rocks the stiletto heeled boots, s’all I’m sayin’.
I don’t feel a bit cheated seeing her and James Taylor in their sixties, during this tour. I never got to see them when I was younger, so it was a really special treat.
Leonard Cohen, too, gives a fantastic show, although his voice of course has changed dramatically over time.
But I do agree with you when they ain’t got it no more. Then it’s just embarrassing, sad and disappointing. But that’s a separate issue from age.
I agree that Tom Petty still kicks ass (at least as of 4 years ago when I saw him).
An example that matches the OP’s experience: last summer I saw Dave Davies (guitarist and sometimes vocalist for The Kinks). He sang about as well as the worst, drunkest karaoke singers you’ll ever hear.
This summer I’m seeing the Steve Miller Band and Journey, although with quite a bit of trepidation. (I do realize Steve Perry is no longer with Journey.)
I really wish Tom Petty would tour out here soon. I saw him back in 1994. It’s been way too long. My kid has recently discovered him and I gave him my concert shirt from that 94 concert.
Bob Seger put on a really kick ass show two years ago when we saw him.
Since my son, husband and I all like classic and hard rock, we’ve seen a number of the old guys in concert in the last few years. Maybe we’ve picked them right, but we have not had the OP experience.
I’ve seen a few Journey concerts on TV* with [checks name] Arnel. If you closed your eyes, I don’t think the casual listener would know the difference. He sounds really good and the concert looked great. The only thing I noticed is that as the concert went on he seemed to get a bit tired and mumbled his way through one of their hit songs. Could’ve just been a fluke. If I was a Journey fan (as in, owned some of their music), I think I’d be okay with seeing them even with the new singer. At least, as long as I hadn’t ever seen them with Steve and knew that it wasn’t an option at this point.
*Palladia airs them from time to time if you want to check it out.
I had a chance to see Elivs Presley when he was bloated and kind of pitiful, around 1976, I think. Now I wish I had, just to have seen him.
I really wish the remaining half of The Who would stop touring as The Who. Pete Townsend has still got it, but Daltrey clearly doesn’t.
On the other hand, I don’t want Motorhead to go away, ever. Lemmy should die of an onstage heart attack many years hence (while performing with his 19th drummer and 12th guitarist.)
I totally disagree with this one. After seeing Pete flail at the Superbowl years ago and then seeing Daltrey touring solo I came to a different conclusion. Daltrey had Pete’s brother Roger on lead and a couple of 20 somethings on Bass and Drums.
Roger Townsend nailed everything and pushed the energy of the show up. Daltrey showed his age a couple of moments during the show but pretty well still had voice. He was opening for Eric Clapton and I expected him to just come out and sing a few easy ballads from some of his solo albums with maybe a nod or two to some Who songs. Instead his set was full on power Who songs. After his performance I thought that only somebody like Clapton wouldn’t be nervous following that act.
So no change there.
I saw The Steve Miller Band two years ago and I thought it was awesome!! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Some groups, fortunately, have been practicing for the past thirty or forty years.
Next week we’re hitting George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars. Does George have as much energy as he did in the 70s? Of course not. We catch them two or three times a year, and each show has four or five new arrangements and enough flourishes on their standard block to make it a great time.
B.B. King was 88 the last time we saw him. He had to be helped on and off the stage, but his voice and guitar filled the theater.
The Dead are turning fifty as a band next year and there are great expectations in the air, largely because of the power and dynamic energy of the various incarnations, from Further to P&F to Mystery Box.
Allmans are disbanding this year, but not from a lack of exquisite sound, but strong solo projects are taking away core members.
Not every band that’s been around forever is worth seeing, and I get that there are a lot that are still milking the same handful of hits with little growth. But there are plenty of legends out there that are still worth traveling across the country to see.
I saw Bob Dylan perform live last year, for the first time since the 1970’s.
His voice can technically be described as “ruined” and I initially didn’t even recognize a lot of my old faves when sung by him.
But I still got to watch Dylan perform, man!
He had it a couple of nights ago, but not with The Who:
Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey at Sheppard’s Bush Empire
I have seen The Moody Blues a few times in Las Vegas. I enjoyed them. Of course the lounge-type venue helped. As did the choral group. No new material. I guess their creativity tap ran dry. But, it was fun to see them.
It was some years ago, but long past when he was a new voice on the scene, I saw Van Morrison in a little dive of a bar. Obnoxious drunkard, didn’t even remember the lyrics to his own songs.
On the other hand, I saw the bald Peter Frampton at an outdoor, multi band event. He was great.