Do musicians still do that diva act of taking the stage hours after the scheduled start time?

I haven’t been to many concerts in the past ten years or so. One thing I used hate,especially in the 1980s, was that endless wait for the band to finally take the stage. I can remember The Rolling Stones were especially horrible about this, not taking the stage until a couple of hours after the scheduled start time.

However, in these days of tickets priced in the hundreds of dollars and non smoking arenas, do musicians still pull this crap? I’m going to guess it is a lot less common these days.

I guess I’ll find out since I’m going with a friend to see Lady Gaga in January!

Yep, been to a few recently where the waiting became ridiculous.

In fact, if you go see what is calling itself GNR these days, consider yourself lucky that Axel shows up at all.

Interestingly, I’ve noticed this declining over the last 20 years. Or, how Rush does it.

WAAAY back when I was a very young man Rush started late…sometimes very late.

Then, as I got older they always started 30 minutes after the listed time.

Now, as they (and I) are old. They start at the moment, knowing them to the microsecond, listed on the ticket.

It seems very rare at large concerts nowadays in Australia. The only band I can recall being very late, in the last several years, was *Public Enemy * and I believe that was due to illness.

I think one of the reasons is that many venues in residential areas have noise curfews and have to finish by a set hour. Venues that are in out of the way areas are often served by public transport (your ticket often includes free trains/buses) and they run to pre determined schedules.

My wife and I went to see a Springsteen show in Kansas City a few years back. It was a Sunday night show and the showtime on the tickets was 7pm. It was almost 9pm before the show started, meaning it wasn’t over until around midnight. A lot of people who had to get up for work or school the next day were understandably upset. As it turns out, Bruce had played in St Louis the night before and stuck around for a Sunday afternoon Cardinals baseball game, so they were late getting to town. (And apparently didn’t have time for a sound check either. The first few songs sounded like crap until they finally got the sound adjusted.)

A few years ago my wife and I went to see the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

Time on the tickets: 8:00
Opening act began at close to 9:00 and played for about an hour.
Then we waited. And waited.
Brian & Co. finally took the stage just before midnight. They were great, but we oldsters were trying not to fall asleep by the end of it.

Last concert we’ve been to.

I go to probably half a dozen rock concerts a year and the typical schedule is something like doors at 7pm, opening band from 8-8:45, main act from 9:30-11. Maybe things run a little later if it’s a Friday or Saturday evening. I don’t normally go to the huge, $120 a ticket mega-acts from before I was born, though.

Most of the shows I go to start later than advertised - I think in most of these cases though it’s not about the musicians being “divas” but rather the venue wanting to make more money selling drinks.

I have only been to two concerts in the last five years (Ani DiFranco and Widespread Panic/Allman
Brother Band) and they started reasonably on time IIRC.

I remember see Talking Heads when they filmed “Stop Making Sense” and they were 45 minutes late but purposely-an accident had caused major delays on the nearby highway. So it was a good gesture to their fans , not diva.

The one time I saw diva behavior was with the Clash after Mick Jones left and they were recording
“Cut the Crap”. They were way late because they didn’t like the fact the college fieldhouse they were playing it had seats in front and the proles like me standing in back. Eventually they got there way but it was a long delay, with Joe Strummer saying he didn’t want the group to end up like other groups he knew, separate limousines.

Well if they do, here’s how you deal with it.

Exactly this. I’ve been to three big concerts in the last year (Bob Seger, Aerosmith, and just the other night, Bruce Springsteen). Each concert started about half an hour later than the stated time. There were still 100s of seats unfilled and people walking in with drinks and food at the stated start time, but by the time the concert started seats were filled and people were happily munching and slurping away on their giant sodas and garlic fries.

Good point, Rhiannon8404. I went to see Peter Gabriel and the New Blood Orchestra, and he actually came out to introduce the opening act before the start time. I’m a punctual person but I was still in line for drinks! The lines weren’t even very long at the drink stations, but you could see people scrambling to their seats all through the opener.

About 30 years ago “Trouser Press” magazine published a letter from the manager of Max’s Kansas City club after TP urged earlier starting times for their shows. The manager said three times in the previous two years MKC tried that for several weeks…listing the early starting times in their print and radio ads. The audience still continued to show up late and since musicians didn’t want to play to a sparsely populated crowd, they stalled and came up with every excuse not to start on time. The manager suggested that TP address its venom to the audience…they wanted to show up late.

In my experience, the listed start time has always been when the opening acts are to take the stage and the openers are pretty punctual. You only know that the main act will start at some undefined time afterward, and if you are not interested in the opener you can gamble at how late to arrive.

For single-bill acts, they seem to rarely be more than a half-hour late.

I’ll also note that general admission shows seem to start later more often than assigned seating shows.

Pretty much my experience, too. I don’t think I’ve been to a concert–at least not recently–where there is a time for the main act on the ticket. Usually, it’s just the start time for the opening act(s).

I went to see Mark Lanegan perform in May. The show was to begin at 8:00, and not only did he take the stage precisely at 8:00, but the opening act kept adding a prologue before each of his songs that went something like: “Okay, since we only have 7 minutes left…[song]…okay, 3 more minutes left…[short song]…” I don’t know if this was due to a request by Mark Lanegan himself, but somebody was very conscientious about being punctual.

You wonder, though, where the cause and effect lie. On the rare occasion I go to a concert these days, I don’t even consider showing up “on time” because I assume the act I’m there to see will begin playing late. So if acts are now starting late to accomodate late arrivals, it just seems like the basis for a vicious circular-shaped cycle-type thing that may just get worse as time goes on.

I went to see Midnight Oil back in the 1980s at a club on Miami Beach. I assumed a schedule similar to the one that you gave. I showed up at about 9:15, expecting the band to go on somewhat after 10:00. I hadn’t bought tickets for the show, and I could hear the band from outside the venue when I showed up. I asked a security guy if the show had already started. He said that they were on their second encore. They must have started around 8:00. I grumbled some and went home. Never have seen Midnight Oil in concert.

I’ve been to hundreds of shows in my life and to me, this is how it works. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a time on a ticket and thought “This is when the main act will be on stage.” Lots of tickets/posters just say “Doors X:XX PM”

I’ve never considered it a diva act. In fact I’ve spent time back stage with bands, big and small, while they dick around waiting for someone from the club to tell them it’s time to go on. It’s definitely a venue thing.

Do big-ticket tickets say something specific about time on the ticket? Like “Performance starts at 8” or just a time?

If you read Keith’s autobiography this appeared to be because he in particular didn’t give a crap about the audience - or much of anyone else. He pulled it during recording sessions also.

I’ve seen them twice in the last 10 or 12 years, and both times they started more or less on time. I guess now he is recovered, he is better.