baltimoresun.com

« Ryan Adams Meyerhoff video | Main | Otakon recap »

July 24, 2007

Indie bands live: what's the point?

I was trading emails with a local musician who had a pretty pointed opinion of live indie rock bands.

"Most indie bands are just boring ... live," he wrote. "They do nothing on stage, don't talk to the audience. They're too cool for that. It's often like listening to an incredibly low-quality version of their album, with less room to make up stories in your head."

Your thoughts? 

I've seen indie bands who are just like that, but I've also seen indie bands who play album tracks with enough energy to keep the live show interesting.

But the local guy's got a point -- so many indie bands have that disinterested attitude on stage, and the crowd acts all detached, and I want to shake everybody and say "Hello ... you're at a concert ... feel free to at least pretend like you're enjoying yourself."


Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 6:57 AM | | Comments (5)
        

Comments

Indie fans get enough excitement from the music that they don't want or need onstage antics.

the problem is, unfortunately so, that any kids unselfconscious or secure i.e. not cool enough who show their gratitude and love for life and music are still lump-loaded into the dj cultrue...after over 20 yrs this scene should have died and by now had a nostalgic resurgence...but these excited yet unimaginative ones must be frightened to death by the apathetic and blase scene they encounter when going to see live music and yet who can blame the hipsters when there is nothing new under the sun. color me bitter, but it is time for something other than this 80s rehashed moment. kids, please, mix it up....stop calling your " emo movement" anything outright! Get a set and start something fresh that we can all get excited about

I suspect it is a combination of high concept bands that appeal to a niche market playing before a blase audience that has a history of amusements (i.e. television, music videos, computer games, etc) that don't response to feedback and present greater visual interest than these bands can or willing to provide.

I think a fair number of indie bands regard playing more in terms of a recital than performace with an accent on being entertaining.

I recently read that Marc Bolan of T. Rex would usually put an all out effort every time to he played to win over the audience whether it was a stadium crowd or the recording engineer and the record producer in the studio booth.

I wonder, if like Billy Joel, they video recorded their live shows they would realize their being boring and act on the fact they need to do something of interest to appeal and engage a greater degree of the audience's passion and attract new fans.

Bottom line they need to go out and sell themseves to the faith who buy their recordings and incite the casual attendee to come to future performance and buy their next release.

If they truly belief cool, hip detachment from their audience is all need to do, I guess their prospects will never rise.

I suspect it is a combination of high concept bands that appeal to a niche market playing before a blase audience that has a history of amusements (i.e. television, music videos, computer games, etc) that don't response to feedback and present greater visual interest than these bands can or willing to provide.

I think a fair number of indie bands regard playing more in terms of a recital than performace with an accent on being entertaining. I would think they would approach every performance like a first date with someone they want to see again.

I recently read that Marc Bolan of T. Rex would usually put an all out effort every time to he played to win over the audience whether it was a stadium crowd or the recording engineer and the record producer in the studio booth.

I wonder, if like Billy Joel, they video recorded their live shows they would realize their being boring and act on the fact they need to do something of interest to appeal and engage a greater degree of the audience's passion and attract new fans.

Bottom line they need to go out and sell themseves to the faithful who buy their recordings and incite the casual attendee to come to future performance and buy their next release.

If they truly belief cool, hip detachment from their audience is all need to do, I guess their prospects will never rise.

I posted this before but I think needs to be repeated from the Pere Ubu site.

"The Ubu Projex Corporate Slogan:
Ars longa, spectatores fugaces (Art is forever, an audience short-lived or the audience transitory)"

Define indie --
Arcade Fire are on an independent label and put on one of the most impressive live shows I have ever seen.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "c" in the field below:
About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with baltimoresun.com's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected