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How about disappointing concerts? Yer experience?


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Now, this is not to bash bands you don't like. The question is, what shows did you see that left you disappointed? Like really disappointed.

The top of my list is the Allman Bros at a late 70's St Louis arena show. A local radio station, KSHE 95, had a "birthday party" where the band played third/last on the bill. Tickets were $9.50 so totally sold out. Show started late. The All Bros took the stage around 11:30 and by then the arena was hotter than hell.  I mean, like 95* in there. Stuffy, smoky and it stunk. Concession stands were already closed. The band sounded horrible; they stumbled thru the first couple songs and then they very clearly just gave up. The following hour was the band sorta droning on with loooong notes and then more looooooong notes then more loooooooooong notes.  No vocals, no rhythm or tempo, no real songs, just drawn out bullshit noise. The crowd was mostly gone when we left around 1am. 

I always wondered what went wrong for the band that night. My first guess was too much Seconal but I dunno. 

Yer story?

 

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Imagine some of the last words you ever hear are "... BUT BOY GEORGE SAYS 'ANYTHING GOES'!"

Nah, he wasn't as cheery at that!

I think I found some backstage photos from that concert:

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Supertramp. Played for just over an hour, and you could tell they were just full of themselves and we should be privileged that they would allow us in the door and listen. This was at the gorge in george, wa with folding chairs down in the front rows. When the band finished a lady in the front row was grabbing chairs and throwing them screaming "I paid hundreds of dollars for this crap!".  

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Lyle Lovett and Bonnie Raitt.  I understand they were alternating headliners on that tour.  Lyle and the Large Band opened but only did about 4 numbers.  Bonnie sounded good, what I could hear of her.  The venue was a notorious echo palace and I had my doubts from the beginning.  I could see that the speakers were nicely arrayed and that the mixer was a way high quality job.  But in an effort to spare our ears from ourselves, they had the levels so low that they couldn't overcome the echo and the whole show was a garble.  I've seen some epic shows in that barn that sounded great, so I know it can be done.  Very disappointing in all.  I later saw Bonnie in a very good sounding hall and again, the levels so low that there was no punch or immediacy even in the middle of the room.  Very high quality sound system again, so I know it wasn't that.

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My second Pantera concert. The first was in Berlin 1992 or so with Megadeth as headliner - epic. The second was perhaps 1994 as headliner also Berlin. Unfortunately they confound the german beer with lite beer and were very drunk, Phil threw some beers to the fans and then accidentally hit the mixer. It needed 2 hours to go on, and they drunk a lot more during this time, smoked weed with the other bands and fans and surprise: after the repair Phil was too drunk / high to perform like he should,  the guitar sound was way too quiet and the whole show a huge disappointment. At this time I was a poor student (but a big fan, still today) and I decided to buy the CDs and videos (and guitar stuff :)) instead of burning the money with concerts like this. I saw later only Vinnie for one time drumming in a supporting Band for StoneSour. Now my heroes are gone, so I regret my decision a bit.

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Violent Femmes 1985 the Grotto in New Haven. My wife has a totally different take on the show, we would meet almost a decade later and fall in love. They were sloppy, no charisma, no fun, then played a jazzy version of Pipeline. I walked in so excited and walked out so excited to be away from them.

Marshall Crenshaw in Nashville 1997/8. I kinda like his sort of pop/rock, but in the past I left a show at the New Haven Green, but it was to go to a better show. Nashville, he was in sweat pants and very condescending, he despised the audience. What really sucked was this was one of the few shows we could go to in Nashville, as we were destitute at the time.

The Cure at the Palace in New Haven, 1986. It was me, I rather liked the Anchor bar next door (scotch alert) over the dry theater. I love their material, but not their fanbase,  but it was pretty booooring.  

Three shows out of so many is pretty amazing. I conservatively estimate I saw three shows a week for a decade (1981-1991) as music was the thing in my life. I missed a good number of shows because there were better ones within reach. I also worked in a great bar the Night Shift in Naugatuck, CT. I don't count shows I worked, including Sonic Youth, These Immortal Souls, Dinosaur JR, Flaming Lips, Bo Diddley, Huber Sumlin, a long list there too. 

I went to some shows where I did not like the style of music, but that's on me, right? Some bands were great with the audience. 

I miss the 80s for all the quality shows that so many places had

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                                       Eric Johnson at the  "MIRAGE" club in Minneapolis.................. Derek Trucks was the guest artist. The sound was muddy and uneven from side to side in the club and waaaaaaaay too loud. Whoever was running the sound had it together a little better toward the very end but then it was almost over. It was Eric's first performance here in Minnesota along with Derek Truck's who are both fine guitarists at the top of their game so it was a let down. The playing was great by both but the sound quality ruined the  show for me.
 

Edited by ARM OF HAMER
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Alex Chilton did a solo show at the Cotton Club in Atlanta.  If you did not know he had been successful before you would have never guessed it.  He was bumming cigarettes from the stage.  He was just going through the songs.  Nothing really stood out.  Maybe I just saw him on a bad night. 

The second and third times seeing Ratt were a little worse each time.  When Stephen Pearcy explained that dates were added to a tour, and that we were lucky they played a show for us because they were ready to go home, my thought was they were lucky they had fans showing up.  Back then Pearcy talked down to the audience.  He has changed since then. 

Sebastian Bach was a super loser on stage the one time I saw Skid Row while he was still in the band back in 1992.  The band played great.  Bach was trying to act cool, but failed.  He tripped over his own feet, so he flipped off someone on the crew as if to say it was not his fault he stumbled.  He had no idea what to say to the audience, so he talked like he had a script.  Skid Row was better off without Bach no matter how well he sang.  Johnny Sollinger replaced Bach and always respected the audience. 

Ozzy Osbourne has hired great players.  The bands have practiced.  Ozzy never has.  If the bands were hiring singers there would have been no Ozzy. 

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Aerosmith in '77 or '78 (can't remember - too many dead brain cells ago).  I was so excited to see one of the bands that inspired me to pick up the guitar.  They were horrible.  I hardly recognized Walk This Way and it was one of my favorite guitar songs at the time.  I know they've publicly admitted they were heavy abusers during that era and played many shows under the influence.  I'm pretty sure the one I attended was one of them.  Definitely the biggest disappointment of all the shows I've seen over the years.

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Back around 1979 or 1980 an older friend said Aerosmith was his favorite band until he saw them a couple of years earlier.  They were so bad that he left the show early. 

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Lou Reed’s Rock and Roll Heart tour. I knew Hunter and Wagner were not with him anymore but Lou on guitar and his backing band just sucked the air out of the place. 

A late 70’s Aerosmith concert. They were wasted. The crowd knew it. It was 2 days after the Fourth of July and some of the crowd had fireworks on them.  It became ugly real fast. 
 


 

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Bob Dylan and that singer he was smooching for a while (Edie Brickell?) at some venue in Madrid, ES. All I heard all night was "nnneegghhh, nneeggjjjee, neeyah" echoing, echoing.... Saw 10 Years After same place, NO sound problems.

String Cheese Incident at a club in Norfolk, VA.

Me: Can you turn the bass down?

Soundman (set back in an alcove that basically made him sit in a small room with a wall that opening on the back of the venue): WHAT? YOU WANT MORE BASS!

Me: uh, no.

Soundman: BASSS BAASSSS! YEA MORE BASSS. BASS FOR EVERYONE!

SCI: BOOM< BOOOPM BOOOMMM tinkle, BOOOM.

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10 minutes ago, princeofdarkness56 said:

Lou Reed’s Rock and Roll Heart tour. I knew Hunter and Wagner were not with him anymore but Lou on guitar and his backing band just sucked the air out of the place. 

A late 70’s Aerosmith concert. They were wasted. The crowd knew it. It was 2 days after the Fourth of July and some of the crowd had fireworks on them.  It became ugly real fast. 
 


 

I saw him on the blue mask tour with Robert Quine, was amazing.

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Little Feat at the Iron Horse in Northampton MA back in the '00s.  Steve Earle was also playing the same night a block or two away at Pearl Street.  Needless to say, LF got butt hurt that the promoter would book both acts on the same night in the same town and proceeded to whine about it all night while playing a less than enthusiastic set.

 

Bob Dylan in '86 at UMASS Spring concert.  He was obviously too drunk and the sound was such shit you couldn't make out a damn thing he said, although I don't think he actually said anything, it was more of a mumble.  Beastie Boys at the same show, again, sound quality so bad you couldn't make anything out other than a bunch of noise. 

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26 minutes ago, JGale said:

Bob Dylan and that singer he was smooching for a while (Edie Brickell?) at some venue in Madrid, ES. All I heard all night was "nnneegghhh, nneeggjjjee, neeyah" echoing, echoing.... Saw 10 Years After same place, NO sound problems.

String Cheese Incident at a club in Norfolk, VA.

Me: Can you turn the bass down?

Soundman (set back in an alcove that basically made him sit in a small room with a wall that opening on the back of the venue): WHAT? YOU WANT MORE BASS!

Me: uh, no.

Soundman: BASSS BAASSSS! YEA MORE BASSS. BASS FOR EVERYONE!

SCI: BOOM< BOOOPM BOOOMMM tinkle, BOOOM.

A very nice, high-endish club in town contacted the studio where I worked looking for some help with their sound. They had quite a number of mid-line acts come through that left complaining about the sound, vowing never to return.  I went over.  They had, for the most part, some nice gear, but the mixer was shite.  They ran me some recorded tracks and I walked the stage and the room and, really, I couldn't find anything disastrous, nothing that would send the talent out into the night screaming.  Then they pointed to the "sound booth".  It was much like you'd expect a DJ booth to be and, of course, the sound changed completely.  So, of course, if you got it sounding good in the booth, the room and the monitors were going to be bleedin' awful.  I told then the single best thing they could do would be to knock that booth down.  the response was: "but, but, that's the DJ booth on non band nights".  I told them that no amount of equipment was going to fix their issues short of losing the DJ boo9th or moving the live audio station.  Never heard back.

I went to a couple of shows shortly thereafter just to double check myself.  The bands were acts I was familiar with, I had worked with in the studio, etc.  Their impressions were not positive.  One guy I knew pretty well and who went on to form Survivor commented "Man, I wish you were mixing the show". I pointed out the fundamental shortcomings of the place and being pretty savvy himself, agreed that it was pretty well doomed from the get-go.

The place was closed inside of a year.

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Most disappointing...  The Replacements at the Channel in Boston...   right up front, in front of Westerberg, and Bob

Stinson was still in the band,  think it might have been the Tim?  album...  was he playing a green hamer?  I can't

remember but they sounded great...   People started slam dancing and I got fingered as being the perp and was

thrown out after the second or third song,   I dindonuthin!! I was watching Bob Stinson...     Once you've been thrown 

out, the bouncers or managers don't really want to hear about it.  There really isn't a due process for people who

are thrown out of a club... lol     

 

   Disappointing for an actual band that I saw?   Waysted,  on the Motley Crue and Ozzy Tour.    Pete was my

idol at the time,  he was a true pro but his young band was not ready for prime time and was clearly overwhelmed

by the big stage...   shame cos I liked that first album.    Too hot and Only you can rock me, saved them from being

booed off the stage...    Pete quickly made lineup changes after that.   Next year Theatre of pain came out, and Nikki

is wearing polka dot pajamas and playing a T-bird.    

 

   

Edited by DaveL
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Led Zeppelin "Day on the Green" 1977... they sounded awful!.. 2 Roadies had to hold up Jimmy Page as he was too drunk to stand & play... John Bonham got arrested for beating a roadie with a drumstick

Opening band Derringer a young Judas Priest saved the day 

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6 hours ago, tomteriffic said:

Lyle Lovett and Bonnie Raitt.  I understand they were alternating headliners on that tour.  Lyle and the Large Band opened but only did about 4 numbers.  Bonnie sounded good, what I could hear of her.  The venue was a notorious echo palace and I had my doubts from the beginning.  I could see that the speakers were nicely arrayed and that the mixer was a way high quality job.  But in an effort to spare our ears from ourselves, they had the levels so low that they couldn't overcome the echo and the whole show was a garble.  I've seen some epic shows in that barn that sounded great, so I know it can be done.  Very disappointing in all.  I later saw Bonnie in a very good sounding hall and again, the levels so low that there was no punch or immediacy even in the middle of the room.  Very high quality sound system again, so I know it wasn't that.

Oh man that sucks! Lyle Lovett is great live, I was spoiled and got to see him in a great venue, the place here in town where they have classical music, really nice theatre. It was with the Large band and they really brought it. 

If you ever get the chance to see him again in a better venue, I wouldn't miss it! I'm a huge Lyle fan, one of the best voices ever in my opinion. 

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Two come to my mind:

July 31st 1987- David Bowie's Glass Spider tour at Philly's Vet Stadium. Just awful- the acoustics in there sucked for a concert of that magnitude. Really sounded horrific. Seeing it in daytime likely took away from much of the visual spectacle as well. Lose/lose.

Sept 25 2019- Alter Bridge at the Met Philly-  Sound mix was dicey to start with. Mark's guitar sounded like shit- complete loss of dynamics- more so than one normally endures at a live show with a shit ton of volume. But when Myles voice gave out midway thru the 3d song of the set, I knew it wasn't gonna end well. That's a no win situation- the band and the fans get a bum deal. I actually left after the 5th song where they were alternating between Mark Tremonti singing and almost exclusively crowd led. Yeah, no thanks.

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2 hours ago, eddonordo said:

Aerosmith in '77 or '78

 

2 hours ago, Steve Haynie said:

Back around 1979 or 1980 an older friend said Aerosmith

 

2 hours ago, princeofdarkness56 said:

A late 70’s Aerosmith concert. They were wasted. The crowd knew it.

 

A pattern is developing... Need to ask Night Bob about this...

77 ish, (I have the ticket stub around here somewhere) Metradome, billings, I was so excited, Aerosmith was so f*&cking F&^cked up. It was bad...

But! not all a lost! the little unknown just breaking out warm up band from Australia Kicked major ass !! AC/DC was incredible, unforgettable.

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2 hours ago, eddonordo said:

Aerosmith in '77 or '78 (can't remember - too many dead brain cells ago).  I was so excited to see one of the bands that inspired me to pick up the guitar.  They were horrible.  I hardly recognized Walk This Way and it was one of my favorite guitar songs at the time.  I know they've publicly admitted they were heavy abusers during that era and played many shows under the influence.  I'm pretty sure the one I attended was one of them.  Definitely the biggest disappointment of all the shows I've seen over the years.

I'd also add that to my list of shit shows. Aerosmith in Pittsburgh ('86 I think) Done with Mirrors tour. Civic Arena. This was prior to Tyler and Perry going into rehab. The mix was sub par and Tyler, in particular, sound like shit. This was never more evident than when he did their break out hit/crowd pleaser Dream On. It was painful to hear him try.

 

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1 hour ago, tomteriffic said:

A very nice, high-endish club in town contacted the studio where I worked looking for some help with their sound. They had quite a number of mid-line acts come through that left complaining about the sound, vowing never to return.  I went over.  They had, for the most part, some nice gear, but the mixer was shite.  They ran me some recorded tracks and I walked the stage and the room and, really, I couldn't find anything disastrous, nothing that would send the talent out into the night screaming.  Then they pointed to the "sound booth".  It was much like you'd expect a DJ booth to be and, of course, the sound changed completely.  So, of course, if you got it sounding good in the booth, the room and the monitors were going to be bleedin' awful.  I told then the single best thing they could do would be to knock that booth down.  the response was: "but, but, that's the DJ booth on non band nights".  I told them that no amount of equipment was going to fix their issues short of losing the DJ boo9th or moving the live audio station.  Never heard back.

I went to a couple of shows shortly thereafter just to double check myself.  The bands were acts I was familiar with, I had worked with in the studio, etc.  Their impressions were not positive.  One guy I knew pretty well and who went on to form Survivor commented "Man, I wish you were mixing the show". I pointed out the fundamental shortcomings of the place and being pretty savvy himself, agreed that it was pretty well doomed from the get-go.

The place was closed inside of a year.

Churches have had this weird pattern of having the PA mixer in a separate room.  Sometimes there is a booth or a room with a glass for someone to see through, but some churches have had the mixer in a separate room with no connection to the main sanctuary or performance area at all.  If some of these church leaders think that God does not like the sight of a mixer in the same room where someone holds a microphone while preaching and praying then they need to show where that is commanded in the Bible.  Installers from the store where I worked would tell the church people that the mixer needs to be in the same room as the PA speakers, but some of them would not let that happen. 

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2 hours ago, JGale said:

Bob Dylan and that singer he was smooching for a while (Edie Brickell?) at some venue in Madrid, ES. All I heard all night was "nnneegghhh, nneeggjjjee, neeyah"

Saw Dylan in the around '89 in Charlotte and came away with the same impression. Steve Earle opened, and he and his band were on fire.  Great set. Should have bugged out after Earle finished. 

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No contest for me, really:  Van Halen in Greensboro in 2007...basically the return of the original VH, minus Mike Anthony.  I was stoked, as I never really liked the Van Hagar era.  They'd opened the tour the night before (or two nights before) in Charlotte IIRC.  While I realize the first couple of shows of a tour tend to have some techincal bugs and issues, the sound mix in Greensboro was just pure shit.  Alex's bass drums came through the FOH as a distorted mess virtually overpowering the rest of the mix. The band actually played well from what little I could discern (even Wolf) and Dave was a tad more restrained in his vaudeville schtick than I'd anticipated, but having those guys right in front me playing the best of their first six albums--but not really being able to hear it or enjoy it--was a cruel trick.  The coup de grace came during the encore.  The band's back-to-basics approach had Ed playing guitar and no keys.  So, when they attempted to play "Jump", the pre-recorded synth track was at least a full step off-key from where the band was actually tuned on stage.  And they never adjusted it throughout the whole damn song.  You can imagine how that sounded.

What a fucking mess.  What a wasted opportunity.

Edited by Biz Prof
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Did I ever tell you folks about being psyched to go see Styx back in the day, and getting Kilroy Was Hered?  Oh, I did?  Well, that.  "JY started the show with a guitar solo" - what?  And it descended from there.

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