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Friday, August 11, 2006

What do I want?

The thing about shows is...

Posted on Fri, Aug 11, 2006 at 9:36 AM

I like a good bar show because it's more intimate, the band is likely not polished to the point of edgelessness and you can scream out a request and there's a good chance it'll get played.


Bars can get awfully overcrowded -- I love Wintersleep but I dread their shows, especially when it's university season -- and while it's nice to have the drinking option, it's not as nice to have the staggering/yammering/dry-humping option if you're trying to watch the show.


I enjoy a more civilized trip to the Metro Centre because it starts on time and the production values are very good.


I do not enjoy the every-second-tweakedness of arena shows, the constructed patter, the unwillingness to change things up. (This is why a show like last fall's Pearl Jam performance will live in infamy.) Or the always ridiculously priced merch, which is not the MC's fault, but still.

I went to both Dixie Chicks shows and they were both awesome, but the set list was EXACTLY the same both nights. And, being a nerd, I was reading up on the tour before they got here and they've been playing the SAME SET every night. I realize they're not doing too many two-nighters on the tour -- Winnipeg is the only other city getting the treatment -- but come ON, ladies, switch it up a bit. At the second show, Natalie even asked who was there on the first night, and a light chorus of cheers went through the 9000-strong crowd, and she said "Shit. I'm not very good at off-the-cuff."

GET GOOD NATALIE, it's part of your job.

What does a performer owe me as an audience member? To sing me some songs I know, to look like they give a shit, and to do the best they can.

The Dixie Chicks did that.

Do I deserve any more than that for my $80? ($240 if you consider I bought three tickets over both nights?) Do I deserve anecdotes, patter, a word from either of the other Chicks? If I am standing politely, clapping when cued, cheering unprompted, am I owed any more than what they're giving me?

I don't know.

I think the happy medium is the soft-seater. It has the intimacy of a club with the implied respect of an arena. So no one talks but you can still yell out requests and compliments, and you get to sit comfortably.

Guess where I'll be September 23?

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