Willie Nelson, last year in Kansas City. He didn’t really sing, just kind of chanted lyrics for about 45 minutes. He mainly just played guitar, not very well. His daughter played Orange Blossom Special on the piano, which was underwhelming.
The concerts I’ve attended over the years have ranged from outstanding down to at least marginally okay…I can’t think of any that were truly awful or regrettable.
But since the OP doesn’t specify musical concerts, just performances, I’ll go for a poetry reading I attended during college. Allen Ginsberg, early eighties, a full house in the college chapel (I think)–the largest indoor venue they had.
Good lord, was it horrible. He started out with a recitation of Blake’s Tyger Tyger poem, which he did while rocking back and forth and banging on an accordion, and it went downhill from there.
he eventually started in on one of his own works, an ode to plutonium, which went on and on and on and was a pretty lousy excuse for a poem, being more of a screed or a rant. He started fortissimo and got progressively louder.
After five minutes of this crap I leaned over and whispered to my girlfriend, who had dragged me along (“He’s famous! We have to hear him!”), “Sorry, I’m leaving after this piece is over.” “I’m with you,” she whispered back.
About 20 minutes later (okay, this timing might have been slightly off) the piece mercifully came to an end, and half the crowd began to applaud while the other half (this estimate is not at all off) got to its collective feet and beat a retreat to the exits. What a fucking waste of time.
Ani DiFranco. It was just loud. That’s all that registered on me was that it was loud.
I also went to a Lilith Fair once, and the Dixie Chicks were playing. Yuck.
I heard the comeback performance of someone who was one of the cornerstone women’s musicians from the 1970s, Margie Adams. She should have stayed retired.
I heard the Indigo Girls early in their career, however, and they were wonderful.
Jean-Paul Sevilla (classical pianist) was unbelievably boring. A chemistry lecture from a competent instructor would have made better entertainment.
Motley Crue in 1989 I believe (supporting the Dr. Feelgood album) I was newly married and offered to take two recently acquired nephews to see them. The opening act was Faster Pussycat, and they were OK. The Crue were a joke. I was genuinely surprised they didn’t get booed off the stage.
Mick’s “solo” spot involved a rack with 4 or 5 lap steel guitars on it, each tuned to a different chord, and he just noodled around on them. It was like a glorified autoharp.
Tommy climbed up in a cage with a drum kit in it that went back and forth across the arena above the audience while he just banged along to recordings of classic rock hits by other acts. On Home Sweet Home Tommy “played” a digital piano that was mounted in a grand piano shaped stand. I put played in quotes, because when he walked away from it to go back to his drum kit the piano kept playing by itself. He’s always struck me as the annoying no talent kid brother that was only in the band because their mom made them let him in.
The only real highlight of the show was Eric Stacy had a decent (but not great) bass solo spot during the opening act.
Are you talking about Vets Auditorium in Des Moines? That’s where I saw the aforementioned Van Halen show, and it was the same venue where Ozzy bit the head off a dead bat a few months earlier. I was not there, but I sure knew a lot of people who were.
Vets is (it’s still there) basically a giant barn with seating for 15,000.
This thread is great!
Shawn Colvin whined through an entire show about how she hated Brittney Spears. This was shortly after she won “Song of the Year” for Sonny Came Home or whatever. Jeez! Get over it! God, I was glad to get out of there. That woman has issues.
Aerosmith. Most boring show I’ve ever been to. Just play the record. More chemistry.
Al Stewart. Playing for free inside Harrah’s Tahoe on Christmas Eve, in a massive snowstorm. All he could do was play his one hit, then go into a tirade about how “the current music” was all incomprehensible garbage. :rolleyes: The stench of sour grapes permeated the room. Only reason I didn’t walk out was these were the only open seats in the whole place, and I was visiting with a friend from High School.
Had free tickets to a Kenny Loggins show in Vegas. He played maybe two songs, then opened the floor up to a Q&A about parenthood, childraising and his crappy book about said issues. I walked out, after getting my four free drinks that came with the pair of tickets. Yes, I couldn’t get anybody to go with me.
Ever seen this? SFW.
Kenny Loggins is still alive, and so, for that matter, is Eric Bloom of Blue Oyster Cult.
I’ve never seen Guns N’Roses, but I heard enough horror stories about shows they did in their heyday, I’m surprised I haven’t seen a reference to them yet.
I saw them open for Aerosmith in '88, just when they were getting huge. I’m not sorry I saw them, but they weren’t very good live.
It was before Lies came out. Axl Rose introduced “Patience” (which was unknown to the public at that time) as a song that would be on an EP they would be releasing soon. He started in with the whistling, as Slash started the song on electric guitar. It was weird. I remember people in the crowd being mostly silent… there seemed to be an air of “what is this shit?”
That reminds me of when I went to see Ed Sanders, of the Fugs. He did a couple of tunes and then brought to the stage his “special guest”… you guessed it, Allen Ginsberg, who sat down and recited Hare Krishna for ten or fifteen minutes before we beat a hasty retreat.
I was at the show at the LA Coliseum when they opened for The Stones and Axl had a melt-down (the “Mr. Brownstone” tirade). We were on our way to the seats, so I heard it but didn’t see it.
Funny thing about that, I had seats that you would have killed for to a USC game, but were pretty shitty for The Stones. Forty yard line, low.
I can’t believe I forgot this! I saw Martha Graham’s dance troupe when she was still alive and the director, but when she was retired from actually dancing. So I didn’t see her dance, but I saw her choreography. It was awful. She was throwing anything against the wall just to see what would stick. People were booing. She came out at the end to bow, and no one applauded. It was maybe 1983, and I was in high school. It was less than ten years before she would die (at something like age 97). She should just have rested on her laurels at that point. Now, I am not a huge fan of modern dance, and chances are I would not have enjoyed her work in her heyday, but I at least could have appreciated it. What she was doing in the 80s was just unbelievably I-don’t-have-a-word-for-it. But the word would not be innovative. Either she didn’t care anymore, and she was just in it for the money, or she was entirely tapped out. Or both.
That bozo is still around. A local news station had an interview with him. He gross and fat, no teeth. Still had the long bleached hair, well sorta, bald on top. Yea, Jim Dandy needs to rescue himself. Not Arkansas’ proudest son.
Back in the late 90s or so I saw Jack Bruce doing a solo piano gig in Falkirk, a small town half way between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Me and my mate left at the interval. I would have stuck it out but my friend just wanted to get away from it!
I suppose Jack should be on my list in the ‘deceased performers you’ve seen’ thread…
Also couldn’t stand Renaissance on their recent reunion tour and left after less than 1/2 hour. Fortunately, we had gone to the gig for the support act! (Unfortunately, they came on very early, played a fairly short set, and due to long delays on the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow (track work) we missed most of their set! Bah! But we did get back home nice and early!
Bob Dylan. I saw him two years ago, unaware that he had just released an album of old Sinatra covers. Now, I like me some lounge music, I have a lot of old standards, and new stuff from Michael Buble and Harry Connick. But that’s not why I go to a Dylan concert. I don’t expect an artist to play nothing but oldies, I like to hear new material. But Dylan croaking out The Summer Wind like Tom Waits with laryngitis was just…bad. And when he did get around to a favorite like Tangled Up In Blue, it was unrecognizable until it was almost over. A very disappointing performance from an artist I have worshipped for decades. I realize I missed his peak by 50 years, but, geez, when it gets that bad, it is time to hang it up.
I saw Mike Doughty a few years ago in a fairly small venue. He was just kind of a dick. Complaining about his time with Soul Coughing, how he didn’t get the credit he deserved, blah, blah, blah.
Really disappointing, because I like his song writing
And now for something completely different:
We went to see the New York City Ballet once. Egad. The whole program was a salute to George Balanchine who had just died.
It was awful. The worst was a bit with guys in toy soldier costumes doing stupid stuff. (No, it wasn’t a Nutcracker thing.) You’d think you were watching a homegrown high school production.
We used to go see the Joffrey Ballet from time to time. The difference in quality was astonishing.
How much of a reunion could it have been? Seems like everybody except Annie and Jon are dead.
Remembered another one, since people are talking about other than straight concerts. When the Aria hotel opened in Las Vegas, they tried to have their own Cirque de Soliel show in the vein of LOVE (all Beatles music.) The one at Aria was called Viva Las Vegas. All Elvis music, BUT…the central character wasn’t Elvis. It was Col. Tom Parker! Elvis never showed up as a character in the show at all. It was like going to a musical about John Lennon and having the central character be Mark David Chapman.
Total disaster. Lousy choreography as well. The show closed rather quickly.
Mid 80’s was gifted tickets to see Moody Blues… it was 4 guys lip syncing …no instruments on stage weird, just plain weird. Some guy opened for them, guitar player Van something … he sat on edge of stage barefoot and basically Jammed different partial songs. <<<now going to call friend to remind her of that concert >>>
I’ll also take this in a different direction.
Saw a standup comedian back in the day who was so bad it was embarrassing. I won’t even say his name, it was so appalling. But he had been on Laugh-In years before and was known for doing a sort of mechanical chicken impression. Good lord, he was completely unfunny. Not one thing, nothing at all, was amusing. For an hour. A friend of mine was on the bill too though, so I couldn’t leave.
Went to see a well known space shuttle astronaut give a talk. He was nearly incoherent, and the gist of his intended remarks was a trite “reach for the stars, you can achieve your goals!” bit of nonsensical pap.
If that weren’t bad enough, I saw an Apollo astronaut give a presentation once at the Kennedy Space Center. He had an old fashioned slide show, and it was clear he’d been giving this exact talk for the past 45 years. Very disappointing.