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Thread: Your Most Disappointing Concerts..

  1. #1
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Your Most Disappointing Concerts..

    I'll probably think of a some more, but to kick this one off, how about:

    1) Pink Floyd: Animals - How could this suck? I'll tell ya, they played at Angels stadium, a huge baseball stadium, and from our seats we were blasted with two sets of speakers from different directions, thus they were out of phase, so we heard everything, in some weird echo-y overlap, caught up in the hype of the moment, we enjoyed the concert, but I NEVER went to a concert in a large outdoor venue ever again..

    2) Joe Jackson's Jumpin' Jive - I fully expect some push back here from those of you who enjoy Zoot Suit, 40's style Havana, dancing horn music, but (stupid us) were expecting the "Look Sharp" Joe Jackson guitar-based "Angry Three" (Elvis Costello & Graham Parker) rock. One of the few concerts I ever just flat out walked out of..

    Next.......

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    Too many to list mainly due to bad sound or poorly positioned seats where the stage was barely visible. Rush spring to mind the most with multiple shows at Wembley Arena where the sound was so bad it was sometimes hard to tell what song they were playing.

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Mahavishnu Orchestra with Cobham, Goldberg & Jack Bruce.
    The latter was drunk as a skunk.
    McLaughling showed us how fast he could play on a banjo!

    I left.


    Johnny Winter and 1971 - WAY too loud!
    Last edited by Zeuhlmate; 12-26-2021 at 03:36 PM.

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    Member adap2it's Avatar
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    Yes at Maple Leaf Gardens doing the TFTO tour, totally boring, even with good weed...
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  5. #5
    Dixie Dregs in Nashville some time between 1990 - 1993. We got great seats near the front of the club during the warm up band. When the Dregs came on, they were so loud, we had to retreat. I could feel the pound of each bass drum in my chest like I was being punched. Of course by now, all the seats further away were taken, and honestly, it didn't make any difference. The sound was a wash of drums and low frequencies from the bass. You couldn't hear the violin or keys at all. We stuck it out for a bit near the lobby, then left. I don't think my ears have ever been the same.

    Bill

  6. #6
    Two spring to mind:

    M83 was a big favorite of mine and this was circa 'Before the Dawn Heals Us.' They came out, and while synths were clearly still the dominant sound of the band, most of the band were on other instruments. It felt like I was just watching a band mime along to backing tracks. Left not even halfway through. On the upside, the opener was a new name to me who subsequently became one of my favorite electronic musicians: Ulrich Schnauss.

    Similar: Animals as Leaders. Amazing band, but everything was sync'd to lights and visuals and keyboard backing tracks. If ever there was a band that could turn off all that nonsense, bring up the stage lights and just play...it's them.
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    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    King's X. Their fans are quite vocal so I was expecting good things, but I just didn't care for them personally.
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  8. #8
    Boston, 2004, just before Brad Delp died, soundman should have been fired. The show started with the PA not working. When they started playing Rock And Roll Band, it sounded like it was coming out of a very loud boombox. Finally, the PA came on, but the mix was weird all night long. This wasn't venue acoustics, it was the god damn soundman didn't know how to do his job, as in he didn't seem to know when he needed to pot up the soloists and so forth. When Gary Pihl was playing a guitar solo, you could barely hear it. When Tom Scholz played the organ solo during Hollyann, it went from inaudible to barely audible. You couldn't hear the theater organ during The Launch, and on and on. I don't know how anyone could do such a bad job running a soundboard, but it happened that night.

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Strawbs, November 1975. We had actually come for the support act, Gentle Giant. My friends didn't know Strawbs, but I had seen a wonderful set from them a couple of years previous when they were supporting Procol Harum, so I was telling my friends how good they were. I had to eat my words, though, as on this occasion they came out with their amps turned up to 11 and produced a barrage of unintelligible noise. We walked out after about three songs. Gentle Giant was marvelous.
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  10. #10
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Jon Anderson at the Barns of Wolftrap (1/13/2004 ). The sound man apologized for the sound mix ( it is usually immaculate ) in advance, saying that it was the artists request.
    It was horrid and cringy.

    America at the Birchmere, they were out of tune and did not seem to care. Phoned it in on a burner cell phone.

    John Mellencamp EmmyLou Harris (7/3/17 ) Wolf Trap. Emmy Lou was ok. Mellencamp was too loud, just a wall of noise. We left.
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  11. #11
    Lou Reed 79 Düsseldorf, from memory the first time for a long time he didn't played in Germany and the cultish expectations were quite high....and right from the start the twenty first rows got up on their seats and blocked the view of the stage for the next twenty or so rows. So people who couldn't see started to yell and eventually someone threw a beer can ...that went over the aim and hit Lou Reed.
    He stopped playing , insulted the audience and went off stage , after about 15 minutes of concert. So the manager must have gone pale, these were the days when unhappy audience members had a tendency to let off their anger by burning down the stage, or destroying miscellaneous destroyable stuff, and must have begged Lou Reed on his knees to get out again and play couple of songs....which he did in a frosty manner.....lame

  12. #12
    Damo Suzuki/Michael Karoli at House of Blues in Chicago 1998. They had a rhythm section who played one dull vamp after another and Karoli was not happy. At the end they played "Mother Sky" but the bassist was in the wrong key and didn't pick up Karoli's signals about it. When the song ended Karoli looked like he was about to punch him, but someone brought the curtain down. Damo (who did his best the whole night) came out and said goodnight afterwards.

  13. #13
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    The Toxic Twins put on a series of atrocious shows in the 1970s.
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  14. #14
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Mott the Hoople opening for Emerson, Lake & Palmer in May 1971 at the Loew's Theater in Providence. It wasn't Mott's fault. After two songs, Ian Hunter's amp konked out. He stopped the show and complained that he had two amps, one British, the other American. It was the American amp that was at fault, he said. The technician got the amp going again and the band started to play. All of a sudden Ian's amp cuts out again and he screamed and threw his guitar into the drum kit and ran off stage. The rest of the band just stood there and wondered, What do we do now? They slowly put their gear down and left. I was very disappointed because I really wanted to hear Mott the Hoople. Oh, well, ELP came out and any memory of Mott the Hoople was forgotten.
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  15. #15
    All Things Must Pass spellbound's Avatar
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    I have been fortunate in that I never went to a concert where I was disappointed in the music or performance of the band or artist. I went to a few with unruly crowds. One that stands out in that regard was Black Sabbath/Lynyrd Skynyrd/Peter Frampton at the Orange Show Stadium in San Bernardino in summer 1975. Frampton was a few months shy of releasing Frampton Comes Alive. Between acts, concert attendees were climbing the sound towers at the outdoor show. I don't know what they hoped to accomplish. Perhaps one or more of the acts didn't rock hard enough to please them (but they had to know who they were going to see). Perhaps amphetamines were involved. Who knows? They didn't bother us, personally, but they risked their lives and the lives of those at the base of the towers and fought with security and had to be thrown out. Weird between-act entertainment. Bands were great, though.

    Other '70s concerts were fine except for the overbearing presense of the Los Angeles police department. Apparently they had no crimes to attend to, so they showed up at rock concerts in force to try to catch young people lighting up joints in the audience. To them, it must have been like shooting fish in a barrel. To the crowd, even those who didn't partake, it was like having the SS attend your party. You couldn't relax and have a good time. I wonder how many fans were beat up for using tobacco, which was also omnipresent at concerts at the time. The most famous of many such concerts were Pink Floyd's four nights at the L.A. Sports Arena in April 1975. It was nuts, and had nothing whatsoever to do with Pink Floyd, who put on an excellent show.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mythos
    1) Pink Floyd: Animals - How could this suck? I'll tell ya, they played at Angels stadium, a huge baseball stadium, and from our seats we were blasted with two sets of speakers from different directions, thus they were out of phase, so we heard everything, in some weird echo-y overlap, caught up in the hype of the moment, we enjoyed the concert, but I NEVER went to a concert in a large outdoor venue ever again.
    Was that Angels Stadium in Anaheim? We saw Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead there in 1987, and a decade after Floyd's Animals they still hadn't figured out how to do sound in a stadium. We knew all the songs by both artists, but it was a challenge to guess what song they were playing with the echo overlap and just generally garbled sound system. Both Dylan and the Dead were great that night, but you wouldn't know it if you heard what we heard through the speaker towers. Another show we saw at a large venue with buggered sound was the California Jam in 1974 at Ontario Motor Speedway. The only outdoor concert at a very large stadium I attended that had decent sound was The Who and the Grateful Dead at Oakland Coliseum on Entwistle's birthday in 1976. I guess Bill Graham knew how to do it right, or else we were lucky finding a good place to sit. I did see other outdoor concerts at smaller stadiums that had good sound. Those huge places, though...never again.
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  16. #16
    ^^ I seem to remember that some Grateful Dead tapes circa 1974 have Weir or Lesh yelling at crowd members not to climb the towers.

  17. #17
    All Things Must Pass spellbound's Avatar
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    I guess the towers are like monkey bars, and some folks can't resist.
    We're trying to build a monument to show that we were here
    It won't be visible through the air
    And there won't be any shade to cool the monument to prove that we were here. - Gene Parsons, 1973

  18. #18
    Member nosebone's Avatar
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    Santana - Moonflower tour- Palladium NYC 1978 or 77.

    Carlos guitar was inaudible for the whole show.

    Why?..., we'll never know
    no tunes, no dynamics, no nosebone

  19. #19
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    1974 I saw Graham Nash & David Crosby. They were great but it was just the two with acoustic guitars. No band. I wanted a band. They of course did a lot of CSN songs.

  20. #20
    Two shows come to mind for different reasons.

    1. Badger, with Blue Oyster Cult opening. The Cult was really great, and Badger simply seemed to be going through the motions.

    2. Grateful Dead at Alpine Valley, 1978- the show was actually quite good, but we bought lawn seats and then had to stand to watch for the entire 3-hour show since everyone else around us would not sit down and stop dancing.
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  21. #21
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Three spring to mind all in the 80's.

    The Stranglers, Feline tour, Newcastle City Hall, the band was pissed that the security was up both aisles to stop any trouble. They stopped playing part way through and wouldn't continue until security left. The stand off ended with security finally leaving. Unsurprisingly the 'fans' then trashed the place.

    The Toy Dolls, Newcastle University Student Union, they played a total of 3 songs, of which two were Nellie The Elephant.

    Magnum, Redcar Coatham Bowl, half way through Magnum's set someone stole a pedal off the stage and the band refused to play until it was returned. Had a good humored stand off with loads of banter and thrown beers. We then saw a turd in a plastic glass fly through the air, we decided it was time to leave.
    Ian

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  22. #22
    Member mnprogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markwoll View Post
    Jon Anderson at the Barns of Wolftrap (1/13/2004 ). The sound man apologized for the sound mix ( it is usually immaculate ) in advance, saying that it was the artists request.
    It was horrid and cringy.
    a friend of mine and I traveled to Philadelphia from Minnesota to see this tour, and nearly attended that show instead. I guess we were lucky? Although the show at the Keswick Theater we missed half of the show per getting lost in Philly trying to get to the show. So maybe not.

    The half+encore we did see was good from memory, but the biggest memory I have from it was getting lost among the what seemed like dozens of "Broad Streets" in the Philadelphia area.

  23. #23
    Member proggy_jazzer's Avatar
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    In the late 80s I saw Tony Williams with his straight-ahead quintet. He overplayed so much and was so hot in the mix that he just obliterated everyone else on the bandstand. It was so bad that a guy in the balcony started yelling "Brushes! Play with brushes!" between songs.
    David
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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by pb2015 View Post
    ^^ I seem to remember that some Grateful Dead tapes circa 1974 have Weir or Lesh yelling at crowd members not to climb the towers.
    There's lots of examples of that, actually. In Gimme Shelter, there's a bit where someone has to go onstage and tell people to get off the scaffolding because "You're rendering it unsafe.

    There's several Dead shows from 74 where they have to play "America's new favourite game show, Take A Step Back", meaning they had to keep asking the audience to back up, because the front of the crowd is pushed against the security barrier by the idiots in the back. And I think it's the Roosevelt Stadium show in August of that year, where they seem to end Eyes Of The World prematurely, as Bob Weir steps to the microphone and chastises audience members who are climbing on the security fence at the front of the stage, which was had barred wire on the top. I think Weir says something like "If you climb on it, you're gonna get cut, so don't do it, STUPID!"

    And then there's the Rush show from 78 or 79, where Geddy sort of loses it and yells at the audience that "If you keep pushing foward, teh stage is going to collapse, and that'll be the end of the concert, and that would be a real bummer". And trust me, for a Canadian, that is yelling.

    And then there's the Montreal Stadium show, from Pink Floyd, last night of the 1977 tour, where Roger Waters pitches a fit when someone lefts off a really huge firecracker (M-80?) during Pigs On The Wing Part Two. That's one of those things I've never understood about 70's era shows: all the assholes who thought it'd be fun to set off firecrackers. I remember on the Forgotten Yesterdays page, there was someone talking about how he went to one of the shows on the Relayer tour, but before the concert, he got in the face by a bottle rocket, and had to be taken to the ER, so he missed the entire concert!

  25. #25
    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellbound View Post
    Was that Angels Stadium in Anaheim? We saw Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead there in 1987, and a decade after Floyd's Animals they still hadn't figured out how to do sound in a stadium. We knew all the songs by both artists, but it was a challenge to guess what song they were playing with the echo overlap and just generally garbled sound system. Both Dylan and the Dead were great that night, but you wouldn't know it if you heard what we heard through the speaker towers.
    I saw Madonna at Anaheim Stadium on July 18, 1987. Sound was fine. Great show!

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