Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Larsen, Nov 13, 2017.
Yes it is, near O'hare airport.
Have any of y'all received a presale code? From what I'm hearing it hasn't been sent out as of yet to everyone.
Thanks for the perspective. I was also at one of the Radio City Music Hall shows and I loved it. With Jeff though, has he ever been very interactive during his concerts? The live videos I've seen (e.g. Wembly '78) gave me an idea of what to expect (playing with a cool light show with a few "chuffed to be here"s between songs). Bob Dylan isn't going to be jumping on pianos and telling stories of his coffeehouse days during his concerts either, and that's fine with me.
That being said, I don't think I'll try for the MSG show as I imagine it would be largely the same, but in larger setting.
Skipping New England -I may try for Philly as I don't like traveling to NYC.
ELO is a top 3 favorite of mine. But just like Zoom, I have no intention of going. All Jeff could talk about while I was growing up, was how much he hated ELO and hated touring and performing. I've long held the position that I don't want to be the reason he's doing something he hates.
Just stay home and put out JL albums that reflect your artistic intentions and integrity, Jeff.
Decent. Very sensible volume. Seen them a few times in the last 3 years and it's an excellent show if you turn up for the music, lights and want to have a sing. If you're someone who wants the band to interact with the crowd or play extended live versions forget it. It's the hits with one or two album tracks reproduced as close to the originals as possible. Probably exactly what JL wanted to be able to do back in the 70s & 80s
But Toronto substitutes for numerous cities in the USA in many American TV shows.
He puts on a great show though. Touring is definitely different these days then it was back then. It's generally much, much easier to put on a great quality show with the group he has backing him and he doesn't have the Spinal Tap set to deal with either. Mostly just projection screens and lights.
When he cancelled the Zoom tour I was hoping that what he would do is just line up a few shows here and there. Not a full tour. And that's exactly what he did. I got to see him at Radio City last year and it was fantastic. I do have to wonder if he is going to have the stamina to pull off what he is attempting to do. By the time he gets to NYC this time he'll have played 9 shows in 3 weeks... which seems fairly reasonable. But I would worry about the European leg where the schedule ramps up. Hopefully he doesn't freak out!
And I just got my seats! Awesome.
How strange. Do you not think he hated touring because of the fact that it was impossible for him to recreate the songs accurately and it was a never ending merry go round of write, record, rehearse, tour, repeat until 1979. In addition there was a huge amount of responsibility on him to get the sound right, which he could never do once they started recording with an orchestra and choir.
I'm not sure why you think that touring reduces his integrity
Great. I will go then.
I'll jump in on this one. He hated touring for many reasons.
1. He is not a natural showman. He hides behind his glasses and made ELO a faceless band for a reason. He also pushed others like Kelly more in the limelight to take attention away from himself.
2. Mic-ing/amplifying string instruments in a rock setting was difficult during the 70s. to the point that they started using tape backing tracks which could prove difficult to play with. And at the time it was seen as 'cheating' by rock folks.
3. Monitoring - although the 1970s brought great advancements in live sound over the 1960s, monitoring was still an issue especially if you have so many competing sounds/etc. to deal with. Now each individual player can have their own monitor mix in their ears vs. a general monitor mix at their feet (which could also cause feedback issues with acoustic instruments).
4. Set design - The idea of a giant opening and closing spaceship was just one of those nutty 1970s things. But apparently it wasn't very reliable. Also it was huge and difficult to build/transport/etc.
5. Too Rigorous - if you look at ELO's tour schedules from the 70s it's kind of intense. There was a show every night or every other night for months. And they were expected to do that every year with enough material for a new album as well. Too much pressure.
6. Not a fan of promotion in general. A touring band would be expected to go to a new city, possibly do an interview with a local dj or tv show and also meet and greet promoters. He would apparently send out Bev or Kelly or Richard to do this stuff but he couldn't avoid it completely.
That's what I infer from various interviews he's given over time about it.
Good post. That's what I wanted to say but couldn't be arsed to type all that !
I hear what you're saying but – and I never thought I'd hear myself utter this about live musical performance – you should see the light show! It truly is a spectacle. And something the crowd was really into.
As someone who attended a show in 1978, my problem wasn't the band "cheating"; it was that I went to hear and see a band play live and instead basically heard the records.
Jeff has always been 100% about the records. From his perspective, your experience meant he was successful!
But that "success" meant a lot of people didn't care to go see ELO again, and the band never had a US tour on that level again.
And now when you see a live show by a pop band how "live" is it?
I wouldn't know. I didn't like seeing canned "live" music in 1978 and I don't seek it out now.
Got tickets for LA.
Hope it will be as good as:
Honda Theatre 2015
Hollywood Bowl 2016
Although it was shorter, the US leg of the Time Tour in late 1981 was no less ambitious than previous live appearances. In fact, I'd suggest it was probably more stressful for all involved, as the group was performing with only minimal tape use (for the Prologue and start of Roll Over Beethoven), meaning this new configuration of ELO was under immense pressure to flawlessly reproduce its studio output, which the seven musicians achieved with more keyboards than strings.
This setup isn't anything new: Jeff Lynne's ELO has been the group's official name for quite some time, and if you've ever confused "the real thing" with either ELO Part II or The Orchestra then it's likely such promotion was quickly met with a C&D order, usually served to local marketing agencies who claimed to not know better (even though many argue the acts involved should have done more to ensure the difference was made obvious to avoid potentially misleading ticket buyers)...
Rather than discussing such technical matters to simply knock Jeff for miming, I wish more people would understand why ELO had a greater need than most acts to rely on pre-recorded elements for their shows in the mid-to-late 1970s especially. The group's earliest concerts were supposedly fraught with amplification issues, and there were countless problems with the Long Beach live album from '74 that I won't list here - needless to say, it's hardly a surprise that Jeff began to grow weary of touring around this period. The spaceship of '78 might have looked good, but it was a nightmare for the musicians playing inside this.
Another major factor was the presence of Don Arden behind the scenes, as it's known that he would continually push Jeff for new material. This detail was kept from everyone until much later, but it seems that Jet Records was always in financial difficulties, and Jeff must surely have been aware that ELO was one of the label's few profitable bands. Despite being one of the biggest groups on the planet by the end of '79, Jet was struggling with Jeff's decision to not go on tour in support of Discovery, not to mention they quickly saw that Time (both the album and subsequent tour) wasn't as successful as previous efforts.
Curiously, one perspective I've not been able to get for my upcoming book is what the powers that be within Jet Records thought about Jeff's productivity dropping off after the release of Xanadu. The gap between this soundtrack album and Time might only have been a year, but the sessions for Secret Messages began in February '82 with just two days in Holland, then a lengthy gap followed that didn't end until August, when recording continued all the way until February the following year. Even then, the resulting album was delayed from a planned December '82 launch to April '83 before finally hitting shelves in June.
As with Discovery, Secret Messages was sent out into the world without a tour, and by this point there were plenty of rumours about ELO's future. Kelly was in the middle of a lawsuit against his soon-to-be-former employers, Bev had finally joined Black Sabbath after being originally invited to replace Bill Ward all the way back in early '81, and Jeff threw himself into producing further material with Dave Edmunds, their initial collaboration temporarily bringing progress on Secret Messages to a screeching halt, much to the irritation of at least one bandmate. Of course, he was also busy working on tracks for Electric Dreams by this stage.
Jet's already-tested finances then took a further blow when a senior accountant at Jet alleged that he'd been made a scapegoat and attacked by Don Arden, who was accompanied by his son, David, over a series of physical confrontations as their empire continued its descent. Don may have escaped a sentence, but David wasn't as lucky, being imprisoned for several months. Upon his release, Jet was a mere shadow of its former self, with Balance Of Power and the subsequent handful of promotional appearances being enough to end Jeff's contractual obligations, leaving the door open for him to leave ELO in the past.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the ill-fated Zoom Tour and more recent activity is that Jeff has found a market, with BBC Radio DJ Chris Evans instrumental in building up support for ELO's return to the stage, where the band had once been dismissed by many as a guilty pleasure. After a handful of low key shows that reintroduced Jeff to a large audience, including the Hyde Park concert, his management devised a new approach to marketing ELO. Indeed, the reception to that one aforementioned show inspired Jeff to go back and finish a new album he'd been playing around with for quite some time.
Rather than focus on Alone In The Universe, it looks as if Jeff has found a balance where much of his sets are concentrated on reproducing ELO's hits in a setting that calls back to the old spaceship visual identity without any of the old band members or technical problems. Jeff's never been the kind of person to really engage with his audience beyond a few polite comments between songs, yet one persistent criticism of his recent live shows is that he's going through the motions. If he really didn't want to do this, Jeff's at a stage where he could quite easily retreat to Bungalow Palace and simply work on his latest studio project.
Instead, we're looking at something of a late career renaissance that I can only compare favourably to the one experienced by Brian Wilson, whose fans probably couldn't have imagined that he'd become a touring warhorse back in early '99, rarely being off the road for more than a few months at a time ever since. I'm genuinely thrilled to see that Jeff's found a way to pursue new ideas in the studio while keeping a presence on the performing circuit to help promote both old material and whatever comes next for ELO under his leadership. I do sometimes wish that others from the past were also there, but we might soon get at least one classic era player back...
Wish there was an archival live release from that tour. The 70's ELO live releases I've sampled have been mostly underwhelming.
For such a major band, it's always surprised me how few concert releases there are from ELO's original run. At least collectors don't have to track down much, and considering how much of a perfectionist Jeff's known for being, I'm not surprised he doesn't want the Time Tour material out there (assuming this even still exists, as it's not actually been confirmed - all we know is that several US dates were filmed ahead of a planned live video and possible album, only for the resulting project to be shelved due to some undisclosed technical issue that I suspect was performance-related). If anything, there's still a chance some minor label could yet negotiate a deal with the BBC to issue the Heart Beat '86 charity show in even its edited broadcast form, especially since there little of anything else believed to be out there beyond several audience recordings...
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