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"Don't judge them until you've seen them live"

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by cbyrd2200, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. cbyrd2200


    Aug 31, 2009
    "Don't judge them until you've seen them live"

    This statement is as wrong as wrong gets. Here's why:

    Live: anything goes. **** hits the fan. Your drummer doesn't show up, your amp won't turn on. Maybe your in ears quit half way through a set due to technical difficulties. This is real life. I don't hold these things against the musician(s). Their performance might be amazing that night, it might suck. Whatever.

    However, in the studio, musicians are to be held to a perfect standard, given the conveniences of modern digital recording. I have no sympathy for anyone who sounds bad on modern recordings.

    Therefore, the statement should be: "Don't judge them until you've listened to one of their records."

    For this reason, I will always continue to hate Phish. "But you haven't seen em live man." Yes I have. I hate it. LIVE or recorded, Tre plays way too ****ing much rhythm guitar during his solos, his tone is cheesier than Tom Scholz's, Mike Gordon's stage presence passes him off as a child molester, any and all of his creativity lies in his stupidly large pedalboard and the songs start sounding like a broken record after the first 2 minutes of the jam. I don't enjoy hearing a full band comp for nothing. "You just haven't seen em enough man." Because that's how the world works right?

    "I tried heroin and I didn't like it."
    "You just haven't done enough man."

    I despise Phish.

    And to anyone who still thinks the whole "Don't judge them until you've seen them live" thing is acceptable:

  2. cbyrd2200


    Aug 31, 2009
    By the way, I am not intending for this to be a discussion about Phish, this is just my own example expressed via my own opinions for the sake of clarifying the point. The discussion at hand is Judging a band based on live performance vs a recording.
  3. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I haven't seen Phish live, but I like them.
  4. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Maybe jam bands just aren't your thing. C'est la vie.

    I personally prefer recordings over live however. One huge exception would be music that heavily relies on improvisation, which is a whole 'nother world. Not for everyone, and that's okay.
  5. cbyrd2200


    Aug 31, 2009
    See I love jam band music. I was raised on Grateful Dead, Gov't Mule and am currently balls into the Aquarium Rescue Unit. I'd like to say that was the case but it is not. As for improvised music, I'm into classical and romantic improvised piano playing. I'm absolutely floored when I hear a pianist play a full through-composed melodic piece with beautiful accompanying harmonies and when I ask them what tune it was, they just say "Made it up as I was playing it." I only recently started appreciating classical music too.
  6. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    There are a couple different thoughts on that,
    1. You have somewhat summarized already... the studio is where the best happens, all the gear and talent is focused on sculpting the masterpiece and if that's not representative of the sound then nothing is.
    2. The studio lacks the feedback from the audience and the excitement and risk taking that musicians can do live, the studio becomes too polished and some bands just can't handle working in the studio under the microscope but sound awesome live.

    It's very band dependent. I'm not a fan of Phish either but from what I've heard their live sounds are way better than the studio stuff. Oddly enough I feel completely the opposite about the Grateful Dead, love most of their studio stuff, find the live cuts often very boring.

    Blues Traveler is very famous for having to go through a couple albums before they learned how to work in the studio compared to live.
  7. cbyrd2200


    Aug 31, 2009
    Don't even start on Blues Traveler, that's a whole other thread. Haha
  8. cbyrd2200


    Aug 31, 2009
    True, there are many, many, many boring live cuts from the Dead. But I have live bootlegs of the Dead that I bet Jerry himself even prefers over the recordings. As with all things live, there are great performances, and not so great ones.

    I personally can't stand any studio (and very little live) dead from American Beauty through Terrapin Station. Love the early records, love every record Go to Heaven and after. Hate em all in between.
  9. I'm with you on the thread topic. The only exception is hockey. You have to see a game in person to really get the feel.
  10. cbyrd2200


    Aug 31, 2009
    I second that notion.
  11. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    There are a number of bands that I didn't fall in love with despite hearing some of their studio recordings including but not limited to:

    The Flaming Lips
    Rage Against the Machine
  12. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Not going to comment about Phish since I never listened to more than a song or two and never saw them live. But I DO think there are some bands that come across better live than on a CD, and some that record great but are dull on stage. For instance, there's a group I saw as an opening act that I was really impressed with - lots of energy and dynamism live, thundering drums. Bought their EP and, while I liked it, it wasn't the same - a lot of the raw edge of the live performance was toned down and dialed back, and the overall effect was more of a lighter pop than the hard-hitting rock I'd heard live.
  13. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Some bands are better live.
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Funny...I do not like The Dead & have never bought anything by them.
    Just started reading One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band...Jaimoe mentions he did not like the comparisons between the ABB & The Dead; he was not getting/not like The Dead...until he sat in with them.

    The early ARU albums with Colonel Bruce & Oteil & Jeff Sipe & Jimmy Herring & Matt Mundy are awesome!
    We used to open with "No Egos Underwater"
    Check out "Time Is Free".
  15. Bingo

    Bingo Banned

    Mar 3, 2014
    South by Southwest
    A.R.U.is the stuff! (Although I never got into the Dead)

    (But you really can't judge them until you see them live......:bag:)
  16. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    I agree. I heard that many times in my life. Not jam bands either. Usually ****** indie ones. Like oh but they got so much energy live. So what? It's still the same songs? Fine than i don't like them. I don't care how dynamic and a beast you are on stage, if i dont like your songs on record, i won't care for them live either. Write good songs. THEN you can work on being good at the live aspect.
  17. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    Funny timing for this post. We have rhythm guitarist in our cover band who simply hates certain bands based on bad live shows that he has attended.
    It's comical as we have had a couple/few "bad nights" and I'd hate to be judged by those.
    It is an odd approach to deciding if you will cover their tunes...in my opinion.
  18. cbyrd2200


    Aug 31, 2009
    To back this statement up, I've seen middle school orchestras play live concerts that have blown me away (very few of course). Am I really going to put famous bands like Phish and the Dead on par with Middle School orchestras? You're damn right I am! It's all music aint it?

    What I'm saying is that if a middle school orchestra can put on an impressive concert, who can't? Therefore, a band who puts on an amazing concert does not convince me that they're a great band. They might have a great experience to share, but that's totally different from the music itself. I will admit that Phish is a stunning experience. Still hate their music.
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Generally speaking, I disagree.
  20. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    There is a guy from around here who was a true trust fund child. He had an unlimited credit card and was free to do whatever he wanted so long as he stayed away from home where he was considered not simply an embarrassment to the family, but also a very real impediment to his father's future. He chose to follow the Dead for 20 odd years.

    LSS, he was an early and avid "taper" of Dead shows and since he had an unlimited budget for gear he always had the latest and greatest. He's always trading with other tapers and claims to have the single largest collection of dead live shows on tape outside the official archives, he will also tell you their good to suck ratio was about 4 to 1. For every good show they did, they did 4 that were really bad in one way or another. He also claims it was the quality of the acid that drove the good to suck ratio. If the acid was exceptional, the show was usually not.