Has an artist's live performance ever turned you off of them?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by dalecooper, Jul 28, 2022.

  1. dalecooper

    dalecooper Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Athens, GA
    Today's random question: Has an artist's live performance ever turned you off of them? I'm especially talking about an artist you liked before you saw or heard them live. Who was it and what broke the spell?

    I'm better about this than I used to be. If the records are good, I can just listen to them even if the live shows are bad. But back in the day, any little thing could be a deal breaker. For instance: I really liked Tori Amos when she first came out. By the time of Under the Pink, I was on board enough to want to go to a show with my then-girlfriend. It was my first experience of an artist dramatically changing her songs live. It wasn't like the arrangements were very different or the melodies somewhat altered; instead the vibe I got was that she was bored with her own material and improvising just to amuse herself. Melodies from the recordings were ignored in favor of constantly-changing, improvised lines. Songs without accompaniment, she might pause at random spots, seemingly to prevent the audience from being able to sing along. I left the show deeply annoyed and basically stopped listening to her for years.

    Another recent one is The War on Drugs. I like them, my wife loves them. She likes to have Alexa play songs on shuffle, and half of them end up being live tracks. And the guy--in Tori-like fashion--flat refuses to sing a single melody the way it is on the albums, or the way he sang the previous line, even. He's all over the place. There's a live cover of "Touch of Gray" and though the instrumentation follows the Dead song pretty well, the vocal is perversely insistent on never matching the original even slightly. I don't get it. Might have to forbid Alexa from playing any of their live stuff because it's driving me nuts.
  2. drift61603

    drift61603 Forum Resident

    Peoria, IL
    I hate when I see a band and they sound exactly like the album. I like best the artists that continually reinvent their sound, try out different arrangements, alter lyrics, play in the moment, etc.

    To answer your question though, I saw Steve Earle a few years back and left early because I was bored. It was the Copperhead Road anniversary tour so he played that whole album, which may have been part of why I was bored. I would see him again if the setlist spanned his career with an emphasis on new stuff.
    Khamakhazee, Rufus rag, DTK and 4 others like this.
  3. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    No, everyone knows a studio recording is going to be somewhat different if not much...
    Hillbilley likes this.
  4. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    I don't think I have ever been fully turned off by an artist as a whole based on live shows I have either seen in person or heard online, but there have been plenty of the older rockers who in their older years just sound sad to me and I stick with their younger selves immortalized on tape. Modern day Bon Jovi for example
    altaeria, Sean, Galactus2 and 2 others like this.
  5. planetexpress

    planetexpress Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity.

    Tried seeing Steve Earle twice in a small club back in the mid-90's but he canceled both times on the day of the show. Turned me off from buying his music for almost a decade...
    YardByrd, kt66brooklyn and No Bull like this.
  6. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Still have two ears working

    S FL
    Many years ago (1977) saw Bad Company live at the old Boston Garden. It was probably a function of how horrible music sounded in that old barn, but the concert wasn’t very good. I believe the Cars opened for them, which got the evening off to a rough start because they were not known for great live performances. To top it off, some guy in the row up and behind us was blowing chunks of whatever he ate and drank before he got there. We left early……
  7. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    We came to the Minnesota State Fair to see the opening act, Santana. The main attraction chased us away, with his seeming-parody of every comedian who ever impersonated him, only cranked-up to 11.
    Fella named "Zimmerman", I think...:crazy: Apparently he's supposed to be some big deal. Wish we could have at least recognized some of the syllables.
  8. Hanglow

    Hanglow Forum Resident

    Saratoga New York
    I hear where your coming from...Rush live were guilty of never really straying from the studio recording...one thing that I could appreciate though is Lifeson stayed true to his guitar solos,particularly if it was a great solo.:righton:
    Ryan Lux, hi_watt, Sean and 5 others like this.
  9. davebush

    davebush New Test Leper

    Fonthill, ON
    In 2001, I saw Autechre in Toronto. I was really into them at the time but the show just left me cold. I'm still fascinated by their music via headphone listening, but in a concert setting all the details were lost. It just doesn't work live, in my opinion.
    Beamish13 likes this.
  10. CHIP72

    CHIP72 Forum Resident

    Silver Spring, MD
    I still like some of his and his band's studio recordings, but I was turned off from seeing Bob Pollard/Guided By Voices live because Pollard screws around WAY too much during the show and it really drags the show out.

    Just play the damn songs Bob!
  11. Zappateer

    Zappateer Forum Resident

    Janis Ian
  12. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Senior Member

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Saw Liz Phair do a totally solo show around the release of her 2nd album, and her complete inability to sing in tune turned me off.

    Stopped being a Gregg Allman fan after an appearance on the I'm No Angel tour where the only thing he really used the Hammond for was something to hold on to so he wouldn't fall off his bench.
  13. Python

    Python Forum Resident

    S.F. Bay Area
    Almost every band I've ever seen live has made me like them more - with three memorable exceptions:

    1) The Cult in '91 or '92. I didn't really like their then-current album (Ceremony), but I liked the few prior and had never seen them live - god, it was awful. The singer was such a douche, it sounded like he may have been singing along to tapes, and Billy Duffy definitely wasn't playing both the solo and the rhythm track you could clearly hear, so either he was also playing along to pre-rec or they had some schmuck laying down the riffs behind the curtain - in either case, shameful.

    2) Counting Crows in '96 or '97. Even though I really liked their debut album, and thought the follow-up was decent, I'd become aware that the lead singer was a bit of a goofball. Even so, I thought the songs were good enough that I'd still be able to enjoy the show - man, it was awful. They opened with what seemed like a 20-minute version of "Round Here" that devolved into this pathetic, sad-sack, navel-gazing random wailing from Duritz, man, it was awful. Heck, I was on ecstasy, which pretty much makes anything crummy sound good and I still hated the show! Yuck.

    3) Pains me to say it, and by no means was it a revolting experience like the two above, but...Bob Dylan, in '98. God bless him, and I love his body of work, and I respect the fact that he doesn't just churn out hits in a crowd-pleasing manner - but couldn't he try to please the crowd just a bit? I saw him again in '12, hoping I'd caught a bad night (but knowing deep down that I hadn't), and again...not pleasant. I don't want to hear him play the piano on every song. I don't wand to be halfway into "Ballad Of A Thin Man" or "Desolation Row" before I can even tell what song it is!
    altaeria, Carlos B, blair207 and 11 others like this.
  14. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Neil Young on the Psychedelic Pill tour at Newcastle Arena. I was and still am a big Neil Young fan and didn't think I'd get to see him as he hadn't come around here since 1973, before I was born, before then.

    It was mostly awful, he seemed to not want to be there and have absolute contempt for it. I didn't play a Neil Young album for a long time afterwards and haven't played him anywhere near as much since, though I woudn't say I rate his music any less. The odd thing is, about a year later I got the Psychedelic Pill CD in a charity shop cheap and really liked it! I haven't gone back to it though.
    Aja, altaeria and carlwm like this.
  15. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    I saw Dylan in 1998, again at Newcastle Arena and thought he was incredible. That and Dylan at the same venue in 2000 are two of my favourite concerts I've been too.

    There will be people who saw Neil Young on the Psychedelic Pill tour at different venues and loved it, but I don't get the impression many were impressed at Newcastle.

    You're right about The Cult- Ceremony. A crappy album and era. The greatness of Love and Electric was long gone.
    Blastproof and drift61603 like this.
  16. fallbreaks

    fallbreaks Forum Resident

    Interesting! I saw her on that tour and thought she was great! No trouble singing in tune at all in Seattle.
  17. Lanark

    Lanark I stand with Amber

    Siouxsie & The Banshees, 1998 - Siouxsie was so stoned she could barely stand up, never mind sing, about half the concert was the band playing while Siouxsie stared into space or lay down on the stage.
    The whole thing was cringeworthy and kind of sad that nobody thought to stop it from taking place.
    hi_watt, altaeria and Blastproof like this.
  18. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...

    Billy Joel turned me off with his "tough guy, street kid" act, but it doesn't change my affection for his studio albums (which I like a lot of, though he's far from a favorite of mine).

    Saw him when he was touring with Elton John
  19. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...

    I like a lot of Elton (though he's not a "favorite" act of mine) but if I had attended this concert I may never have played another song of his again.

  20. Weirwolfe

    Weirwolfe Forum Resident

    The latest clips of Dokken live on YouTube are rough. Don Dokken has forgotten how to sing. Really sad.
    '05Train, Michael Rose and dalecooper like this.
  21. KDubATX

    KDubATX A Darby Man Never Says When

    You should go see Dylan if you get the chance :shh:
  22. tonyc

    tonyc Forum Resident

    United States
    Well, if you had gone at least you would have not lost any money. Central Park was a free concert.
  23. KDubATX

    KDubATX A Darby Man Never Says When

    If that Counting Crowes tour had Wallflowers opening I saw it on a writing gig for the university paper and was tripping balls (unplanned but why not) and they did just a gobsmackingly terrible pantomime of a rock show.
    steviej, Python and CassetteDek like this.
  24. Crimson Witch

    Crimson Witch ۫۫☮

    Outer Óríon
    Yes - entire bands even.

    That said, nothing affects my perception of a recording beside the factors that shape the way I hear it - e.g sound system, mastering, and the recording itself.
  25. musicfan37

    musicfan37 Senior Member

    Marshall Tucker Band. I enjoy their music but never a huge fan. A friend had an extra ticket so I went. The lead singer was so drunk, he could barely stand. He spent most of the time talking (slurring), and inviting about 20 women to dance with him on stage. And he only got through about eight songs the whole concert.
    Doggiedogma and warewolf95 like this.

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