Right! There was that time when me and me mates went to see Orchestral Manoevers in the Dark, except we couldn’t actually see them. Cos it was dark. Blimey!
I was a college student too.
It stuck with me all these years because it’s the first time I had heard of a band doing that. It’s become pretty commonplace for bands to do tours around doing a full album now. It wasn’t then. It’s not like they skimped on the hits. The second half had all the big songs from the previous albums.
True enough. It was the having to sit through 45 straight minutes of songs we didn’t care for (and not knowing, ahead of time, that this would be the case), before we actually got to any of the songs that we actually were interested in hearing, that left the bad taste in my mouth.
Still, i can’t imagine being disappointed at Nelson Ledges.
I went to see the Pixies for the third time. The venue was an old and intimate theatre space in Toronto (Massey Hall).
The music was okay - not the best place to see them since there was too little space to move and everyone stood up so you had to to see them.
They did not acknowledge the audience at any point in the show. No “Hello Toronto”. Nothing. It was very odd and slightly unsettling. It did not make me like the band more - quite the opposite.
It was still a cool weekend! There were lots of bands. Turns out the top of the weekend was a band called Pressurehead.
Last week my daughter saw King Crimson in Huber Heights, Ohio. The opening act was a Zappa tribute band called The Zappa Band. It consisted of Zappa alumni. I’m a huge Zappa fan, but I didn’t recognize most of the songs. Ray White was the singer, and I’ve heard he now doesn’t want to play any Zappa songs that contain sexual references or vulgarities, which… uhhh… pretty much rules out 95% of his catalog. I found it somewhat boring, and I sensed most of the audience felt the same.
That reminds me of something which could be “being blamed for one of the worst bands to go and see”
I liked Zappa, I think I’ve got about 20 odd albums and was lucky to see him in the UK a couple of times.
In a hungarian music festival, Sziget, there was a Zappa tribute act, so I suggested to my o/h that we go and see it. Not a lot of them around given the musical skill involved.
I had to apologise for how bad it was. I didn’t realise that due to the nature of the Iron Curtain, they probably only got 2 of his albums, with the mothers of prevention, albums completely different from his normal stuff, and not something I remembered much of.
So we got a tribute to an album or two even I’d long forgotten of hippy tracks, while a lady danced some sort of rubber condom thing I suspect is a fetish thing.
I still get grief about it today…
Oops, meant to say my daughter and I attend the King Crimson / The Zappa Band concert.
Heck, I would have welcomed that. Unfortunately The Zappa Band was entirely “G” rated. No fast dancing allowed. The show was pretty much the antithesis of “Zappa”…
A lot of disappointing concert appearances seem to involve bands past their sell-by date and/or with one or more performers ill.
I’ve been to one concert featuring a band “past its prime”. That was NRBQ a few years ago. Terry Adams was the only original band member left and he was pushing 70. He turned out to be full of manic energy and they gave a good show.
I might not have gone except Los Straitjackets were the other group on the bill and were great.
Remembrance of Kim Shattuck (RIP) being fired without explanation at the end of the Pixies tour where she replaced Kim Deal, her only guess being the time she stage dived during one show and was confronted afterwards by the manager, who said “the Pixies don’t stage dive.”
When I performed with them ca. 1999 (bands typically don’t tour with orchestras and will just hire local if they want one) they had two drummers. Maybe this is why.
The Pixies are among my five most favorite bands and I’ve seen them live several times because of that, but if I’m honest with myself, they are quite boring on stage. Kim Deal was the only one who had any kind of stage presence or audience engagement (I never saw them perform with Shattuck). I think a lot of Kim Deal’s legendary coolness can be attributed to the contrast with her bandmates’ lack of showmanship. Walking to work with Doolittle or Surfer Rosa pouring out of my earbuds is a better (and cheaper) experience than a live show.
(With apologies, as I’ve told this story a couple times in other threads.)
My wife is pretty short and has several joint issues that require her to use a cane. She cannot stand for extended periods. When we attend concerts, we try our best to purchase appropriate seats. In some cases, we will even purchase seats in handicapped sections and take her wheelchair. Usually, everything works out fine.
A few years ago, we purchased tickets for a Heart concert at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, NC. The seats were about six rows from the stage in chairs set up in the lowest section of the amphitheatre, which was a level, brick/grassy area. Everything was fine for the opening act. We would stand for the openings of the songs and to applaud. When Heart came on stage, literally EVERYONE in the section (hundreds of people) simply left their seats, crowded up the aisles, and rode the security rail at the front of the stage. Everyone continued to stand because (duh) they didn’t have seats anywhere in the area. The staff did absolutely nothing to clear the area or keep the aisles clear. My wife couldn’t see a bit of the stage from any position short of standing on her chair, which was, of course, impractical. We left after three songs. On the way out, we met several people in wheelchairs who were leaving for exactly the same reason. Even their areas were crowded with non-handicapped standees.
Now, I used to work some event security gigs in Chicago, and one of the first things you learn about assigned seating events is “keep the aisles clear and don’t let audience members crowd the security rail.” I called and e-mailed the amphitheatre management afterwards with our very specific complaints and suggestions. They had NO response whatsoever, other than “Sorry you didn’t enjoy the show.”
So…performance good, but venue management sucked the big one and just didn’t give a $hit. Screw 'em for wasting my money and disappointing my wife.
Metallica, spring 1997 IIRC, co-worker had scored some tickets.
I was primed: I was a fan of the band since the early-mid 80s, the whole setup looked great “on paper”. Though an outdoor show, we had “seats” under the tent like canopy that sheltered the band and the front part of the crowd. We were about 20 feet from the band, at most.
It was a profound disappointment:
As in the case of many post so far on this thread, bad, nay, terrible sound. Muddy and bottom heavy and/or tinny high with no mid-range at all. The only treble was faint-ish squealing whenever Kirk Hammet hit the higher notes during solos. Also, as in the case noted in other post, the sound was so bad I couldn’t make even make out what song was being played into well into it.
Because of the time period, they were touring for the Load and/or the Reload albums, and so most of the tracks played were from their now known “suck” era of the band. Insipid generic quasi-alternative mid-tempo garbage.
Lollapalooza 1994 in Montreal was a pretty decent show, but the crowd made big parts of it rough. People determined to slam dance no matter who was on stage…a general admission festival crowd doesn’t equal a mosh pit! But you’d see dudes with shaved heads and a look of joyous determination on their faces push into the crowd and start slamming around. When it’s an act like George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars, or Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on stage, why would concertgoers feel that’s their cue to try and turn the audience into a Fugazi show? Why am I getting kicked in the head during “Nobody’s Baby Now?” After Cave finished, I left the main audience area and watched most of the rest of the show from the back.
I also saw the Pixies, in the early 1990s, with my roommate, a co-worker, and one of my roommate’s friends. IIRC, they paid for my ticket because I was the one driving to the venue, which was about 50 miles away.
I only knew a few Pixies songs, but I agree - there was little stage presence. I did, however, take advantage of an opportunity to crowd-surf, something I would not do now but my co-worker did tell everyone about it at work the next evening. “I saw these people throwing a GIRL in the air, and then I saw it was NWH!” LOL
It was the third time I had seen them. I like them and have all their discs; know all their songs. I did not have a problem with their stage presence during the first two shows - other bands might be more extrovert but they played with a degree of skill and passion. I get it is tiresome to go through routine pleasantries on tour and do not ask for many of them.
But the passion was far more muted the last time, and ignoring the audience totally comes across as arrogant and douchey. It made the effort feel phoned in. I’m not saying it was the worst concert, since the songs are great, but it will be the last one by that band I bother with.
Mine was a big rap concert at Starlake in Pittsburgh, around 2005. Headliner was 50 Cent. Eminem, Ludacris, and Lil John were there.
None of the “Artists” performed any music. They just shouted at the crowd. It was a complete waste of time and money.
I suppose it would have been ok if you were enamored with these stars, and just wanted to say you saw them.
The most entertaining part was seeing a roadie pick a hot chick out of the crowd to go backstage, to her boyfriends dismay!
Interesting — Billy Joel (MSG, 1986) was one of the BEST live shows I’ve ever attended.