In this the year’s biggest month of music here’s my list of “Five Top Live Music Peeves.” Just to be dramatic, they’re listed in ascending order from five to number one.
5. Performers who introduce one of their standards by saying, “this next song goes something like this.”
We like what the late Frankie Ford said at the Jazz Fest one year before performing “Sea Cruise” his biggest hit: “This next song does not go something like this, it goes EXACTLY like this.”
4. Staging the fake walk-off.
You’ve seen it before. The performer finishes his last number than walks off the stage to wait for the crowd’s applause to bring him back for a preplanned encore. Maybe one day the crowd will stop applauding.
3. Big name performers who don’t sing the songs that got them there.
Sure they’ve performed the song a zillion times and they’re tired of it, but it’s the song we’ve come to hear. We’ll endure the occasional, “something new I wrote for my next CD” but give us what we’re there for otherwise we could be home listening to the old CD.
2. Acts that have too long of a warm-up group before the person we paid to see begins.
My suggestion is that the drinks should be free during the preamble until the main attraction takes the stage.
1. Acts that don’t start on time.
Okay, so they’re musicians and they’re supposed to be free spirits whose days begin at 3 p.m. But for those of us who are acclimated to conventional hours, and who are conditioned to being punctual for appointments, it’s no fun waiting for musicians to futz around past the announced time. I was once at a concert that was supposed to begin at midnight on the Sunday before Mardi Gras. At 12:45 a.m. the musicians started tuning their instruments. Somewhere after one that morning the performance began. I was not there for the end. A few weeks later I saw the musician. When I told him how late his show had started, he hadn’t even realized it.
Attention musicians! Your audiences live in the real world.
Okay, enough being grumpy. It’s time to relax and listen to good live music. I just hope the amplifiers are not too loud.
BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Errol’s Laborde’s books, “New Orleans: The First 300 Years” and “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2017 and 2013), are available at local bookstores and at book websites.
WATCH INFORMED SOURCES, FRIDAYS AT 7 P.M., REPEATED AT 11:30 P.M.WYES-TV, CH. 12.