Criteria for a good “Show”

28 03 2009
Hey everyone,  I moved my blog b/c WordPress is better…
First, let me apologize for 2 things.
1. Sorry I don’t blog much.
2. Sorry my blogs are too long.
I promise to work on fixing both of those.
ANYWHO…Last night I went to a Butch Walker Show (or concert depending on who you ask and what kind of “scene” they are portraying). It was incredible. Butch Walker is a rock star. Not to the level of Mick Jagger or Bono, nor would he consider himself even remotely nearing their stratosphere, nonetheless rock star. So much so that he seems oblivious to it. Anyway the show was so good that it inspired me to share a few thoughts on what makes a show/concert transcendent. Mind you these are opinions, but being a self-proclaimed music snob/critic, I think they are pretty savvy. Some are glaringly obvious, others more subtle but as you read them you will hopefully think to yourself “yep.”
Here goes.
Criterion for a quality “Show” (apart from merely being music you like played live)
1. The Artist or band need to not be sick of touring– i.e. first few shows of a tour or the very last are best, or in this case the artist’s hometown…there’s nothing worse than when you show up to hear a song you love and the artist is so sick of singing it that they change it completely so it’s barely recognizable from the original recording

2. A healthy mix of old and new stuff– what a tragedy when you are an “old school” fan and all they want to do is promote the new cd that frankly isn’t as good. (not the case last night)

3. Stage presence– it’s one of those things that is almost intangible, that is until someone shows up with none, case in point the lead guitarist last night- face melting guitar solos, expressionless face, also (see Danielle Young from Caedmon’s Call, sorry I know it’s apples and wolverines, but still)

4. The people you are with- need to like the band and their songs, not be pissed about spending money on tickets, and be able to appreciate good music when they hear it. also a bonus is if they see the humor in cougars on the prowl and borderline ‘little people’ who are tipsy

5. The Artist/Band Sound good- this one seems almost painfully obvious, but I saw Third Eye Blind at Centennial Park in downtown ATL, and Stephan Jenkins couldn’t hit a single high note in Semi-Charmed life, it was painful. Proof that the studio can do great things to a mediocre voice…

and last but certainly not least…

6. Interaction with the Audience- There is a very fine line between fluid crowd interaction and an artist that has mistaken their role and is trying to be too charming and funny, and ends up being smarmy… I know I’m gonna catch flak for this but as much as I enjoy their music, Dave Barnes and Matt Wertz, and even Chris Thile at times, yikes guys, play your songs I didn’t pay to hear you talk…

that’s all for today…
Cheers

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2 responses

31 03 2009
Jason Harwell

This should be a class musicians should have to take. And you, obviously, should be the professor.

3 04 2009
micah

I agree, especially with the fact that Butch Walker is ridiculously entertaining. I saw him in his Marvelous 3 days & at that time he would seamlessly blend inbetween song banter & stories right into the songs themselves. He also stormed the stage to thumping hip hop beats, lots of smoke & a red thriller-esque leather jacket. Rock star indeed.

I also agree that #4 is of the utmost importance, a crappy show with good people still makes for a great night.

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