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Comment – People don’t go out to see a band, they go out to get laid

In response to a recent Daily Review article Australia’s Live Music is Quickly Becoming a Dead Art ‘Ajs’ writes:

This is a big and complex situation and there just isn’t the room to cover everything so I will go over what I believe are the overlooked core elements that everyone seems to be missing.

Let’s start by saying it’s not 1986 anymore.

*Drink prices are through the roof
*Drink driving laws are different
*Parking and/or taxis are a rip off
*Smoking is not permitted indoors
*The internet has nearly killed CD sales
*Touring is cost prohibitive.
*Most bands are not worth leaving the house to see

And there is so much more. What most people do not understand is that unless a band is already established and succesful, people don’t just go out to see a band. They never did.

People go out to socialise, to get smashed and to get laid.

The venue was where, at one time, people would meet to get all those. Now it’s nightclubs that are where people go for those.
Unless the band was really popular, people never cared for who was playing. It’s just the same now in the clubs. No one cares about the dj unless they are poplar. It comes down to relevance.

Also, venues are so loud now that people cannot talk or socialise so the best for someone to be at a live venue is outside, away from the band, in the beer garden where you can actually smoke, talk, laugh, flirt and enjoy yourself……which is what most people came to do anyway.

It’s like everyone has missed this crucial point.

It’s about the people’s night out, not the bands.

Unless a band is really successful with a dedicated following, people are not going out just to see live music and then return home again. hey are going out to enjoy themselves and socialise. Bands need to understand that.

Most bands are simply not very good, let alone worth leaving the house to see.

Let me also say again that most bands are simply not very good, let alone worth leaving the house to see.

Brutally honest fact, but true all the same.

Over and over it’s the same thing, mediocre bands, standing well within in the shadows of their influences brining neither an inspiring performance or something unique to the stage. That said, there are still a few really, really great undiscovered bands.

House PA systems are also louder now than the old days and sound techs tend to make things as loud as they can to the point where if you want but a drink, you must either mouth your order or type it on your phone and show the bar person.

Further to the volume issue, you must earn your right to play loud and when you get to play loud, it’s in the appropriate setting….ie a main stage or arena and it is a reflection of your popularity and relevance.

A live venue should not be treated like a rock concert in terms of volume. I can’t tell you the number of shows I have been to where the few people who turn up are all just sitting in deafening silence with a bored look on their faces while they wait for the chance to talk. I played many times at one venue where band members were not permitted out in the smoking area to talk for long as it made attendances look low and was not seen as supporting the scene.

I would add that where live bands survive and thrive is where there is a scene around it and that’s what brings it to life, not just the bands themselves. If eager live bands themselves were enough, we would have no problems with live music.

Everyone wants to be in a band but few want to go out to see one.

I believe that two crucial points are socialising and relevance. Live bands with the exception of current trends, have lost out on both. Go do a Google search for “night clubs are dead” and see what comes up. Nothing.

Why? Because the scene around them is thriving. Sure, they are too loud, but they make up for that by being socially relevant for many reasons.

It’s not even like the club music is any good. But no one cares because it’s not what really matters and usually isn’t what they are going there for. Their night out is what matters most.

Now go and do a search for “live music is dead” and see what comes up. Page after page after page.

Trying to save live music is not enough. The music is alive and well. It’s the social scene that’s dead.

Attention needs to be given to all facets of what creates and sustains the scene in the first place.

Our culture has largely moved away from bands to DJs and electronic artists. Hip hop is the new rock’ n roll now.

Things change and not always for the better. There are many things to consider but at the end of the day it is going to come down to people socialising and social relevance.

16 responses to “Comment – People don’t go out to see a band, they go out to get laid

  1. If you’re only going to hear live music in order to get shitfaced and laid, then please stay at home. Real music fans love to socialise with one another , yes, but through the medium of a shared passion for their chosen aural stimulation. If you want to talk/chat up/ be a dick throughout the gig then your attendance isn’t required nor appreciated. Plenty of time for that when the gig is over. This is especially true if your preference is for folky/ singer-songwriter music. Nothing more bloody annoying than some rude fucker yapping drunkenly when an artist is emoting on stage. Because music is about artistry, no matter the decibel level or genre. If you don’t get that, then what the hell are you on about?
    We all have different taste. I may hate what you think is genius and vice versa, though I get out to see the musos I love play live. Nothing more exciting than the unpredictability of live performance. It’s people like me, not you, who keep it alive.

  2. A few things –

    – People don’t go out to get laid. They use Tinder to get laid – so there is actually a decline in people going out altogether – not going to gigs. I actually think there would be less people going to clubs as a result – would be interested to see those figures
    – There are loads of good bands around, even local bands. Go to the Tote tonight – there’s 3 good local bands on and it will be packed
    – Live music is certainly not dead – it’s thriving at the moment – don’t believe everything you read on Google
    – Yes, there are people going to nightclubs and listening to shit music – there always have been – it’s called the commercial Top 20.
    – I don’t feel your opinion is very credible and you should spell check an article before publishing in the press – especially when it is meant to demonstrate a well thought through opinion

  3. What utter bullshit. Clearly you are not going out to live music venues (no, it’s not 1986 anymore….) so inevitably, you have no real knowledge of the scene you’re writing about. Which leads me to think: why are you writing an opinion piece about something you clearly are out of touch with? Your opinion reads as this: I wish it were 1986 again so I can be young, get shitfaced, and get laid again.
    I see live music frequently. I am part of a diverse array of Melbourne musicians who are creating and consuming quality music, locally.
    Go back to bed, and keep on being another grumpy old man. Just please don’t feel obliged to share every thought you have.

  4. This article is horribly inaccurate, offensively so. It comes from an ignorant perspective as it is clear the author has no interest in contemporary music and doesn’t go out to see bands. How the hell do you have an opinion, let alone such an extreme one? I see live music most weeks. Excellent Australian bands like: The Peep Tempel; Gold Class; Polish Club; King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard; Pond; Gang of Youths; The Murlocs; Holy Holy; I could easily list another 20 but I’m sure you’re bored by now because you have never heard of any of them. Australian music has never been stronger. NEVER! Ask international festival organisers. Our bands fill their lineups across the world. Don’t write opinion pieces if you have no knowledge of the subject. Get out there and investigate what is really happening. For the record, I am 54. I love contemporary music. My age and presence at these gigs doesn’t even raise an eyelid because the people there are music fans – that is the only reason they are there.

  5. An interesting read – thanks to the Daily Review. I started playing the drums in 1975, as a gormless 14 year old male. My first band played what is now categorised as ‘classic rock & roll’: Chuck Berry, Rolling Stones, Status Quo and such. Music seemed to be a pursuit that still had some sort of capacity to ‘stick it to the Man’. I know I felt a tiny bit rebellious, and hoped against hope that my appearance behind the kit would somehow translate into a dangerous and compelling attraction for the opposite sex. Still waiting for that to pay off! On a more serious and related note, the article above identifies many of the ‘environmental’ factors that have squeezed the live music industry into a diminishing corner. I’d like to add to the factor list the massive changes in fire regulations and resultant attendance capacity for venues that came about in the 80s. Pubs, bars and clubs could no longer cram in as many sweaty bodies as they could manage, so the opportunities to play to seething masses of humanity were removed, and the legally more appropriate but way less fun conditions of the new fire regulations resulted in a reduction in attendances at gigs (not a huge reduction, but still enough to have an effect on venue income and the ‘atmos/vibe’.

    One big change I’ve seen across the 41 years of being involved in the music ‘industry’ relates to how the artform has been relentlessly commodified and turned into consumer fodder. When I were a lad, it were all fields aroun…sorry…music was an essential part of the fabric of one’s identity, and cherished for its capacity to speak to the soul and enrich what was otherwise a sometimes mundane existence. It sat apart from products and the industrial output that was, and still is aimed at keeping corporations in business and consumers happy. The ‘old school’ analogue format of vinyl (apparently enjoying a come-back) and its attendant sleeve with art, liner notes and such held an abundance of stimulation. I was, and still very much am, an individual who chose, and chooses, the artefact rather than the download or the streaming service. What I see these days is how young people can have their ‘favourite’ music as a ringtone or alert tone for their smartphone, or how they have access to the creative output of musicians in a stripped-down digital form, bereft of the charm of sleeve art and the other aspects of the artefact. This seems to have influenced where music ‘sits’ in the lives of millenials and others who can be put into similar demographics/marketing sectors. By this, I mean that they perhaps, knowingly or otherwise, perceive music as part of their overall consumer profiles, and may not be according the same ‘value’ (related to identity, self-expression, psyche etc.) to music as other generations did or do. There’s plenty of evidence to the contrary (the big festivals like Falls, Splendour and such), but I wonder if these aspects are in isolation and the general trend is toward the continuing commodification of music. Anyway, before this comment becomes a PhD thesis and deserves Arts Council funding (see elsewhere on this website…), I’ll wrap up by saying yes, bars and clubs seem to be emphasising crap DJ stuff at 120 dB in the mistaken belief that such offerings will result in many romantic liaisons. The best response, regardless of how old one may be, is to get to live gigs, even if they may not be conservatorium-level performances, and keep going to them, because we will really miss them if they disappear.

  6. Never been to a nightclub in my life. 63 yo. Shit I only went to bands to play hide the salami. No not true , I will have Friday on my mind played at my funeral extremely loud. I have seen the Easybeats and the Twilights and Billy Thorpe and Chain and Jerry Humphries once ( ! ) and lots of 60’s bands. I got a bit of love and affection after, sometimes but I got just as much in pubs and at parties. I never over indulged as the bouncers would throw out throw out those a bit brahms. It was a very different time, men were men and sheep were afraid.

  7. band venues come and go, laws and regulations have made them less fun and there is many competing options for our attention and dosh. but…nothing beats going to a venue with a decent band and beer garden to socialise, get smashed, and get laid, as you say.

  8. lets FACE IT, The pop msic of today isDEGENERATE !!! RUBBISH, Iwas born in 1935, I loved popular music of the 1900,s the 1920,s Jazz, HAWAIAN,country western, and I also loved CLASSICAL music and operas, TRUE ROCK/n/ROLL, and I really don,t think “IT,S AN AGE THING !!” so many so-called” BANDS” develop by people wanting to “make it BIG TIME” MONEY!!! BUT they mainly perpetrate the same old RUBBISH, and because it is SO LOUD!! it seems TODAY people can,t discern between whats good or bad,and as the article says “only go to a band performance “TO GET LAID” ??? surely they don,t got to get their “HEARING IMPAIRED”??? Todays so called music SURELY LACKS, I miss folk like ABBA who wrote “CATCHY TUNES” even CLASSICAL MUSIC has degenerates writing DISCORDANT-WEIRD RUBBISH as well !! as is ART(impressionists ,like Picasso READ his biography) he painted FOR THE MONEY the weird things he painted, appealed somehow to certain people, who fellover themselves to BUY it and EULOGISE it and TRIED to “UNDERSTAND IT” the skill in painting a LIFE LIKE SCENE and PORTRAIT is RARE, and it seems the Skill in writing delightfull MUSIC has likewise VANISHED?? I find it VERY SAD!! mind you the teenagers13-19 will CASTEGATE me for these comments, but they are young AND HAVE A LOT TO LEARN, there,s a LOT MORE to MUSIC than LOUD PECUSSION (DRUMS)and NEVER ENDING “TWANGING ” ELECTRIC GUITARS played at 200 DECIBELS !!!

  9. Jesus, what a load of unmitigated crap.
    The wife and I went to see five touring bands in the last year, all at Allphones Arena in Sydney, plus an international act at a winery in the Hunter Valley..
    Had a great time at each of them, didn’t get shit-faced, didn’t do drugs, wasn’t there to pick up, went because we both love the music and the concert experience and ambience.
    I think this article says a hell of a lot more about the author than the average music fan.

    1. If you actually read it, they are refering to local gigs and bands. Not the ones that play at all phones et al. They are great bands and where the exception to the other 100+ bands they would have played with in their days of pubs.
      It has changed. Kids are going to clubs and seeing DJs over pubs and seeing bands.

  10. There’s an awful lot of content about nightclubs dying. Tinder being a main contributor apparently.
    Live local music ebbs and flows, largely driven by the fashionability or otherwise of the limited number of venues in most Aussie cities.

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