Concerts: What Do You Want to Hear?
When Garth Brooks toured again a few years ago, I wanted to go so bad. I don’t listen to much Country music anymore, but I did back in the day. Back when Garth was the shit!
Unfortunately the tickets sold out within minutes. Even after Garth booked several more shows, I wasn’t fast enough to score some.
A few weeks before the concert weekend, my husband (who absolutely HATES Country music) surprised me with a pair of tickets. Nose-bleed seats. I couldn’t have been happier! After all, I waited 20-something years to see him live!
Garth came out on stage to a rip-roaring rendition of Ain’t Goin’ Down (Til the Sun Comes Up). The packed arena pulsated with excitement. It was surreal.
Garth introduced himself and gave our town the token shout out. Then he spoke of how much he dislikes going to concerts of musicians he has loved for years, only to have to sit through a painful set of the band’s new songs. Songs only a handful of concert-goers know and can sing along to.
So he sang every single one of his classics. And he put on a great show! Fiddles, the extra lyrics to Friends in Low Places, a special appearance from Tricia Yearwood. It was everything I had waited for and more! I cried!!
While this may appear to be an ode to Garth Brooks, it’s more about the concert experience. I have seen hair bands in their prime, like Warrant, Ratt, Great White, and Poison. And I have seen them in their not-so-prime. I saw Metallica both in 1994 and again in 2010.
What do hair band, Garth Brooks, and Metallica concerts all have in common? Not only do they put on a good show, but they also play their greatest hits. No one really wants to see a Poison concert with Brett Michaels singing his newest country song.
We want to hear songs we know! Songs we can sing along with! Songs that have our life’s experiences and memories behind them for those of us who had to sell a kidney to afford tickets.
While I am sure other music connoisseurs may disagree. Those looking for the newest sounds, more songs for their playlist, or just like hearing the next new song. I can see that. I can even agree with the band sprinkling their set with a few of their new songs between old favorites.
But to have the majority of a set only promoting the newest album, to me, is an affront to long-time fans. Especially if the album just dropped days before the tour started (lookin’ at you Slipknot).
Musicians: Keep a happy medium of new and old music at your concerts and keep old fans while creating new ones. Remember, it’s about the fans!