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Love Your Music But Your Shows Suck...


Weirdness
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I have been thinking about this one for awhile. The latest Feist disc has gotten pretty high rotation around here as of late but as much as I dig the sound and the music on that disc, after checking out a bit of Feist at Hillside a year or so ago(06?) I ended up leaving as I thought that it was pretty weak. Seeing Feist on SNL last night made me think the same thing.

There are some other shows that I've seen in the past year that really didn't do it for me even though I love the studio stuff by the same artist. Cat Power and Josh Rouse come to mind right off the top. The National would qualify for me as well although you couldn't say it was a weak show.

Needless to say, some bands are more focused on their live performance, some are brilliant in the studio. Anyone else that you've seen whos music you love but the show left something to be desired???

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Keep in mind that Feist is still a relatively young performer...some artists need time to develop their stage personality and performance while others are naturals...

Norah Jones's 2005 DVD brings this to mind...incredible voice, incredible talent but she is the weakest "performer" on stage...again, she's a "young performer" and finding "her stage personality"

I have seen JSB a few times over the years and nothing really has changed performance-wise...

For anyone who caught Monday's Sisters show at the Orbit, all I can say is it was one of the best performances, shows and evenings I have witnessed in a very long time from any band...the room was packed like the "Christmas Runs" and they fuggin TORE IT UP!!!...from killer covers of Helpless & Southern Man to many new songs with "Frozen Land" with Kevin singing some great lyrics it is a birthday I will not soon forget...too bad Neil wasn't there to catch the fun ;)

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Most if not all of these artists produce music of the low-intensity variety. I wouldn't expect anything but a mellow night from Cat Power, Norah, Iron & Wine, the current Ryan Adams incarnation, Will Oldham, Bright Eyes etc... I'm going to The Swell Season on Friday and I won't be standing and rocking and neither will the rest of the audience. I do hope to be enchanted at an equal level as the movie Once, from which this duo starred.

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Keep in mind that Feist is still a relatively young performer...some artists need time to develop their stage personality and performance while others are naturals...

She's been performing on stage for 16 years.

But then again I disagree with the premise that she's weak live. :)

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I've seen some mellow stuff that was absolutely fantastic, Iron and Wine at Lolapalooza a couple of years back comes to mind and perhaps my greatest concert moment of all time was Richie Havens with tops 2 other performers on stage in the Pocanos a few years back. Sparse, mellow acoustic shit can be mind blowing if the performance is mind blowing. There aren't any specific rock shows that come to mind but it would be pretty easy to pick through the stubs and find a couple but the examples were more from recent memory.

I guess the point is that some artists really have it down pat in the studio and some have the live thing down to a science but not everyone can be brilliant both ways. With Kevin Breit in any incarnation, I absolutely love seeing him live as much as anyone I've ever gone to see but it doesn't always come off the same on the studio recordings in comparison to seeing it go down in person. Wilco would be the best example of a band who can really do both well. I wonder what Sufjan Stevens is like live, anyone seen him???

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Dearest Jaimoe,

Norah Jones?

Right you are, dulled I was. This particular show fits with Weirdness's question.

Ryan Adams?

You couldnt be more wrong. I was floored at both shows I saw in the past 6 months. One acoustic, one electric. Slower tempos do not automatically equal mellow. Many of my all-time favorite songs are ballads and I think they fucking rock.

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Dearest Jaimoe,

Norah Jones?

Right you are, dulled I was. This particular show fits with Weirdness's question.

Ryan Adams?

You couldnt be more wrong. I was floored at both shows I saw in the past 6 months. One acoustic, one electric. Slower tempos do not automatically equal mellow. Many of my all-time favorite songs are ballads and I think they fucking rock.

It's not what I was getting at. It's about vibe and how it relates to Weirdness' criteria. I know you didn't like Norah and I know that Ryan kicked ass when you saw him.

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Guest Low Roller
Modest Mouse.

The worst concert I've ever seen.

That's pretty much my answer as well. I was lucky enough to see a great show of theirs in Ottawa in 2004, but some of the stuff I've seen on Youtube is downright atrocious. They really have a Jeckyl and Hyde thing going.

Hip-hop music in general is pretty bad live as well... The albums are really crisply produced, but without the digital voice correction and multiple takes, the weakness of the artist really comes through.

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i dunno, i cant disagree with a lot of what people have posted here but i think its a bit unfair to say flat-out that a performer sucks live. whether you enjoy the show will largely depend on where you are sitting/standing; what sort of mood/condition you are in; your own knowledge and preference for the artist beforehand, etc., all regardless of the performance itself.

i would say the white stripes suck if you are seeing them from the back of the amphitheater, but they are one of the best live bands out there if you see them up close. i'd put ron sexsmith and feist into that category too, albeit very different genres. also, ive seen some phish shows that I just didnt enjoy live, but was blown away afterwards, and I attribute that to me not having been in a good mood while at the show.

and how you interpret the performance itself is also a large factor: ryan adams is sometimes a cry baby on stage. some people cant get past that. but he's a brilliant cry baby, and others focus on that. and then there's the simple matter of preference. I just dont like some of the artists mentioned here so im not likely to say they gave a great show.

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every modest mouse show i've seen has been great

there is lots of excellent live hip hop out there

there is lots of shitty performances of crappy music, shitty performances of excellent music, excellent performances of crappy music, and excellent performance of excellent music.

it's all subjective too.

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I agree that subjectivity plays a big part but it's entirely common for a music artist to suck in general, to suck in concert, to suck in the studio etc. There have been many examples through the years and without a doubt there will continue to be more. I'd have to really be a mess to enjoy a backstreet boys show. I also believe that it's possible to have all the right ideas and have the knack for songwriting but not be able to play for shit at the same time. You can do a ton of takes in the studio to get the one that goes onto the disc and of course they can do all kinds of touch ups before the final copy is released.

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ok, i'll give it a go.

in the last 3 years Joel Plaskett has really hit the dumps in both live shows and recordings.

smashing pumpkins (up until 94) made wicked records but sucked live. after 94 they sucked all round.

son volt - jay farrar relies far too much on volume in the live setting

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I really like the two studio albums Matt Mays has done with El Torpedo, but must confess to being disappointed the times I've seen the band live. They're a good band tho, so maybe, as someone suggests it was just me/the mood/the volume etc.

in the last 3 years Joel Plaskett has really hit the dumps in both live shows and recordings.

For folks who like Joel's earlier work - awhile back there was a lad who started a small independent label called Gooseberry Records.

Their only release to date, as far as I know, has been a tribute album to The Inbreds called We Are Friends.

They have now put out a call for submissions for an upcoming tribute to Thrush Hermit.

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