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#2894015 - 12/05/17 04:24 AM U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist?
BuckW Offline
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Registered: 06/20/17
Posts: 127
Last Saturday you could clearly hear some backing pad but there was no key player on stage. Recording? SNL band supplement?

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#2894023 - 12/05/17 05:10 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: BuckW]
George88 Offline
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They have been playing to tracks for years.

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#2894024 - 12/05/17 05:14 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: George88]
yannis D Offline
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Back in the day they used to hide him under the stage with a buch of keyboards.
Nowdays, as George88 mentioned, it's usually tracks
Too bad for my taste
(One of the main reasons i still admire the Rolling Stones, is that they NEVER hide their musicians under stage!)
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#2894026 - 12/05/17 05:28 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: yannis D]
wd8dky Offline
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Playing to backing tracks, or triggering samples/loops live? There's a difference...

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#2894029 - 12/05/17 05:42 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: wd8dky]
Markay Offline
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I saw them at a Stadium show on their last tour here, the one where Bono said that every time he clapped a child died and the audience responds with well stop clapping then, and there was definitely more guitar parts to be heard than the Edge was playing.

Tried, but wasn't close enough to see what was going on under the stage.
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#2894030 - 12/05/17 05:49 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: yannis D]
Synthoid Online   content
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Originally Posted By: yannis D
Back in the day they used to hide him under the stage


Inexcusable.
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#2894037 - 12/05/17 06:43 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: Synthoid]
MotiDave Offline
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They are transitioning to a boy band. Soon they will have all musicians hidden and will spotlight a new voca trio with snappy new dance moves.

Its the natural evolution ... i don’t see the problem here?

A few backing tracks is fine imo but I’ve seen some tribute bands that ought to be ashamed at the amount of “backing track” they use vs amount of live performed music, I’ve seen one band that will literally have 100% of all music tracked as a couple guys fake playing and one (very good) singer does a secret karaoke act. i do not know how they go on stage, i couldn’t ... i just couldn’t.
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#2894038 - 12/05/17 06:47 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: MotiDave]
rickzjamm Offline
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At that level U2 can afford a keyboardist, brass section & string quartet.
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#2894039 - 12/05/17 06:49 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: MotiDave]
The Real MC Offline
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At least Tom Petty had the class to place their 2nd keyboardist onstage with the group.

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#2894043 - 12/05/17 07:11 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: rickzjamm]
Synthoid Online   content
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Originally Posted By: rickzjamm
At that level U2 can afford a keyboardist, brass section & string quartet.


Probably wealthy enough to afford a small country by now. idk
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#2894045 - 12/05/17 07:12 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: The Real MC]
wd8dky Offline
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Wasn't The Who's keyboard player hidden in the back too? I thought I remember that from an older concert video.

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#2894047 - 12/05/17 07:22 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: wd8dky]
J. Dan Offline
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Originally Posted By: wd8dky
Wasn't The Who's keyboard player hidden in the back too? I thought I remember that from an older concert video.


Pretty sure they used tape.


While I'm not doubting U2 uses some tracks, you might be surprised at how much is coming from the Edge's Guitar. I watched a Netflix Documentary called "This May Get Loud" featuring Jimmy Page, Edge, and Jack White (white stripes). It was pretty cool because it was basically 3 generations of guitar players each with a different approach, it went into each of their backgrounds and put the 3 of them in one room telling stories and jamming.

Point being, Edge was the one of the 3 that fully embraced heavy effects and technology. His rack is enormous. He uses a lot of syncopated delays that can make it sound like multiple guitars, and also uses so,e guitar synth type effects to sound like pads and other sy thing stuff going on, In one scene he was playing something that sounded thick and synthy and then turned off all the effects and said "this is what I'm actually playing" and it was like 2 notes in a simple pattern.
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#2894051 - 12/05/17 07:39 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: J. Dan]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
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Loc: Discovery Bay, California
I use Karma drums and drum tracks on my tunes.

Keyboard parts , bass, guitars 100% authentic.

Drummers beware, revenge will be mine wink

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#2894052 - 12/05/17 07:48 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: GregC]
analogika Offline
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Registered: 10/15/17
Posts: 29
Loc: Germany
In the mid-80s, the Motörhead keyboarder doubling all the bass parts for actual, well, bass had his Memorymoog hidden off-stage, as well.

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#2894053 - 12/05/17 07:50 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: GregC]
J. Dan Offline
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Well if you think about it, keyboard players were the first ones taking down other instruments. With the advent of drum machines and sequencers and their rise in popularity in the late 70s and early 80s, a lot of drummers and guitar players were out of work. Just think of all the synth pop duos of the time/

Erasure
Yaz
Soft Cell
The Buggles
The Eurythmics
Naked Eyes
Pet Shop Boys
Tears for Fears
Etc.

I did it myself - playing most of the 90s in a duo with a laptop acting as our drummer/bass player.
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2894055 - 12/05/17 07:52 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: GregC]
Synthoid Online   content
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Originally Posted By: GregC
I use Karma drums and drum tracks on my tunes.


+1

The good old Korg M3 still going strong here. rockit
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#2894059 - 12/05/17 08:15 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: Synthoid]
CEB Offline
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If you all remember .... Midijr played keys for U2. grin

Actually its Terry Lawless. Or atleast Terry played U2 live shows for a longtime.
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#2894060 - 12/05/17 08:17 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: CEB]
CEB Offline
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Looks like he's still doing live shows on top studio and synth programming for the band.

http://www.terrylawless.com/resume.htm
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#2894064 - 12/05/17 08:27 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: Synthoid]
ABECK Offline
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Registered: 01/22/01
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Loc: Framingham,MA,UNITED STATES
Originally Posted By: Synthoid
Originally Posted By: yannis D
Back in the day they used to hide him under the stage


Inexcusable.

Agreed. Foo fighters has their keys player visible, but positioned behind the guitar amps (the Killers do this too), that is somewhat better, but still quite lame IMHO.

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#2894067 - 12/05/17 08:58 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: CEB]
J. Dan Offline
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Originally Posted By: CEB
Looks like he's still doing live shows on top studio and synth programming for the band.

http://www.terrylawless.com/resume.htm


Looking at his calendar - he had U2 Saturday Night Live on there. So he must have been playing, just offstage. So likely no tracks or else why have him there?
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Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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#2894071 - 12/05/17 09:27 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: J. Dan]
sherry Offline
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Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 127
Seen the Who twice in the last three years. Keyboard players are right there on stage with the rest. But I have to say, the live cover band scene, keyboardists are being eliminated like the plague. In Chicago most cover bands use tracks to cover keys. Audience doesn't care and neither do the bands. Sad.


Edited by sherry (12/05/17 09:29 AM)

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#2894079 - 12/05/17 10:14 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: sherry]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
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Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: sherry
In Chicago most cover bands use tracks to cover keys. Audience doesn't care and neither do the bands. Sad.


the Chicago band scene was as tough as a Chicago winter from my experience ( 70's)

I was tempted to switch to saxophone and busker on Michigan Avenue

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#2894084 - 12/05/17 10:32 AM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: GregC]
sherry Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 127
Yeah, winter's here can be brutal. The largest cover band in my area use at least 50% tracks. They draw huge crowds. Keys all over the place, and absolutely NOBODY in the audience questions where is the piano sound coming from. Ugh. My band has opened up for them on numerous occasions, I just sit and listen to them, shake my head and go home.

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#2894105 - 12/05/17 12:17 PM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: sherry]
Iconoclast Offline
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Registered: 09/12/11
Posts: 398
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Of all bands...YES, yes YES, had some keyboard parts played from offstage during the 90125 tour. I was horrified when I read that.
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#2894110 - 12/05/17 12:51 PM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: Iconoclast]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
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Loc: Discovery Bay, California
We can't stop 'technology ' in music from being used. Its been part of the keyboard experience for 2 or 3 decades.

From my home studio experience the 'technology' gotten much easier and cheaper to take advantage of. And the marketing/distribution of the tools is within reach in practically every country on the planet.

I am not sure when the 'tipping point' was reached, in case anyone sees it that way.

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#2894112 - 12/05/17 12:57 PM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: GregC]
Iconoclast Offline
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Registered: 09/12/11
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Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
We're not paying for a magic show, we're paying for a performance.
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#2894115 - 12/05/17 01:26 PM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: Iconoclast]
Tom Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/04/14
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Loc: West Virginia

  • In the 90s I used my trusty EPS-13-minus as my bassist and drummer. I only programmed parts that I could have covered live on drums or (key) bass.
  • I paid pretty good money to see ELP on their Black Moon tour. Years later I felt quite cheated when someone -- I think it was Will Alexander -- mentioned that they had used sequences out the wazoo "to give the audience the whole experience."
  • Just a few weeks ago I had to reminder my band's singer that if I can't play it, I don't want us to play it. Unless it's for an obvious gimmick (e.g., verse 1 of "The Way") I refuse to use a sequencer nor a track.
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#2894117 - 12/05/17 01:39 PM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: Tom Williams]
timwat Offline
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As much as I loathe playing over tracks - at the end of the day that ship has already sailed. Getting indignant about it is about as effective as getting indignant about how online education is replacing classroom instruction...everything you can say may be true but the market has already declared what it wants.

Most audiences hear with their eyes. I wish it wasn't that way but that's the freakin' truth. They want an experience, they want a magic show and if they don't get one they change the "channel"...mentally, figuratively or actually.

There are exceptions, and genres where that's less the truth than in others...but it's always part of the truth. If they're going to pay and show up in person, they want to be entertained.

And the market has shifted in such a way that prerecorded to some degree is not the exception, it's the rule of the day. We may question or debate the relative percentage of live vs. memorex, and who feels cheated and who doesn't.

But the truth is the royalty / revenue structure has been decimated by streaming, no one cares anymore, and the mortgage is still a 30 year loan - which all means you got put butts in the seats, as many as possible, and to do that you gotta bring a great show at the most efficient cost. Which for many means rolling Pro Tools in the background.
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#2894119 - 12/05/17 01:46 PM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: Tom Williams]
GregC Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tom Williams

  • I paid pretty good money to see ELP on their Black Moon tour. Years later I felt quite cheated when someone -- I think it was Will Alexander -- mentioned that they had used sequences out the wazoo "to give the audience the whole experience." s to play it.


I have said 100's of times, history is important, in that there are lessons to absorb in the events of that time.

Here is a criticism of Black Moon:

"Black Moon is the eighth studio album, and the first in fourteen years, by progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released in 1992.

The track "Affairs of the Heart" originated in summer 1988 sessions by Lake with Geoff Downes under the project name Ride the Tiger.

The album received mixed reviews. It did not receive the acclaim of Tarkus or Brain Salad Surgery. AllMusic said of the album, "The original trio's first studio album in a dozen years suffers from the inevitable ageing and darkening of Lake's voice, and a lack of real impetus".

Was Alexander attempting to capture/simply recreate musical parts from Black Moon ?
It appears he was seeing the music from a larger, audience perspective.

lets also remember that the Beatles turned into a studio band, for some time, with Sargent Pepper.

The technology in the studio from past decades has become accessible to us for some time.

And could a big name band like ELP prosper for a long time based on a following of musicians and a core of aging loyal fans ?




Edited by GregC (12/05/17 01:47 PM)

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#2894138 - 12/05/17 02:46 PM Re: U2 on SNL: Where was the keyboardist? [Re: wd8dky]
TAdorno Offline
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Registered: 12/10/16
Posts: 31
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: wd8dky
Wasn't The Who's keyboard player hidden in the back too? I thought I remember that from an older concert video.


Baba O'Rielly and WOnt get fooled again are always pre-recorded tracks.

When i saw the who at Shea Stadium (1983? "its hard" tour), Rabbit Bundrick could clearly be seen on stage. I missed the 89 Tommy tour, but the keys were onstage during the 90s Quadraphenia tour. I think Rabbit did the Face Dances tour. He hooked up with Pete for "Empty Glass" and I remember him saying he figured out how to do the "Sister Disco" sequence live. He did not do the WHo Are You tour. Did they do a tour for that one? Im not sure if they had a keyboard player live before that. Im not sure they did all of Quadraphenia live when it was released. They certainly did the late 60s Tommy shows without a keyboard player
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