Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rant #18 - "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?"

I was going to do a couple more reviews for you guys today - but I honestly don't have time to run through two albums today. Combine that with the fact I haven't done a commentary piece in a while, I figure why not right?

I think I may have mentioned a couple times before has I'm such a fickle concert goer. Back in the day, I used to really enjoy it. I wouldn't even have to love a band all that much and I'd go see the show. At some point, concerts seemingly went up in price about 9 fold - and I determined it was no longer a good value for my money. That and I got to college and was broke. Today, I've been starting to go again. It started with my cousin graciously taking me to see STP last year since she had free tickets. And the experience blew my mind off. Then I hit the Experience Hendrix show - about two weeks later. Was also a great show. Devotees probably know my photo up top is of E, the mystical man behind the Eels, and this is really the meat of my quandary. I saw them live with my best good buddy last year. The concert was beyond amazing. Probably the most well done show I've ever been to. They are coming back to Milwaukee again in August - but he's going to be in Australia. Do I take someone who's not really all that into the band - you know, like me back in the day? Or do I just sit this one out?

Part of it is sitting back again and thinking about price and value of the show. Since I'm going to Florence + The Machine, Cage and Black Keys in a couple weeks at Summerfest, that's a big chunk of my concert budget right there. But what if that show doesn't meet my expectations? I think we've all been to at least one or two shows that you were really pumped for, and the band laid a complete egg. Maybe they were jet legged that night, maybe they're just not a good live show. Either way, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth when you're walking out of the venue. And that's part of the reason I stopped going back in the day. I hate it when I spend good money on a show, and then I don't hear one song I wanted to hear. Or they're just rolling around on stage for two hours and not really playing anything.

The question for you guys isn't concert specific, but in general - what do you think about going to shows? I know from personal experience that a couple readers really do enjoy going to shows. The question I have is, what makes that experience so delightful for you? Why no matter what the cost or where the venue is, would you pay to see your favorite band live without hesitation? 9 times out of 10 I'm going to turn it how many others are that way? Maybe I should do a poll or something. Anyways, just curious to get some feedback. I'll probably go to the Eels in August anyways, because I'm confident it'll be a solid show. But if the Summerfest show totally drops the ball - I'll think twice.


  1. I generally find going to shows incredibly disappointing. Often times, the bands today sound terrible. It's loud, hot, packed, annoying in general. However, observing the crowd, watching the dynamic between the fans and the band is a lot of fun. I used to do concert security, and went to a couple of different types of shows; Madison Blues Fest (a bunch of drunks), some reggie thing at the Orpheum (bunch of pot smokers), NSYNC at Miller Park (bunch of tweenies), Loverboy at Portage Canal Days (bunch of 45 year old ex-groupies), and the icing on the cake ICP (those fans are an interesting sort of crazy). I think that's the goal of concerts if I start going again. Maybe I should try to find another event security job, it was a great time (as long as you aren't front line at an ICP concert).

  2. That's an interesting take on it. It would be entertaining just to see the dynamics of each crowd. I think I'd be mostly irritated by most of those crowds. You know, basically any show that wasn't music I'd normally enjoy.

    I do think you should give shows another shot though. Because they might surprise you. Some bands genuinely put on a good show. Including bands I don't care for via cd. Deftones were a band I didn't really like, but their shows were awesome. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is spend a ton of money. Not really fun.

    Thanks for the post!

  3. The Dandy Warhols are a band that I never miss. They always put on a great show.

    Crowds can make or break a show though. Sometimes they piss me off - other times they are magical.

  4. I've heard of the Dandy Warhols, but never saw them live. In fact, I can't ever recall hearing them coming around Wisconsin.

    Crowd certainly does play into it. The second STP show I was at, the crowd was more casual fan, and now the die hards. So when they play deeper tracks and not "hits" - the crowd really just kind of sat back and wasn't into it. That was frustrating.

    Just out of curiosity, how did you stumble upon the blog? Since I have no idea who you might be - just always interesting to hear where others are.

  5. Classic case of hitting the ol' "next blog" button!
    Great blog by the way. I really like your reviews as they are quite varied in genre and I'm learning about heaps of music that I didn't know about when I was growing up. (I'm 32 now)

    Keep it up! Looking forward to your posts.


  6. Awesome! Glad to see people catch on that way. Seems most people are directed through Google.

    Thanks for the comments and the encouragement. It's a lot of fun going back to music I either forgot about or didn't hear from the 90's. Was such a great time for music.

    Feel free to drop anything in the box too if you have anything I've never got to. Or something oddball from today you're into. I love new stuff!