Monday, July 20, 2009

Why I Don't Go To Concerts Anymore

I was reading a review of Paul's weekend New York concert, and ran across this line:

He was sometimes drowned out by people heartily singing along to each word of every oldie.

This is exactly why I have pretty much stopped going to concerts anymore. This never used to happen 'back in the day'. I remember seeing all the big acts, Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Wings, The Rolling Stones...pretty much every major show in Portland throughout the 70's and early 80's. Nobody ever sang along.

Why do people insist on doing this? I think it's for a couple of reasons. One is that people no longer have any manners when it comes to imposing their idea of 'fun' on everyone around them.

Another is that the price of tickets is so astronomical, that fans feel they have to somehow convince themselves that every concert is a major event and that they are having a really good time. So they have to stand through the whole show, wave their arms and sing along to all of the songs.

It's idiotic. Sure, it's fine to cheer at the beginning and end of one of your favorites and dance around during a great rendition of a fast number. But nowadays, they do it for every song. It becomes meaningless. It cheapens the performance. Let's face it, even Paul has 'off' nights. But I'm sure the crowd reaction is exactly the same for his worst show and his best one.

Real fans want to watch and listen. To check out Paul's bass playing, or the way he interacts with the band. A real fan doesn't spend hundreds of dollars to be part of an orgy of phony exuberance.

Isn't this why the Beatles stopped touring back in 1966? Because you couldn't hear the music? Isn't it the same thing when the audience drowns out the vocals by singing along to everything?


Blogger therealshell said...

As a Canadian, I always used to sit quietly and sing along in my head at most concerts. Of late, I actually stand for pretty much the whole concert, and sing OUT LOUD on occasion. My back is usually killing me at the end of a concert. I haven't been to one since New Years' Eve 2008, when the wife and I saw Barenaked Ladies in Detroit. Good show, one of the last with Steve Page as lead singer.

6:13 PM  
Blogger John Goins said...

I like the Barenaked Ladies. 'It's All Been Done Before' is one of my fav tunes.

8:33 PM  

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