Thursday, February 19, 2009

Annoying Things About Live Shows

I've been watching this channel called Palladia. It's an MTV-owned high-def station for concerts and whatnot. I've seen some good ones, but they also remind me of what I can't stand and will never comprehend about live shows. Perhaps you guys have opinions on this.

The number one thing I hate about live shows is when the lead singer decides to stick the microphone out towards the audience, allowing the audience to "perform." It usually happens at the best parts of a song. And it renders the song un-listenable. While the prospect of thousands of people singing a song all at once sounds enticing, it never blends in well. The audience does not have the power of the lead singer. Now, if you stuck a hundred or so microphones around the venue, you might get a decent result, but what a waste, really.

I instantly get angry when I see this practice. It happens in roughly 90% of the concerts that I attend or watch on TV. Whether it's for a short bit or for choruses, it happens. They can't resist.

Another thing I hate, mostly: slower versions of high-powered songs. If you want to be artistic with your song, make it a special single, but don't do it at a one-chance concert where people are paying to see you and the songs they enjoy as-is. If you can make your song better by making it slower, I'm all for it. But for the most part, it seems like diva trash to change your fast song to a slow one.

And somewhat related to that: there are subtle flourishes in the composition of a song that are almost always lost come concert time. I don't know if the band simply can't recreate these things--some I know they can't...but sometimes the way a singer sings a song on the album has that little variation you know and love and then at the concert he or she will sing it in a way that I describe as "going through the motions." Sorry, I don't think you're putting in the effort.

And I know, it's tough playing shows every night and the same songs over and over and all that. But be a professional and go out there and do songs the way people know them. We're not expecting the exact studio recording or anything, but at least adherence to the song's basic details.

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