Rock Gigs Not Very Rock Anymore?

TomasHakkesBrain

Senior Member
So went to my first couple of rock/metal gigs in about 5 years recently. Wow, very different atmosphere it seems now. They werent quiet rock bands, but there was general surprise when people were chatting or making any noise during the tunes.

Literally no one drinking because the beer was insanely pricey, hardly anyone moving (they were good bands!) and just generally feeling like you are at a bus stop. Lots of hipsters in flannel shirts and glasses smoking e cigarettes.

Im not one for Motley Crue style partying, and i do like to enjoy the band, but the atmosphere was just so stale. Just wondered what your thoughts on gigs these days are.
 

_Leviathan_

Senior Member
That was my impression at the last local show I went to. I checked out a metal show, and people were pretty much chatting, using their cell phones, and all but ignoring the extremely loud music in the relatively small venue. Barely any applause, barely any audience response at all. I just don't get it, personally. Why go to a show if you aren't going to be the slightest bit engaged in the music? You might as well just be hanging out and playing with your cell phone along to a jukebox.
 

rtliquid

Senior Member
I guess it depends on the definition of "gig" and/or "show". I haven't been to a concert (where the sole purpose is to see/hear the band) in quite awhile. Most of the gigs that I attend or play (bars, restaurants, clubs, etc), yes, most people are looking down at their phones (actually, most of civilization is looking down at their phones), and the band gets very little attention. Little applause, little attention or even acknowledgement. Basically no difference whether the band is playing or the jukebox / house music is on during the breaks.
 

TomasHakkesBrain

Senior Member
I guess it depends on the definition of "gig" and/or "show". I haven't been to a concert (where the sole purpose is to see/hear the band) in quite awhile. Most of the gigs that I attend or play (bars, restaurants, clubs, etc), yes, most people are looking down at their phones (actually, most of civilization is looking down at their phones), and the band gets very little attention. Little applause, little attention or even acknowledgement. Basically no difference whether the band is playing or the jukebox / house music is on during the breaks.
For both a big local band and a famous international band. I concur re phones too. I love my phone but theres a band playing out of basic courtesy i wont be looking at it all the time.
 

brady

Platinum Member
For both a big local band and a famous international band. I concur re phones too. I love my phone but theres a band playing out of basic courtesy i wont be looking at it all the time.
I've been to quite a few gigs where the sole purpose of it was to sit and enjoy the music. Well, that or a dinner maybe, but you get my point.

Hearing stories like the ones mentioned here make me understand more and more why some artists ban cell phones at their shows. I think it goes beyond not wanting some "unauthorized" video ending up on Youtube.

These people, excluding most of pop music, have worked hard at their craft and are performing to the best of their abilities at every gig. The least you could do is at least act like you appreciate the band you came to see.
 

drummerjims

Senior Member
I see this all the time when I am playing out. It is so hard to get an audience reaction. However one thing I have noticed is that it seems like they are not paying attention during the show but afterwards they are super psyched to tell you how much they enjoyed it and to go into detail about it. So it is a new audience however I still see the occasional drunk person usually age 21-30 or 50-70 enjoying the music way too much.
 

TomasHakkesBrain

Senior Member
I see this all the time when I am playing out. It is so hard to get an audience reaction. However one thing I have noticed is that it seems like they are not paying attention during the show but afterwards they are super psyched to tell you how much they enjoyed it and to go into detail about it. So it is a new audience however I still see the occasional drunk person usually age 21-30 or 50-70 enjoying the music way too much.
Yeah there is always one crazy guy.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Some of the hard core punk and metal I've heard over the last year or so has been borderline unlistenable to...

Basically a cacophony of the most horrendous sounding discord possible with a lead singer singing "gggggggbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbddddddddddggggggggg DEATH hdddgggggggggggdddddddddd SATAN"

I listen to some of that garbage and it makes absolute sense to me that people would be looking on their phones...probably playing Candy Crush
 

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
I find that in big cities, people are too cool to dance, especially in the hipster age. People that are into live music in DC are into indie hipster rock stuff, if anything. I was once told my band wasn't "weird enough" to play the famous Black Cat, hipster ground zero.

When I gig out in small towns in Virginia, people love live music because they aren't so hung up on being cool. Maybe they aren't career people and they just want to cut loose. They dance all night and get crazy and don't care. That's fun peeps to play for.

I also find people in their 40s and 50s love to dance. Younger people might dance at a rave, but they ain't shakin their ass to Tom Petty and Zeppelin songs.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
drummerjims;1249968 one thing I have noticed is that it seems like they are not paying attention during the show but afterwards they are super psyched to tell you how much they enjoyed it and to go into detail about it.[/QUOTE said:
Because the show now is all about THEM and that THEY were THERE. Facebook it...instagram it....Tell everybody its me, and now.....

I'm so pleased to hear cell phones are banned at some shows. Very wise way to avoid so many self absorbed folks out there now with all these devices.
 

_Leviathan_

Senior Member
Because the show now is all about THEM and that THEY were THERE. Facebook it...instagram it....Tell everybody its me, and now.....

I'm so pleased to hear cell phones are banned at some shows. Very wise way to avoid so many self absorbed folks out there now with all these devices.
Nail on head! People too busy on the Twitter-verse to put their phone in their pocket and direct their undivided attention to the stage like people..... actually excited to watch musicians express themselves.
 

uhtrinity

Senior Member
My band has been playing the local bar scene for the last year or so and we see a similar response, but as a few mentioned those same people who seemed to be too busy using their phones later compliment us on the show. Thinking it is just a millennial generation thing.
 
G

gf2564

Guest
This should probably go in the Unpopular Drummer's Opinion thread but, here goes. As someone who has been on both sides of the band thing for many years, that is, as management that hires bands and as a drummer in a band being hired, this is very common. With the exception of concert type bands like Bermuda plays in (or plays, symphony, broad way type shows, etc.) and some festival type events, bands are GENERALLY hired for two reasons. 1) To provide some nice background and hopefully a little dance motivation or in bar situations,2) to bring people in who will buy drinks; it that's simple! To add insult to injury, most patrons pay very little attention to the band until they get drunk enough to want to dance. I learned this many years ago and have accepted it as the way it is. Of course it is always great to play those gigs when people really do get into the band! That just seems to be more the exception than the rule. Perhaps this is just speaks to the talent level of my bands, but I have seen it with other musicians who were much better than my groups!

We have all seen/heard "popular" local bands who are hired a lot that aren't necessarily the best musicians. The reason they consistently get hired is because they put butts in the chairs and the cash register is ringing. Yes, there has to be a certain talent level and showmanship (what I have also found that song selection is more important than most everything else!), but it is a revenue thing. As we all know, it is a self perpetuating thing, especially if you can get the girls to come! The guys will come and so will others to be where things are happening. Again, it is USUALLY more about the social side for people than coming specifically for the band. I am not sure that our true "fans" pay as much attention to us as we think or they let on!

I had this big debate with a band mate many years ago (and we were basically a "bar band"). His position was were "partners" with the bar and thus had more input into when we started, stopped, how loud we played, etc. I can tell you, from the management's perspective, we are an independent contractor HIRED by the establishment (And unfortunately, due to many of the attitudes and lack of professionalism by SOME bands, we are considered a necessary evil, certainly not a partner!) . As such, the establishment makes those type decisions. Yes, in a perfect world there would be more of a "partnership", but we ain't living in a perfect world!

OK, sorry to alienate some, but sadly, that is the way many bar owners/managers and patrons view us!
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
In the last year or so I've been to 2 very different concerts at the same venue.

Last year I went to see Chris Isaak. I wasn't aware of anybody not giving the stage their full attention.

This year I went to see Ed Kowalczyk (songwriter for Live). The support act was a strange choice for a grunge/rock act. Female singer with acoustic guitar. She was competent if a little unexciting. But man, while she was pouring her heart out, most of the audience was taking selfies, book-facing, insta-twitting and pretty much doing everything but pay attention to the stage. Like others have posted, pretty rude.

Bah! Get off my lawn etc.
 
G

gf2564

Guest
OK. At least this here makes sense.
Sorry you don't see/agree with my point of view. Perhaps it is different where you are or the places you play. I am mostly speaking of bar gigs, private parties, wedding receptions, etc., which is what the majority of us do. Maybe at your gigs the audience (and management) sit on the edge of their seats with eyes glued to the stage waiting for every note to be played. If so, you are very fortunate and should be very thankful. My guess is, if you are playing the type of gigs I mentioned, probably not.......
 
Last edited:

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I saw Lacuna Coil at the Roxy last week.

Despite the fact it was a Tuesday night, drinks were flowing, and pit broke out.
It was pretty rocking.
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
Two of the bands that I play in adhere to the philosophy "Wiggles for Adults". Both are cover bands that incorporate original material but at many shows we leave the originals to a minimum for the most part. I believe it is the band's job to engage the audience in any manner possible.

That said, I do play in a originals band that always seems to have less crowd enthusiasm than the other two. There are die-hard fans ,(read: friends), but there never is that great energy from the crowd it seems. It's a tough old world, but the cover bands get the repeat gigs and the other not so much.

I agree with gf about the contract idea when it comes to playing venues. Hired help.....hired to get the drinks sold. And truly, if you get the chicks there, the dudes will be there as well.

With this technology we see a greater ability to self indulge. So much information available is distracting, big time. But I don't worry about others. If they want their head stuck up their butt it ain't my problem.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to the pub to be seen playing with my phone.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Maybe going to watch bands is a tired cliche for some of us and people are being more authentic. Or they're confused about what they actually like. I'm sure plenty of the hipsters are just there to say they went and make it known on social media.

Personally I can't be bothered as much anymore, too much travel, standing around waiting (so that everyone buys drinks), people knocking into you.

That said, the crowd was jumping at the last concert I saw, and the jam nights I've been going to are filled with genuine musical appreciation. I can't wait to watch King Crimson in June.. I doubt there will be any screaming, stomping, beer spilling twerps there.
 
Top