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#2920122 - 04/08/18 08:17 PM OT: has there ever been a better performer than
waygetter Offline
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Loc: San Francisco, CA
Ian Anderson? There's some Spinal Tapishness to this, but damn this man is a monster!
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#2920162 - 04/09/18 05:11 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: waygetter]
Outkaster Offline
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Yes tons of people.
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#2920171 - 04/09/18 06:08 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: Outkaster]
PianoMan51 Offline
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Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 967
Loc: Cabin In The Woods
Random thoughts...

This was the days before jumbotron. No giant tv screens above the stage. Kind of like theatre before film.

Ian Anderson, genius and master of the ....

wait for it...

dramatic...

pause.

And this was a song without the flute.

Thanks for the post.


Edited by PianoMan51 (04/09/18 06:19 AM)

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#2920215 - 04/09/18 08:05 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: PianoMan51]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 897
I imagine that you'll get a(n) (un)fair number of disparaging comments from people who are uncomfortable with a man and a band who actually went out of their way to entertain a crowd without laser beams or shining bright lights in their eyes. No backdrops. Nothing but the guys on the stage. Flash pots and smoke machines were as radical as it got.

Ian Anderson believed in playing to the back row. He made sure that the audience got their money's worth. All of them, not just the front three rows.

These days you're supposed to stand rooted to one spot, posed carefully for the camera. You move more than two inches and the screen above you goes blank. Bad form, eh?

Bullshit!

I'll take one Ian Anderson over any ten of the current crop of oh-so-precious little darlings who don't get the idea that they're there to provide the audience with an experience that is--or should be--centered on the band...not the supporting technology. Deprive them of their cameras and they are nothing. They scarcely play to the front row, much less the tenth or the balcony.

I suspect, but can't prove that one of the problems that beginning bands face today is that they fail because they don't PERFORM for the audience. They play as though they're on camera and their every move will be magnified by a thousand-fold...only...there is no camera...and the audience is bored shitless and don't bother to look up from their beers. In their minds, they're rich and famous and playing coliseums and outdoor festivals. In reality, they're playing a small club and there's no technology to support their inner fantasy of a small twitch of the eyebrow conveying over the entire room.

Yeah, Tull, Grand Funk Railroad, Led Zeppelin, Yes, et. al. did something incomprehensible to younger folks...they played their asses off rather than stand there waiting for their hero shot.

My god, I'm glad I'm not a cameraman assigned to keep Chris Squire in frame during a Yes gig. Or Mark Farner. Or Jimmy Page.

Hell, Steve Howe at ca. 70 years old showed more energy last summer than a lot of people I've seen who are a third his age.

And that's a cryin' shame...

Grey


Edited by GRollins (04/09/18 08:07 AM)
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#2920219 - 04/09/18 08:15 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: waygetter]
synthizen2 Offline
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Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 768
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: waygetter
Ian Anderson? There's some Spinal Tapishness to this, but damn this man is a monster!

[video]


As Ian himself so eloquently put it...

"One weird memory of Buffalo was a real 'Spinal Tap' moment when back in 1973 I thought the band should start the show in big white rabbit suits. So, we procured the suits with the big heads and zippers in the back," Anderson recalled during a recent phone interview.
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#2920225 - 04/09/18 08:30 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: synthizen2]
PianoMan51 Offline
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Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 967
Loc: Cabin In The Woods
Originally Posted By: synthizen2
Originally Posted By: waygetter
Ian Anderson? There's some Spinal Tapishness to this, but damn this man is a monster!

[video]


As Ian himself so eloquently put it...

"One weird memory of Buffalo was a real 'Spinal Tap' moment when back in 1973 I thought the band should start the show in big white rabbit suits. So, we procured the suits with the big heads and zippers in the back," Anderson recalled during a recent phone interview.


Was it possible that the Hare had lost his spectacles?

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#2920232 - 04/09/18 08:46 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: PianoMan51]
Jazz+ Offline
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Posts: 5731
I had forgotten about that song, it was something my band covered when I was a freshman in high school. Ians mannerism reminds me of the lead singer in Coldplay . British theater stage technique..
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#2920234 - 04/09/18 08:49 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: Jazz+]
MathOfInsects Offline
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That's 40 years ago.

He wasn't even the best performer of his time, let alone of the intervening 40 years.

Old people are goofy.
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#2920242 - 04/09/18 09:09 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: MathOfInsects]
mate stubb Offline
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Saw Tull on the original Aqualung tour, loved them. Tull was the soundtrack of my high school senior year along with JC Superstar and others. Never saw somebody play flute perched on one leg like a stork before and dance like a dervish.

Saw Allman Brothers a week before they recorded the Fillmore East album. They burned the house down standing immobile.

Saw ELP's first American tour in a 1400 seat opera house. Emerson was a madman.

These shows were all in 1970 - 1971. There's more than one way to perform and entertain the audience.
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#2920249 - 04/09/18 09:29 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: waygetter]
Rustar Online   content
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Registered: 03/22/07
Posts: 245
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
Originally Posted By: waygetter
Ian Anderson? There's some Spinal Tapishness to this, but damn this man is a monster!


I saw them in '72 after the release of "Thick As A Brick", and the man and the music transported me to different world. There were so many layers to the man and his music: the humor, his intelligence, the cynicism, the Middles Ages minstrel poses and mannerisms, the Celtic-ness, his intensity, the tricks with his eyes and facial expressions, his athleticism, the feeling that you weren't sure if you were in on the joke or not. This was before he cut his hair, and he was even more animated than he is in this video. I've seen all of the major bands, and he is in a class by himself. I believe he was at the peak of his powers when I saw him. My interest waned after "Thick...", because I most loved the driving energy and intensity of Aqualung. In short, Sir, I agree.


Edited by Rustar (04/09/18 09:31 AM)
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#2920251 - 04/09/18 09:35 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: MathOfInsects]
MAJUSCULE Offline
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Registered: 06/10/09
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Loc: Edmonton, Alberta
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Yes tons of people.


Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
That's 40 years ago.

He wasn't even the best performer of his time, let alone of the intervening 40 years.

Old people are goofy.


roll roll roll
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#2920260 - 04/09/18 10:00 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: MAJUSCULE]
MTalking Offline
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 64
Yes, everyone in my kids' School of Rock classes, for starters.

For real, I'm happy for whoever likes the dude in that video, but for me, that was absolutely horrid.

A frantic flapping of the arms and googley eyes don't equate to a great performance (although Marty Feldman may disagree).

Again, just my take.



Edited by MTalking (04/09/18 10:01 AM)

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#2920262 - 04/09/18 10:13 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: MTalking]
area51recording Offline
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Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 1833
Loc: Newburgh,IN
Originally Posted By: MTalking
Yes, everyone in my kids' School of Rock classes, for starters.

For real, I'm happy for whoever likes the dude in that video, but for me, that was absolutely horrid.

A frantic flapping of the arms and googley eyes don't equate to a great performance (although Marty Feldman may disagree).

Again, just my take.



K, then..... rolleyes

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#2920278 - 04/09/18 10:51 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: mate stubb]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 897
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
Saw Tull on the original Aqualung tour, loved them. Tull was the soundtrack of my high school senior year along with JC Superstar and others. Never saw somebody play flute perched on one leg like a stork before and dance like a dervish.

Saw Allman Brothers a week before they recorded the Fillmore East album. They burned the house down standing immobile.

Saw ELP's first American tour in a 1400 seat opera house. Emerson was a madman.

These shows were all in 1970 - 1971. There's more than one way to perform and entertain the audience.


I had the opportunity to see Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and the Allman Brothers literally back to back at the August Jam in 1974.

No comparison.

The Allman Brothers played fine. The music was tight and all was good (barring, perhaps, an overly long drum solo--we're talking something on the order of an hour--excessive, even by '70s standards) and people were quite happy to listen to them...but that's the thing, the operative word..."listen." To watch...to actually see them. Nothing. Period. Basically just a live stereo. Close your eyes and listen to the hits roll by. Might as well listen to a bootleg recording and be spared the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes (massive outdoor gig at Charlotte Motor Speedway).

ELP was...well...ELP. Far better to watch as a live performance, because there was something to, well, watch.

You can tell that a lot of folks grew up watching MTV, with tightly choreographed moves, careful camera angles, closeup shots, editing. An actual, real human performing onstage? The idea terrifies, even offends them. Omigawd! They might do something unpredictable! Run!

May the gods forbid that some of the post MTV crowd's camera feed quits while they're performing. It'd be like Toto pulling back the curtain on the Wizard, revealing it all to be just a technological marvel, rather than a true, larger than life spectacle.

It'd be a lovely (albeit cruel) experiment: Put some of the current crop of performers on stage with no video, no backdrops, nothing but the lights on the stage. Period. See how long these soi disant "stars" can hold peoples' interest without being propped up. Yes, some would adapt, but a lot would fail, and quickly.

Me? I'm betting it'd be over, not on that tour, because people would assume it was a bad show and give them another chance...but the tour after that would be their last.

Grey
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#2920306 - 04/09/18 11:59 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: GRollins]
timwat Offline
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Generational differences. Old as time itself.

"Who are the greatest performers of all time?" - I think the suggestions reveal more about voter age than the candidates offered.
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#2920312 - 04/09/18 12:08 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: timwat]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 897
Originally Posted By: timwat
Generational differences. Old as time itself.

"Who are the greatest performers of all time?" - I think the suggestions reveal more about voter age than the candidates offered.


I'm not sure I'd agree with that. A caveman would know that you need to engage your audience when playing on a hollow log or telling a story by firelight. That remained unchanged until quite recently, historically speaking.

Unquestionably, there are generational differences now, but the technologies involved aren't really that old in the great scheme of things.

Grey
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#2920317 - 04/09/18 12:17 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: GRollins]
MojoGuyPan Offline
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Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 300
Loc: Mainland Florida
Ian Anderson. Boo to the OP. Very Boo.

I see your Ian Anderson and raise you a Michael Jackson and two Sammy Davis, Jr.'s.

Sad work OP

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#2920326 - 04/09/18 12:32 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: GRollins]
Bobby Simons Online   content
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Registered: 12/28/17
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Loc: Northport, L.I., NY
Ian Anderson is one of the all-time great writers/singers/performers. I saw one of their earliest (if not the first) American shows at the Fillmore East, and played every album from 'This Was' through 'Passion Play' to death. The organic transformation from a British Blues band to a progressive rock group was a wonder to experience.
Unfortunately, nowadays his voice is almost entirely gone, to the point where someone else now doubles all his vocals on stage. It's a real shame.

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#2920353 - 04/09/18 01:50 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: GRollins]
timwat Offline
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Originally Posted By: GRollins

I'm not sure I'd agree with that. A caveman would know that you need to engage your audience when playing on a hollow log or telling a story by firelight. That remained unchanged until quite recently, historically speaking.

Unquestionably, there are generational differences now, but the technologies involved aren't really that old in the great scheme of things.

Grey


Hey Grey,

I certainly agree the theoretical caveman would recognize the difference in watchability between, say, a guy sitting reading a book for an hour and someone singing and playing an instrument on a stage...and engaging their audience. As well as the guy giving it sweat and blood on stage vs. the pop tart relying on the jumbotron and light show.

What I was suggesting is that there are very wide span of spectra which includes genre and other contextual elements, and age-based expectations are one of them. You probably got that.

Ian Anderson certainly gave his sweat and effort out on the stage. I hear he took his rock money and invested in the commercial fish business...and that's where he really made a killing financially. Good on him.

I was just thinking that James Brown, Iggy Pop, Michael Jackson, Sinatra, Franz Liszt, Prince, Elvis, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Bono and Louis Armstrong (just off the top of my head) have all been lauded at one time or another as one of the greatest performers of all time. They don't all appeal to the same people.

I get what you mean about some of today's pop artists relying upon technology to keep their audiences attention. I'm not sure what time frame we're talking about, but I don't consider that a new phenomena - lots of folks who aren't at their best on stage need a crutch. But that's not at all comprehensive in my experience, and lots of the youngsters I play with know how to engage the back rows.

As a younger man I was really judgmental of things I didn't prefer. I found it never really served anyone. Nowadays what I'm trying - the stuff I don't like, I figure it wasn't made for me in the first place.
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#2920357 - 04/09/18 01:59 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: timwat]
stillearning Offline
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Registered: 06/27/13
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Im a lucky man, (see what I did there?) in that I saw ELP in the very early 70s, their first tour, and they kicked ass! Jethro Tull put on a hell of a show, but Emerson gets my vote from that era. He was a f-ing amazing showman!
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#2920370 - 04/09/18 02:50 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: stillearning]
PianoMan51 Offline
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Registered: 02/02/10
Posts: 967
Loc: Cabin In The Woods
It's every generation throws a hero up the pop charts

P.S.

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#2920380 - 04/09/18 03:13 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: PianoMan51]
David Emm Offline
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I got to see the later trio version of U.K. open for Jethro Tull. I think Jobson had one or two effects-like sequences coming from a very early Sequential model, but the rest was 99.9% hand-made. Its one of the finer moments I recall when I hit a bump and holler WOODSHED MORE, YOU FOOL! Someone asked Wakeman if anything was sequenced in the show. He said "No, we don't sequence, we play."
Nice. like
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#2920398 - 04/09/18 04:18 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: David Emm]
El Lobo Offline
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Registered: 12/23/14
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Old: James Brown
Even older: Jackie Wilson
Modern: Bruno Mars

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#2920401 - 04/09/18 04:21 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: El Lobo]
El Lobo Offline
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Registered: 12/23/14
Posts: 861
Re: Jethro Tull. Mugging, jumping around, and waving arms is not a performance. It's crap in an attempt to make up for lack of a performance.

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#2920432 - 04/09/18 08:12 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: El Lobo]
Tom Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 792
Loc: West Virginia
Hmm.

To Timwat: I agree on your list, especially Liszt, but don't forget his hero Paganini, probably the first rock star.

I have found it interesting that so many people prefer Van Halen with David Lee Roth to the musically superior Sammy Hagar. It seems to me that the jumping around stuff pleases people more than excellent music.

Re:ELP -- What was interesting about their show (the Black Moon tour, slightly past their prime) was that the audience loved Emerson's showmanship -- but they Luuhhhvved Greg Lake just standing there and singing to them. Go figure.
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#2920444 - 04/09/18 09:10 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: mate stubb]
Dave Ferris Offline
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I saw Tull on what I think was their first American tour around 1968. I believe it was to promote their first record --"This Was'.

It was at Forest Park in St. Louis, under the Pavilion -- where I also saw the Allman Brothers and Janis Joplin/ Big Brother and the Holding Co.

Tull had an organist. Don't know his name but he made a monstrous impression on me at 15 years old. He played a C3 that looked like it had been through the mill. It was long ago but I still remember the largely hippie audience being mesmerized. I loved the second record - Stand Up - too. After that era, my musical direction and preference changed dramatically and I no longer followed them. But still have fond memories of 1968.
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#2920457 - 04/09/18 11:25 PM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: PianoMan51]
Cliffk Offline
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Originally Posted By: PianoMan51
It's every generation throws a hero up the pop charts

P.S.

"The boy in the bubble, and the baby with the baboon heart"

Great lyrics, fantastically delivered. thu
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#2920481 - 04/10/18 03:27 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: Cliffk]
GRollins Offline
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Posts: 897
I'd like to note that I've not said that Ian Anderson is/was "the best," per se, but he was very, very good. The other bands I listed above were also quite capable of a good show. As it happens, Tull put on the best single show I've ever seen (either the Thick As A Brick or Passion Play tour, forget which), but the next time I saw them, they were merely very, very good rather than off the charts.

Another point that no one seems to have realized was the fact that, by definition, the camera for the YouTube video linked above was essentially playing the same function the GoPro (or whatever) cameras perform for the modern bands who rely on technology for their "stage show." Of course Ian Anderson's face is overdone if you treat him the same way as you do the current crop of video darlings. Duh! People keep missing the point...the man was performing for the back row without cameras. Put a camera on him and it skews the dynamic. Seems rather obvious to me, but several posters have overlooked this. Oh, well.

It all turned out all okay in the end...the Hare did have a spare pair.

Grey
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#2920504 - 04/10/18 06:39 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: GRollins]
Bobby Simons Online   content
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Registered: 12/28/17
Posts: 88
Loc: Northport, L.I., NY
I think it was the 'Benefit' album for me, it was kind of their Rubber Soul. That musical ground between the blues Tull and the prog Tull produced some fabulous tunes.

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#2920523 - 04/10/18 07:50 AM Re: OT: has there ever been a better performer than [Re: Bobby Simons]
waygetter Offline
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Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 504
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I guess I should have known that declaring someone as The Best will always be controversial! In any case, things I thought were impressive in this example are

1. His voice is spot on no autotune
2. His timing is spot on, despite the physical histrionics
3. He effortlessly segues between heavy and light, both musically and vocally
4. He is playing, singing, and performing simultaneously, seemingly effortlessly for extended periods.
5. When he takes his guitar on and off, he never misses a beat vocally, musically, or physically. Just when you think ok, now hes going to blow it Nope he nails it each and every time, with microseconds to spare!

By the way, all the other artists listed, I love them all, and I think they are the best performers ever! &#128522;
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