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You make a good point about the dated nature of a lot of coverband setlists, but in my experience it is not simply the age of the songs but also the fact that cover bands tend to ignore the genre that most young people want to dance to: Hip Hop.
My band has been able to get an incredible ROI from adding half or dozen or so "classic" Hip Hop tunes from Sugar Hill Gang, Snoop Dogg, Dre, Jay Z, Cypress Hill, Tupac, and Beastie Boys. Some of these songs are 25 years old (or more!) but feel fresh to the crowd because no one else does them. Most of these tunes either used real instrumentation or samples of classic funk tunes so they are doable within a standard 2 guitar, drum, bass arrangement, even better with a keyboard. The trouble with the new stuff for me is that I have no idea how to pull it off without crazy synths. Weve had lots of requests for Harlem Shake but I have no idea how to pull that tune off without a keyboard player...Ditto Gagnam Style and anything with a dubstep influence.
In my town most of the live music is either 2 - 3 original bands playing 1 set each, or 1 band with a CD of originals and covers for the rest. They seem to play things like Volbeat, buckcherry, weezer, foo fighters, more current stuff.
They are all younger guys/girls as well. At 43 and the youngest in my band (oldest turned 50) we are way too old for bars and clubs full of 18 - 25 year olds,, that's why we moved into the private/corporate scene.
When i was in HS we had 10 bands from beginers to pros. There was an appretice system to learn from and bands not djs fought for the HS dance gigs. Today no such system exhists unless u include ROCKBAND. Bands form in college now I guess? Lots of mancave Dad bands are forming. These are the 20-30 bands round here that play for little or nothing.
Anyone who refuses to believe that the music industry is in a little bit of a state of crisis is just blind to it.
Sure, there are still bands playing out. In my area, there are probably 20 solidly working cover bands.. another 20 that are solid weekend warrior bands. And 5-10 of the top 20 are full timers, paying bills with the money from gigging.
That said.. only one local band can guarantee a packed house each time out. That band has a full on gimmick, with stage outfits, encourages the audience to come out dressed up in similar gear... they make it a party, a show.
With that band, though.. it isn't even really about the music. It's about the show. The party. People come out because they want to be a part of the spectacle. They have a REASON to care.
That's the key to it all. For too long, bands have adopted the attitude of "I'm going to do what I want, and to hell if people care or not". But that isn't what anyone wants to see. People don't go to see LMFAO because of the awesome musicianship, they go see them because they've given people a reason to care. If you look up videos of those guys, they aren't particularly great vocalists or rappers.. but they do put on a show, a production, something that people want to be a part of. If your band gets together and plays a bunch of old songs that you guys like.. why in the hell would anyone want to be a part of that?! ESPECIALLY if you're approaching it from a standoffish outlook to begin with!
For some bands, it's silly costumes and theme nights. For some bands, it's adding a setlist that's fresh and different (be it modern hip hop songs or Dean Martin tunes... something that stands out)... but whatever it is, to captivate people, you HAVE to give them a reason to be emotionally invested.
And... there is some truth to the postings above. On any given night, people now can pick from not only whatever bands are playing in town, and whatever DJs, KJs, and poker nights are going on... but they've got 1000 TV channels, Netflix/DVR/Hulu, Facebook, dating sites and chat rooms, Xbox and Playstation.. there are a million things to do with your free time, and you'll never be able to do them all. People are bombarded with entertainment choices... you aren't competing near as much for the entertainment dollar as you are for the entertainment minute. And I'm not gonna lie... as I approach my next rank in Halo... what is it about your band that's so special that I should take my night off to go see you instead of ranking up with some friends online? I use that as one example.. but it's a valid one.
Of course.. money is tight for folks right now, no doubt.. but there is one last thing at work. There is no mystique in anything anymore. People have no respect for anyone's abilities, talents... there's just no appreciation for ANYTHING outside of "oh.. that's neat". Every single person you meet believes that with just a little bit of effort.. They can win a Grammy on the offseason between scoring the winning touchdown for the Cowboys before headlining Wrestlemania and after taking home every Oscar possible for one of the 25 movies they starred in last year. Seriously. People just don't get that when someone accomplishes something in music, sports, movies, or any other form of entertainment... there's a LOT of effort and work that goes into that! It doesn't just happen overnight. But if SRV came out now... people's response? "Oh.. that's neat"... and then they'd move on to a funny cat picture.
So what's the job now, to get a band to be a "must see" attraction? Compete with thousands of entertainment options for people's time, money, and attention, all of which they are VERY short on.
... and I have friends who literally ask out loud why the 15 minute Allman Brothers song they play doesn't get them more work...
Fortunately I'm playing to the baby-boomer market. Mostly private clubs, private parties at condominiums or other retirement communities, yacht clubs, country clubs, and the like. These people grew up with live music, and still appreciate live music.
Someone mentioned bands that don't play to the audience but do only what they want to do. With rare exceptions, those kind of bands never get work.
All we can do is to try to be better than our competition, better music, better crowd pacing, and so on.
There are more people on the planet, but fewer places to play. The competition is TV, DJs, YouTube, and of course those people who go to open mic nights and give away their services for free. You have to be better than the rest if you want to work.
Music no longer defines the generation. It's a disposable commodity that is treated as important as chewing gum. It's sad but true.
Problem with your list is virtually all of those past artists were dismissed by MANY (ie virtually everyone who wasn't a fan and buying their records) as talentless hacks who didnt match up to the "classic" and "real" musicians.
guido61 wrote: Problem with your list is virtually all of those past artists were dismissed by MANY (ie virtually everyone who wasn't a fan and buying their records) as talentless hacks who didnt match up to the "classic" and "real" musicians.
This has nothing to do with his argument--even if it was even remotely true.
And really,... would you like me to rattle off a list of completely forgotten "long term investment" one hit wonder country artists that the labels signed in the wake of Garth Brooks! There were literally hundreds of them.
Years later everyone remembers the few big stars who have accumulated but forget the thousands of others left in their wake.
It has everything to do with his argument and is entirely true. Are you too young, or have already forgotton how many people dismissed Elvis, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Kiss etc etc when they first hit? Heck, even Led Zeppelins first albums got a ton of bad reviews
But if it makes you feel better to believe everything was so much better when you were a kid, I won't stop you.
Why so angry dude? You bummed because you can't have giant hair for your reunion?
You're talking critics. He's talking about musicianship and hit making ability and how it doesn't happen any longer. And really? Other than Zep, most of the acts he mentioned may have gotten panned for a very short period of time but weren't dismissed for very long.
You should attempt to agree with someone tomorrow on just one topic. Just one time and make sure you message me so I can take a pic.