Is live music dead?

aydee

Platinum Member
What would happen if the economy was all of a sudden really great, for years, and people had cash to spend.

Would live music make a comeback?

Gosh I sure would like to think so.

Great to see you here Abe.
Hey, thanks Larry, yup Im kind of like the Oliver Ridley turtle of DW now .. beaching once every so often. I hear you'll be partying with the Drum tycoon from across the pond soon.

I agree with the point you are making behind that rhetorical question.. its not just spending money. Its a little bit of everything thats been said here. Maybe the time has moved on?
 

opentune

Platinum Member
When people couldn't smoke in pubs anymore, pretty much attendance dropped about 50% in my area.
Well I was all for ridding clubs and public places of smoking. I understand people want or need to smoke, but do it in your own space.

Smoking is not killing it. We have grown a society that wants stuff cheap and/or free, and values music coming out a laptop over paid-for live music on stage, or values home movies on a flatscreen over going out to see one.

The great majority who used to go have to out for entertainment are all hanging out inside now, on an IV with computers/internet (like I am doing as I type this).
 

aydee

Platinum Member
I've been saying that for years.Younger players,with huge ego's to stroke,(Like 16 yo guitar "wizes" that go to guitar center and attempt to shred and amaze the whole place)will play for free....for the old,"you'll get exposure" line.Plenty of venue owners have a tin ear,and as long as there's a live band making noise,it's all good,especially if it's free.

But it's never free.There's a price,and expenses,that the band incures,with the cost of instruments,PA,transportation,rehersal space....the list goes on,and lets not forget the time it takes,to be able to play your instrument,at an acceptabe skill level.

When I was 15 or 16,I was in my first "serious" band.We played dances,parties ect,and we got paid 25-35 bucks a man.That's in late 60's early 70's bucks.

Open mic nights aside,if you're playing for free,you're cutting the throat of band that want's to play for a living.

Steve B
Steve, I think you nailed it. A vicious downward spiral of quality of entertainment and therefore lack of involvement of listenership.

Clinking glasses, jokes and laughter, cheesy pick up lines, and some thump thump and overcranked PA in the background. Thats all the world wants. ( Throw in some spilled beer sticking to the soles of your shoes, and its a fun night out )
 
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Acidline303

Senior Member
In short, I think it has much more to do with the fact that for better or worse, bands are now required to divvy their creative energies into being promoters, canvassers, social media experts, Youtube revenue stream analysts, screen printers, and site designers.

It seems like people value succeeding at these areas resonating in the DIY ethos, that it's easy to get so caught up in it that you've put your soul into everything BUT the the live show. Worse, by that point some musicians feel like they've done so much work that they're owed an enthusiastic, hot crowd.

Just getting the peeps to the venue is, obviously, not the end of the battle.

You can't just blame DJs either. I've got one foot firmly planted in that scene (underground electronic not Top 40) and they have to do just as much to get work and bring crowds that pop.
 

aydee

Platinum Member
THis totally matches my experience playing in bar bands for 25ish years too. When people couldn't smoke in pubs anymore, pretty much attendance dropped about 50% in my area.
I agree that thats when things slowed down, but could that be a coincidence? Back then one could smoke in public, restaurants, cabs.. it didnt stop them from using cabs or eating out?
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Well I was all for ridding clubs and public places of smoking. I understand people want or need to smoke, but do it in your own space.

Smoking is not killing it. We have grown a society that wants stuff cheap and/or free, and values music coming out a laptop over paid-for live music on stage, or values home movies on a flatscreen over going out to see one.

The great majority who used to go have to out for entertainment are all hanging out inside now, on an IV with computers/internet (like I am doing as I type this).
Yeah, I don't think the smoking ban is to blame. I live in Idaho, where it is still legal to smoke in bars. There are bars that choose to be smoke free, and interestingly enough, they tend to have higher attendance than the smoking bars.

I just think society has changed, and music is not valued the same way it once was, particularly not live music.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
Not in my area. Pubs, clubs, outdoor festivals and loads of bands. We have a magazine dedicated to the local music scene and a website that covers all the district bands and venues so you can check who is playing where.
 

deltdrum

Senior Member
I live in Boise, Idaho. All of the good bands that I know get paid, and the ones aren't good usually end up with gigs on Tuesday afternoons.

Right now it seems like the majority of the music culture is centered around music festival based electronic acts (electronic music, edm, dubstep, etc). I'm sure that will change again soon. Just like hip-hop completely shook up the industry 30 years ago, I'm sure another art form will come around in a few years.

In the same way that a lot of us spent countless hours of our youth on a practice pad and metronome, there were a lot of dudes out there spending all of their waking hours learning the in's and outs of electronic music production, and I honestly think it's cool that these people are getting a chance to get their work out. It's all music to me, the instrument just changed.

Lately, I've noticed that instruments are a bit on the rise again though. The sampled side of hip-hop is starting to get more jazzy and organic. A lot of rappers and electronic artists are starting to bring actual instruments (especially drums) into their acts.

Sorry for rambling a bit. I just don't think that things are as grim as other people do. I go out on a weekly basis and get floored by local and touring bands that make good money.

Shameless plug: Ya'll should buy a ticket and come to Treefort Music Festival in Boise next month. It's a blast. Well worth the expensive ticket.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
It's a variety of factors.

1) Technology eliminated the need for many gigs. From when jazz and rock became a thing up through the 60's and into the 70's, bands could gig at strip clubs, dinner clubs, school dances, and really anywhere where someone wanted background music.

But the as modern stereos, speakers and DJ equipment improved, most of these gigs were eliminated. And face, no one went to a strip club or a dinner club for the band, they went for the experience, which could just as easily be made with piped in music. School dances found it easier and perhaps more entertaining, to have a DJ play top hits rather than a local band slog through cover tunes.

Even in my 20's in the 90's, I gigged at a ton of bars where it was pretty obvious the band was just in the background. The people sitting at the bar at the end of the night were the same people who were there drinking when we set up. They came for the alcohol and social factor, not because there was a band there. Sub in jukebox system, the bar saves money, and people still come to drink.

2) Karaoke. People who do go out to clubs often choose karaoke bars where they can sing along to pre-recorded tracks. No need for a band. There are a ton of people who visit karaoke bars 1 to 3 times a week without fail. This takes away from the people who feel the need to seek out live music.

3) The biggest factor, IMHO, is there is less of a reason for people to go out. It used to be if you wanted entertainment on a Friday/Saturday night, there wasn't much to do at home. You had a radio, a TV that is small by today's standards that got 3-4 channels, or maybe 20-30 with cable. VHS improved the home experience, but it was still SD format. People were just more motivated to go out.

Now, so many people have a large screen HD TV with surround sound audio, and it's connected to cabe/satellite/internet service that gives them 300-600 channels, plus movies on demand.

And where as video games used to be the realm of kids and teens, now there are more and more high definition realistic video games that appeal to adults. In addition, you can play them with other people via the internet, allowing people to "socialize" online without leaving the house.

All of this isn't just affecting music, but movie theaters have taken a big hit as well, because people just do not need to leave the house to be entertained.

Even if you love music, you can put on your favorite band's blue ray, on a large format TV with a killer audio system, and have a music experience at home.

3) Online dating. For many years, the primary reason to go to a club/bar was to meet a mate. Personal ads and online dating was considered somewhat taboo. Now, you can't turn on the TV without seeing an ad for an online dating site. It's now considered not only acceptable, it's moving toward becoming the primary way people meet. Which has eliminated a major motivation for people to go out to clubs/bars.


4) DUI laws. Many DUI laws didn't exist 20-30-40 years ago. And most DUI laws weren't as restrictive as they are today. My grandfather's friends used to have some funny and not so funny stories about going out, getting hammered, and driving home, because it just wasn't considered illegal, or a big deal back then. Even in recent years when they lowered the standard from .10 to .08, that impacted how people felt about going out.

5) And I agree the proliferation of pay-to-play or other systems where bands are not booked on quality. And because quality is not a factor, people get turned off from going to that venue, and opt for other things.

6) Youtube. There are so many hours of killer footage of all sorts of great bands online. You can find concert footage from the 60's, 70's, 80's, etc online.
 
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I come from the school where you learn your craft & then start looking for a band.

We live in the facebook/selfie era where a picture of a person performing has more value then the actual performance itself. That being said i've seen way too many shitty acts that shouldn't go back to the rehearsal room. They should simply go back to their bedrooms & learn to play.

Then there's the general bullshit of downloading everything for free. You can't seriously expect a 3000$ budget solely to be used for some turd to download it & then go "mnyeah sounds allright" and never listen to it again. The pro of this is that homerecording is now to the piont where you can make music of presentable quality on your own. Downside is getting the neccesary exposure.

Concert venue's themselves ask too much to host, it gets ridiculous at times. This i've seen a lot. Lots of shows are hosted in the middle of nowhere. And drumeatdrum already pointed out the DUI Laws.

Music isn't valued the same? CORRECT.
We are no longer making a work of art. We are simply making a product. And lets face it. most music that comes out these days can be compared to shitty 3rd world country counterfeits.

Even DJ's have devolved to a rather pathetic state. There's no more crates of records. It's a retard with a laptop, press play, collect cash.
 
Well I was all for ridding clubs and public places of smoking. I understand people want or need to smoke, but do it in your own space.

Smoking is not killing it. We have grown a society that wants stuff cheap and/or free, and values music coming out a laptop over paid-for live music on stage, or values home movies on a flatscreen over going out to see one.
It's interesting that you see that second thing as a problem, but not the first thing you said.
 

BillRayDrums

Gold Member
I play at least three gigs a week and have seen so many clubs either fold up due to financial downturn or they install a DJ and cut out live music.

In California in order to allow dancing on premise one needs to acquire a cabaret license and those are not cheap.

As for smoking in bars killing the scene, I don't think it's really made that much of a difference, and it's nice being able to go home and not have to strip down in the garage before walking into the house, lest the stench of smokers come in with them. That's been awesome.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
It's interesting that you see that second thing as a problem, but not the first thing you said.
How so? I'm not getting you
Smoking is a public health problem, to those who smoke and not. But you have a right to smoke as long as it does not affect other people.

Second thing is not so much a problem as it is kind of sad. People not going out, recreating only at home.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
In California in order to allow dancing on premise one needs to acquire a cabaret license and those are not cheap.
I had no idea. Why a license to dance?
What would Gypsies or any other free-dancinf culture say to that...having to have a license to dance?!
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I play at least three gigs a week and have seen so many clubs either fold up due to financial downturn or they install a DJ and cut out live music.

In California in order to allow dancing on premise one needs to acquire a cabaret license and those are not cheap.

As for smoking in bars killing the scene, I don't think it's really made that much of a difference, and it's nice being able to go home and not have to strip down in the garage before walking into the house, lest the stench of smokers come in with them. That's been awesome.

Yes, yes... No we can't have dancing now can we, that would interfere with purchasing alcohol, oh and play one them bluesy shuffles with no time to speak of, you know one that you can't dance or sing to, and play it loud, so that people can't talk either, that'll get'em drinkin' fo sho.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
It may be dying, but it aint dead yet.

There are far more venues in my area now than there were in the 80's/90's

The venues also pay far less than they used to.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So I guess we are all going the way of the typewriter repairman, the TV antennae installer, video stores, the milkman, and other near extinct occupations.

Might as well just quit now lol, the writing's on the wall.

Live music is on the endangered species list it seems.

Comforting.

Not.

I'm praying that someday click tracks will go out of style and real music will be in demand again.

In the digital age, I don't see it happening.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
So I guess we are all going the way of the typewriter repairman, the TV antennae installer, video stores, the milkman, and other near extinct occupations.

Might as well just quit now lol, the writing's on the wall.

Live music is on the endangered species list it seems.

Comforting.

Not.

I'm praying that someday click tracks will go out of style and real music will be in demand again.

In the digital age, I don't see it happening.
Just providing another perspective. Most of us aren't in bands like the ones that support these industry figures. But still. http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6406028/boxscore-top-tours-2014-rolling-stones-live-nation
 

bigd

Silver Member
DWI laws have had a huge impact on all types of bar scenes here. Not the smoking ban. The local cops set up directly accross from the bar that used to have live music every weekend in our little town. Now no one will go to that bar. The bar owner is upset and losing money like crazy. He'd have a packed house every weekend and easily made a nice living for his family. People just won't risk losing everything and are staying home to enjoy alcohol. Go into a liquor store here and all you hear is the sound of money. ca-ching ca-ching
 
How so? I'm not getting you
Smoking is a public health problem, to those who smoke and not. But you have a right to smoke as long as it does not affect other people.

Second thing is not so much a problem as it is kind of sad. People not going out, recreating only at home.
That mentality - "X is a public issue!" - is precisely what I'm talking about.

Anything can be made a "public issue". That's how Prohibition came into being. Now every restaurant has a calorie count next to every item they serve, because that's a "public health issue". Kids have to eat federally-regulated lunches in schools because that's a "public health issue".

There are many reasons music is dying. I would say the death of individualism can certainly be considered one of them.

As for the "you have a right to do X as long as it doesn't affect anyone" - that's simply untrue. You have the right to X unless there is a law against it, full stop. If what I do affects you, tough. Leave. I have just as much right to do legal things in public as you do not to.
 
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