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How much is smoke & mirrors when you gig?

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  • How much is smoke & mirrors when you gig?

    I saw Evanescence in concert last night.

    I enjoyed myself, although I needed binoculars to see anything properly......

    I noticed a few times that Amy Lee would be playing an intro or whatever on a keyboard, then grab the mike and start running around dancing & singing....and magically the piano would continue in the background.

    Was she even playing the intro or just miming?

    How much of your "live" gigging is actually just miming over a recording and how much is actually playing?

    Is miming perfectly acceptable now, or is it considered "cheating"?

    Sorry if my questions are naive....
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell...</font></div>

  • #2
    that makes me sick more than anything. there's an ebm act from Buffalo that played here a few times. the first time i saw them the girls fingers were hovering two inches from the keys as she 'played'. i never forgot that.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://outputnoise.com/" target="_blank"><b>output:noise</b></a></div>

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    • #3
      Someone posted here a while back a picture of a girl playing a JP8000 that was not even turned on. No lights

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      • #4
        Don't misunderstand me......this is not a thread to slag Amy Lee...I'm actually quite a fan. I know she can definitely play quite well.....

        I'm just wondering if it's commonly accepted to have keys auto-playing in the background or should she have had another band member playing keys for her?
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell...</font></div>

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        • #5
          if i saw someone i respected doing something like that, i think i'd think a bit differently about them.
          <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://outputnoise.com/" target="_blank"><b>output:noise</b></a></div>

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          • #6
            "It's not right ... but it's OK ... they're going to make it anyway ..."

            I guess each artist needs to figure our what their (potential) audience finds acceptable ... let's face it, it's not easy to play an instrument, sing and act like a cheerleader too ...

            I suppose it's about setting priorities in your performance.

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            • #7
              It probably happens a lot more than you'd like to think - what with most shows having everything but the kitchen sink synced to the music. While it certainly wouldn't be impossible to pre-program the sequencer to mute parts here - play parts there - imagine what just a little too much improv would do to throw the whole thing out of wack. Oh for the good old days when it was all played live (even if it ment hiding some extra players under the stage).

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              • #8
                I could never gig in such a way. I enjoy playing music.

                Well, I suppose if they gave me millions of dollars I could fake it, but then I would don a disguise and go play real music in my spare time.
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">&quot;One likes to believe in the freedom of music, but glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity&quot; - Rush, <i>Permanent Waves</i>, &quot;The Spirit of Radio&quot;</font></div>

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                • #9
                  The Stones, The Who, U2 and a lot of other big name bands all have done this to fill in there soundscape. The Who still use the original tape tracks for playing Baba O'Riley, Won't Get Fooled Again and Who Are You, but they never tried to hide it. What I've seen in many of the younger bands stage shows is that the sound is too good meaning recorded. Who can forget the Ashely Simpson mess on SNL last year.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1"><font face="Arial Narrow">Prophet 08, Mini D, CS-80, Juno-60, Radias, 2 x JD-990, JP-8080, Fantom X6, Speakeasy Stereo Rackmount Vintage Tube Preamp ...</font></font></div>

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                  • #10

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                    • #11
                      What I don't like about it is that it rules out any chance of spontaneity. What if they wanted to go nuts and change from rock to reggae just for the fun of it? No can do.....you have to do what the sequenced music is telling you.

                      Crowd requests a favourite old song but you can't play it because you don't have the backing tracks ready.....

                      :-(
                      <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell...</font></div>

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                      • #12
                        We only do one sequenced song in our entire repertoire, No Doubt's "Hellagood". I used to hold my hands up near the keyboard during small portions of the sequence where I wasn't actually playing, but soon decided that was worse than letting the audience know a sequence was playing. No more.
                        <div class="signaturecontainer">Botch<br />
                        <i>Start by admitting, From cradle to tomb,<br />
                        Isn't that long a stay.<br />
                        Life is a cabaret, old chum, and I love a cabaret...</i></div>

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                        • #13
                          well, i do think there's a hell of a difference between sequenced music and someone standing up there literally pretending to be playing an instrument or singing.
                          <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://outputnoise.com/" target="_blank"><b>output:noise</b></a></div>

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                          • #14
                            I will change my mind in one specific case.

                            For pop music, it's OK. Most pop fans aren't aware that bands make music, anyway. When they think of music they think of sexy people dancing on a stage, no musicians to be seen. Those people don't deserve to have real music played before them.

                            Guess it is obvious now that I vehemently vomit on pop music.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="1">&quot;One likes to believe in the freedom of music, but glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity&quot; - Rush, <i>Permanent Waves</i>, &quot;The Spirit of Radio&quot;</font></div>

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                            • #15
                              We have a fair bit of stuff coming off the laptop when we play live, it used to come from the MPC. The laptop is sitting right there on stage though, and the audience can see the screen from the side. We never pretend to be playing something when we aren't, that just seems dumb.

                              There is one song we do where I don't play anything, just tweak fx on the lead vocal, I guess people must wonder what I'm doing in that one...
                              <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.myspace.com/theemergency" target="_blank">www.myspace.com/theemergency</a></div>

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