Ok the Stones and Bon Jovi were never exactly the 'alternative face of music', their ambition and optimizing of earnings are not the best kept secrets in the world, but I don't recall so many 'fleece the public' packages on offer for tickets as at this years shows! The 80's was the age of merchandise, the 2010's the gig ticket. I don't know if it is a symptom of the desperation that corporate music is slipping to, but tickets for their Hyde Park gigs (a gig that for the Stones in '69 was free) are now selling for anything from £200 to £10,000. For Bon Jovi you can get suitably named Diamond Circle VIP, Rock-Star Red Carpet VIP, Hot Seat VIP tickets, whilst the Stones are doing something similar to optimise earnings in their final few years. The options include Dinner Packages, General Admission (nothing new in either of those) - but Tier's 1 - 3, then the 'Rock Garden' (also tiered!) and if the 'Unwind Backstage' package doesn't tempt you - perhaps live the dream with the 'Kings of Rock' package! And only this week you could have seen the Stones for about £10 at their usual intimate warm up show, this year at the LA Echoplex nightclub (what i wouldn't have given for was a chance to see that!). But having seen them before on Arena tours I certainly won't be rushing to go. The set is pretty standard and formulaic with almost the same generic moves. Miss You will feature part way through, Keith will do a 2 song interlude which will probably feature Connection, and Jumpin Jack Flash, Brown Sugar and Satisfaction will close the show. It is still a great experience - and anyone who hasn't seen them i would say pay - but as with lot's of things in life - once is enough.
Dublin for most bands (because of geography really) is either the first - or mostly the last night of a (European) tour. That can be a blessing or a curse.
It is a tough balance to strike for a touring band. The last night of a tour can and should be firstly a cause for celebration, as well as a celebration in itself. However as well as having overcome the first few nights nerves and teething problems you then run the risk of falling into the formulaic trap bordering on the apathy of ‘going through the motions’.
How do you overcome that? I know when I worked a 40 hour week I was bored stiff of my daily and weekly and even monthly routines! As much as 'Satisfaction' is a classic song, without a doubt, the Rolling Stones must be sick to the back teeth of performing it perhaps 200 nights some years! If i was sympthising then it would be the smallest violin in the world I'd be playing, but still it must be mind numbingly boring to know that for perhaps 1000 minutes of the year you are playing that song!
I never thought it would happen, With me and gigs ... so many gigs coming up and i am probably not going to get to them all. Decisions decisions. I am loathed to miss any gigs unless i have to - I have been blown away by so many bands who i nearly missed - both support acts and artists who i was ummm ing and errrr ing about going to see. If it hadn't been for a chance gig i would never have seen the AMAZING Michael Weston-King. The only pity in that case (and in the case of Loudon Wainwright) is that their albums just don't do the person justice. To see them perform in the flesh is so amazing, yet the majority of their LP's leave me cold! So if Michael Weston King is touring his 'I didnt raise my boy to be a soldier' album near you - any time soon, don't pause to listen to the album JUST GO!!!!!!
An Alien, A legal Alien. An Englishman in Dublin.