Not Too Happy With Live Music?

A writer takes aim at the state of live music, describing concerts as “loud, plotless museum exhibits with no chairs …” More after the jump.

Photo: AP Photo
Bon’s all-encompassing arms reach out to the fans during U2’s concert in Turin, Italy.

Posted last week on political news website Talking Points Memo, “Face It, Live Music Kinda Sucks” was written by Channing Kennedy, a writer/performer living in Oakland, Ca., who also hosts the “Just Jokes” podcast.  Channing aims plenty of barbs at the concert experience, ranging from his disappointment at discovering They Might Be Giants were “two middle-aged dorks in plaid shirts playing guitar real good for a long time” to being let down that a Beck gig was mostly a “tape-playback of the sample tracks from the album mixes.”

But we’re just brushing the surface. 

“Even the competent shows can disappoint,” writes Kennedy.  “I once went to a perfectly good Ween show … which lasted three hours. If your boss called a three-hour meeting you’d stab your resignation letter to their face.  And at this meeting, your boss probably wouldn’t yell at you for passing a saliva-soaked joint incorrectly.”

Saying “the musicians you love will disappoint you,” Kennedy describes going to a concert by Japanese electronic music band YMO (Yellow Magic Orchestra) because his friends promised he would see stunts, special guests, Taiko drummers and three encores.  Instead, the show featured “six dudes solemnly touchscreening their way through adult-contemporary-ambient versions of my former favorite songs while checking their email.”

What do you think? Read Kennedy’s complete essay via this link, and then come back for some serious commenting.