Incredibly disappointing Brian Bromberg show at Catalina Bar & Grill

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Tony, Oct 23, 2021.


  1. Tony

    Tony

    Feb 16, 2004
    Southern California
    No, not the musicianship, which was superb, or the sound, which was a pretty decent mix for a rectangular room with guitar, bass, keys, drums and a horn section, or the food, drinks or service. No, what was incredibly disappointing was the total of maybe 50 people sitting in a room that seats five times that, watching one of the arguably most talented musicians on the planet, someone who rarely performs in clubs in this area, an area of almost 10 million people, of which 100's of thousands are also musicians (the majority of whom bitch prolifically when nobody shows up to their gigs), in a time when the live performance venues that did make it through the last 18 months desperately need as many people that can safely come to a show to come to a show; the fact that no more than 50 people could be bothered to get out and support live music is hugely disappointing.

    I'm not even going to bother to report on the gig -- it was amazing and if you live close enough to have been there last night, you should have been there.

    Get off your ass, get out and support our clubs, support our musicians, and support live music.
     
    brocco, bottomzone, bluejack and 52 others like this.
  2. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    How many people usually go to a Bromberg show?
     
  3. ShadowGroover

    ShadowGroover

    Aug 16, 2020
    I've seen fewer people for similar talents long before covid. It's an issue that predates pandemic, and social media/phone/pc preoccupations. No excuses/blame/reasons. Just reporting.
     
    brocco, abaguer, villegastx and 9 others like this.
  4. Tony

    Tony

    Feb 16, 2004
    Southern California
    How many people usually go to a Bromberg show? -- Don't know, he doesn't play out very often. I've seen him a number of times at NAMM, and once at a Bass Bash, but other than that, I've never seen him in a club. But my point is less about a particular musician or band than it is about supporting live music in general, and if a player of Bromberg's stature doesn't motivate people to come out, clubs aren't going to be around much longer, at least not ones like Catalina. Certainly as Shadow notes, it's an issue that predates Covid -- IMO, if anything, that makes it worse as we all know how tough it's been for live music venues recently. Again, maybe only IMO, but I have always thought that as musicians, we owe it to each other (and to our growth as musicians) to get to as many live performances as we can. And now, when venues are hanging on by a thread, it's even more crucial. Again, all JMO ...
     
  5. FFEJY

    FFEJY

    Jun 14, 2021
    The sad truth is he's probably much more recognized for his picture in decades-old mail-order Carvin catalogs than his music.

    You know what I'm talking about; that picture all of us have seen next to his signature model bass where 99.9% of readers confusingly exclaimed, "Who's he???!!??? And WHY does he have a signature model???!!!??"

    Sad, but oh so true.

    It's been worse. I saw Alice Cooper put on his full show in 1986 in Alabama at an arena and there were only a few hundred people there. Cooper performed like he was in a stadium. I saw Mercyful Fate with King Diamond in 1999 in New Orleans and there were literally a few dozen people there; King still did his thing. I felt bad for him and the band. I saw Dio in 1994 in New Orleans-not even a hundred people there. So few people in fact, I was getting cups of vodka for Dio from the bar; just walking right up to it, no line, no waiting. Place was empty. That was a bad time for metal.

    Those guys have decades of celebrity and press; they are/were very well-known. And, that was before the internet to take up everyone's time. So, by comparison, a non-celebrity unknown-to-the-masses bass player like Bromberg (no matter how talented) is doing pretty good, considering there is a pandemic still out there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
  6. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    A while back I caught Chick Corea's Electric Band.
    Weckl , Patitucci, Henderson.
    Maybe 300 people in a venue that holds 3000.
    Very disappointing. Live Jazz is dying out.
    Bromberg is a big FAV of mine.
    Bought several of his last CD's to try and support him.
    How do they make a living?
     
    champbassist and DJ Bebop like this.
  7. DirtDog

    DirtDog

    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    That’s one data point. Hardly illustrates a national, industry-wide trend or demonstrates that no one cares about live music anymore. Maybe says more about Bromberg’s draw in your area during a pandemic.

    I get what you’re trying to say though. But that’s a thread with a different title, perhaps.
     
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    Cue the standard line about rock musicians playing three chords to a thousand people while jazz musicians play a thousand chords to three people...

    I don't think it's so much about people's willingness to go out to see live bands, it's that apart from musicians, the general public has no idea who Bromberg is.

    Some years back I took my wife to see Victor Wooten - this is when he was doing that tour with five bassists. She went purely to humor me, had no idea who we were going to see. As it turned out, she absolutely loved the show. And, yeah, the venue was maybe a quarter full and you could tell, just getting the vibe from the crowd, that pretty much everyone there was a musician themselves.
     
  9. Gustopher

    Gustopher Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2018
    SWVA
    I might be able to sum up your disappointment in one word… “who?”
    I know you are let down that people weren’t as excited as you about it, but most people aren’t going to know who that is.
     
  10. jkumnick

    jkumnick Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Southern Maine
    Here on the east coast a new venue, Jimmy’s Jazz and Blues Club opened recently. They spent a boatload of $$ to build a beautiful state of the art club venue. I went last week and heard Cindy Blackman’s band with Felix Pastorius on bass. Great band and the place was pretty packed and the audience was enthusiastic. It might be that jimmy’s is new and people are excited because of that or maybe they are good at promoting shows but they are selling out shows with artists like Charles Lloyd, Nate Smith and the Bad Plus. So there is hope.
     
  11. Excellent exhortation message. You bring up a great point. How many of us sit home week after week, but show up here complaining about the lack of gigs? Maybe, if we support the gigs that are out there, drop a few bucks it might change things….
     
    barrenelly, bluejack, Seanto and 2 others like this.
  12. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    It may be a bummer for.the artist or the venue, but a couple of the best shows Ive seen were big name touring bands in tiny venues. Two that come to mind were the Joe Perry project, when he briefly quit Aerosmith, at a tiny college bar, and The Fix, at the height of their "Saved by Zero" radio fame, inexplicably booked in bar that was packed with about 100 people. In both cases, the bands played like they were in a stadium, and just blew the walls out. I saw Alan Holdsworth in a bar that seated about 50, im guessing 45 of them were.guitarists. Just because we worship these players doesnt mean other people.do. Bass heroes in particular will.always be a niche market.
     
  13. shnapper

    shnapper

    May 1, 2005
    I remember Russ Freeman from the Rippingtons on the tonight show many years ago… In his interview he said “I had someone ask me once…. How do you make a million dollars playing jazz? You start with 3 million”….

    Most all venues I’ve been to involving Jazz have been small, I prefer the small more intimate crowd. I think JLP was the biggest crowd I’ve sat in with back in the day…
     
  14. I took my guitar player friend to see guitar legend Albert Lee at Bogie's in Thousand Oaks. It was a very small room and I would say there were less than two dozen people there. But we got to sit in front and enjoy a night of extraordinary country pickin. Still, I was surprised at the small turnout.
     
    ColdEye, hdscout and Mike Carr like this.
  15. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    Intimate setting?
     
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  16. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Just curious, how much were tickets to Bromberg?
     
  17. OptimalOptimus

    OptimalOptimus

    Jan 4, 2019
    Canada
    Many places have restrictions to the number of people that can enter because of covid
     
  18. roadyboy

    roadyboy Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2012
    Hudson Valley NY
    Pre pandemic, I saw a show in Woodstock NY with Paul Barrere , Fred Tackett and the New Orleans Suspects. Great show for about 20 people. It was an off night, and afterwards the guitar player in my band and I went up to say hello and apologize for the small turnout. They were both very gracious, and said that on that tour they had played at festivals for thousands, and other rooms for dozens. Their attitude was, play every show like you mean it, and don't take the turnout personal.
     
  19. Tony

    Tony

    Feb 16, 2004
    Southern California
    Sure, I get that but that's not so much what is disappointing to me -- it's that when the live music industry is finally getting to start coming back, that people can't be bothered to go out and supprt
    They were $30 a seat, plus either a two drink minimum or dinner. Parking in the same building for $10. By comparison, I saw Stu Hamm last month at the Baked Potato (Brian Beller was in the audience and it was mostly packed, of course BP is much smaller capacity than Catalina) -- tickets were $33.25 and same thing, dinner or two drink minimum.
     
    DJ Bebop and JimK like this.
  20. Tony

    Tony

    Feb 16, 2004
    Southern California
    They didn't seem to have any restrictions on capacity, but they were checking everyone for vaccination status.
     
    EatS1stBassist and CTW68 like this.
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