Which performers have disappointed you the most?

Either at a live performance or by their career path in general?

For example, Eddie Murphy owes me nothing. Still, I’m disappointed that the comedian who showed such promise on “Saturday Night Live” seems to have disappeared. I assumed I would have such performances to savor for years to come. Wrong.

I’ll be showing my age here, but I went to see Boston on the tour of the second album. (What was that, '78 or '79?) Sammy Hagar opened for them and really got the crowd fired up, and then Boston came out and pretty much sleep-walked their way through the show. People were leaving halfway through. That was the first time I had ever seen an opening act completely blow away the headliner.

I’d say Robert Townsend. His work has been pretty good, but I don’t think he’s lived up to the potential he showed in Hollywood Shuffle. IMNSHO, Hollywood Shuffle is an hilarious and groundbreaking movie that also probably made back its entire shooting budget in just one theater. (The Carolina Theater in Durham,NC showed it for an entire summer.) One critic said Townsend spent less on the whole movie than Spielberg spends on cuff links.

OTOH, he isn’t making “Daddy Daycare V” or voicing cartoon animals, and he didn’t make Pluto Nash. So RT is doing well, but after seeing Hollywood Shuffle I expected even more. Probably not realistic of me.

It was 79 - and I saw that tour when they were in Las Cruces, NM.

I thought Boston kicked ass. Maybe you caught them on a bad night.

The worst performance I recall seeing was by Bob Dylan. It was '85 or '86, when Dylan was on a double bill with the Grateful Dead, and had Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers as his ‘backing band.’ The Dead opened the show, and then more than three hours passed by with no Dylan. Finally, Dylan, Petty & the Heartbreakers go on. Dylan incoherently warbled through a few songs, and was barely able to stand upright. Finally, after about 20 loooooong minutes, the set transformed into a Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers show. They were alright, but Dylan’s lousy performance pretty much soured the audience and folks were leaving in droves.

The second worst performance was probably David Bowie, circa '95 (?) Nine Inch Nails was his opening act, and the stadium was jam packed during that set. When Bowie came on, he just looked liked an old-timer desperately trying to appear cutting edge, but just seeming creaky and old. Even Reznor coming onstage to back him up didn’t do much to help. Again, folks started leaving in droves halfway through the set.

A choral example - the Tallis Scholars. I have lots of their CDs and love their sound. When I heard them in real life though I was quite disappointed. Admittedly it was in the crappy acoustic of the Opera House, but even so, they just weren’t as perfect in reality as their recordings. Hardly a surprise really when you think about it.

Calvin Johnson. A fine example of “never meet your heros.” He was all right, but stand offish and mostly a dick. Of course, the show sucked, and not in a good way suck like Beat Happening but more of a “I’m getting too old for this” suck.

Interesting; Calvin Johnson is clearly some form of autistic, so I wonder how much of your “mostly a dick” reaction is based on that.

Which tour did you see him on? The last two times I saw him live - early last year, and then about a year before that - are among the best shows I’ve ever seen.

I agree with you about Murphy. During his time on SNL and in his first few movies, there was a spark and a bit of a subversive glint to him that made him worth watching even when the material was terrible. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that since around the time he did Beverly Hills Cop II, that spark and glint seemed to disappear and, with a few notable exceptions, he’s mostly been coasting since then.

As for other performers who initially seemed promising but ultimately proved disappointing, I was going to mention a certain actress who I was rather fond of years ago. However, due to a number of poor professional choices and the fact she apparently forgot how to act, this person is generally regarded (if she’s recalled at all) as such an annoying talentless joke that I dare not mention her name lest people doubt my intelligence and sanity.

Buddy Guy. Got a chance to see him here about ten years ago. As a bigtime blues fan I was well aware of his legend and was primed for a soul shaking night.

His band came out first and did three or four songs. They were hot, really, really good. Then BG comes out, lauches into some blistering stuff, really gettin’ it! Then in mid song, he stops and starts talking. And talked. And then talked some more. Then played a little. Then talked more. And on it went like that, all night. Clearly he still had the chops but just didn’t seem to be into playing much.

A bit of a different direction here, but I am always hugely disappointed when I learn that an actor I really like is a Scientologist. Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee, Laura Prepon, Giovanni Ribisi…blech.

Steve Martin. He’s no longer a wild and crazy guy, and I wish he’d revisit that persona more often, and with more confidence.

The Muppets post Jim Henson. They’ve never achieved anything close to their potential, and it surely can’t have been solely down to Jim’s genius.

Gordon Lightfoot in the mid-70’s. I loved that guy and had all his albums. He was totally wasted, berated the audience because we came out in the snow to see him, said the concert should have been cancelled and we were all idiots for even being there. He never finished a single song. He’d start a song get 1/4-1/3 of the way thru and then say “I don’t feel like playing that piece of shit anymore.” We left half way thru. I didn’t listen to a single song of his for at least 20 years. Why yes I can hold a grudge. However, I’m over it now and have one of his cd’s.

Beach Boys mid-80’s. Arthritic old men singing about picking up girls. Yeah I know what was I expecting. :smack:

Best ever, Harry Chapin 1974 or 75.

His latest one, The Sons of the Soil tour. It was him and another guy who played guitar/drums when appropriate, or simply did nothing. Calvin was mostly dada, no dancing at all until the last song. It was exactly what I expected, long drawn out songs about nothing. But, he didn’t even attempt to play the more melodic ones, he just sort of droned on and on and then gave a half hearted dance as the finale.

But, if I was 45 years old and I had practically invented the entire North West scene and I was still playing shitty no-name clubs with maybe 100 people in attendance, I wouldn’t be exactly Mr. Childlike. Which is what I foolishly wanted, since Beat Happening is one of my favorite bands ever.

I also realized something was “off”, but it wasn’t until you said something that, indeed, he seems autistic. That’s perfectly understandable.

Dylan in 1998 in Belfast, what a steaming pile of shite! Contempt for the audience and noisy, incoherent renditions of some of the songs people wanted to hear. Bleh.

Concert wise, Brian Wilson. He opened for Paul Simon when I saw him 2001. It was the worst anything I have ever sat through. He was playing songs off his first new album in eighty years, or something. I don’t know. All I know is that they all sounded like the same Beach Boys song over and over and over. It wasn’t just bad. It was tedious.

I saw Kids in the Hall live once, during a reunion tour. I was really looking forward to it since I was a big fan of their show, and it turned out virtually all the skits had been taken word-for-word… from their show. I coulda stayed home and saved a few bucks.

I thought they were still pretty good when I saw them in the summer of '85. Their show was a lot like it was in '69 (judging by the “Live in London” album), with the addition of at least one or two songs off their recently-released album of all-new material, which wasn’t bad. But it’s my impression they went downhill not too long after that. I wouldn’t want to have seen the post-Carl Wilson Boys.

Between The Cat in the Hat and this, I think Mike Myers is aiming for a place in this thread.

Brad Paisley, the country singer. I like his voice on recorded stuff (radio and albums) but whenever he performs live he always sounds…off.

I know they clean up in the studio but I was disappointed that he needed that much cleaning.

I was fairly disappointed with the Blue Man Group’s show in Chicago, but I’m sure it was an off night. It just seemed like they lost the audience early on and never got them again.

Ralph Stanley’s live shows these days are beyond disappointing. Ralph sings a bit, but I think his arthritis is finally to the point that he doesn’t even try to pick up a banjo. Most of the show is led by his talentless hack of a son, Ralph II, and let’s not even discuss the overly long and painfully dated “comedy” bit in the middle.