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I saw Eric Johnson tonight, and ...


d.r.e.a.m.i.s.t

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I'm wondering what's up with him. He did live in Bangkok tonight, and all I can say is that it was terrible. Stuttered runs, missing notes, lots of mistakes I would never have thought would come from this guitar virtuoso. From the look of his on stage, I thought he could be very tired from a lot of tours.

 

Sound wasn't impressive either. I was near the FOH, and the sound was very trebly that it almost made my ears bleed. I don't know what the engineers were doing. They tried, I could hear that, but through to the end of the performance, it still wasn't OK.

 

Maybe it's just another bad performance among his other zillion excellent ones. Then I could only blame my bad luck...

...beginner struggling to become a better beginner...
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i have seen shows of his like that...

i got his records-go see his shows-read everthing on him and his quest for tone...

but i DONT hear it at these shows of his...they get too loud too quick and its not fun to listen to...but hey, thats just me.

s

AMPSSOUNDBETTERLOUDER
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i had a similar experience a few years ago, but my frustration was that he wouldn't stop twiddling knobs and just play guitar.

 

the whole was like this:

 

little flurry of notes ~ twiddle amp knobs

little flurry of notes ~ twiddle amp knobs

little flurry of notes ~ twiddle amp knobs

little flurry of notes ~ twiddle amp knobs

little flurry of notes ~ twiddle amp knobs

little flurry of notes ~ twiddle amp knobs

 

ugh. when he played it was amazing, but he was so clearly distracted, i felt cheated for paying to watch him soundcheck all night.

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I saw Eric Johnson a few years ago and thought it was a pretty good show. The thing I most remember is that he came out before the first song, and said he had some laryngitis or something going on, and his doctors told him not to sing, so they were going to do all instrumental stuff.

 

The place went nuts.

 

I'm thinking "He puts just as much effort into his vocal numbers, how is that supposed to make him feel?"

 

Later on, they did "Wind Cries Mary" as an encore.

 

Allan Holdsworth is another one famous for hit-or-miss live shows. It's like the neuroses take over and interfere with ability. It's not stage fright, it's perfectionism run amok. :confused:

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I've come to respect players who kind of throw caution to the wind with regard to their tone. There was a point in time with my playing when I felt like I was really homing in on the nuances I was striving for. The problem was, the guitar setup had to be just right and the sound had to be just right. It seemed that it got to the point to where if I didn't have "my" gear, I was helpless. And I was constantly twiddling knobs in an attempt to get everything just right. I was embarrassed once when I picked up someone elses guitar and I sounded like crap. I made an effort to move away from that approach.
Yum, Yum! Eat em up!
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I've seen him dozens of times and have never seen him have a whole bad night. A few times I have seen him go a half set trying to fiddle with tones ( which even I can tell are not happening), then kick it in and play well the rest of the night. I guess if you are very into tone and it isn't sounding good, it can be hard to concentrate on anything else. Even on his off nights he is still spectacular from my perspective. Maybe the night you saw him something was outright broken, or maybe he ate something bad. Its too bad that you didn't see him on the Dallas stop on the tour a few months ago, he had the best sound I had heard since I used to see him in smaller clubs back in the early 80's.
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He can sing pretty good, especially if he isn't blazing on the guitar or switching between 3 amps. I saw him on one of his solo acoustic shows awhile back and was impressed with his voice. He did an A Capella bit that was really nice. He sings better than 90% of bar band singers, he has great intonation and a pleasant voice.

 

But, he will always be known as a guitarist, I don't think his singing style or voice is quite unique enough to make it as a singer only. I could be wrong though, in the right place in the right time, he could always make it. His voice sure does out of place in the heavier music that he plays on guitar, in my opinion. In a folk, singer songwriter type setting, he could do quite well.

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Originally posted by d.r.e.a.m.i.s.t:

 

Sound wasn't impressive either. I was near the FOH, and the sound was very trebly that it almost made my ears bleed. I don't know what the engineers were doing. They tried, I could hear that, but through to the end of the performance, it still wasn't OK.

Standing near the FOH may not be the best idea soundwise. The mixers usually try to get the band to sound OK to wherever most of the crowd is likely to be. You usually hear things better from the center of the room than from close up to the front of the stage. Standing too close to the stage also means (usually) that you're getting the actual on stage amp sounds as well as the FOH and the results aren't usually that great.

 

I usually try to get a close look at the band and their gear and after that, I'll try to stand right near the mixing desk. That way I KNOW I'll get a decent concert sound :)

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Actually I moved to several positions to find a decent sound. Nowhere to be found nonetheless. Good distortion but extremely trebly clean, and this is also confirmed by other concert goers. :)

 

The hall was small. Perhaps the acoustic helped make thing worse a bit.

...beginner struggling to become a better beginner...
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As far as Eric's signing goes, I think his voice is nice enough, but it's ill-suited to his style of music. Listen to Alien Love Child, with different guest singers, or his work on the Double Trouble album with all the guests.

 

Lot's of people have this problem. Pete Townshend said that one of his problems was that he thought his signing voice sounded like Andy Williams (!) which was not good for the music the Who was doing, and also made him self-conscious about his early solo work.

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I hope he's O.K.; your description sounds as if he wasn't well, maybe even shouldn't have been performing. If that's the case, I hope that it was something temporary, y'know, the flu or something gotten over quickly...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

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Originally posted by Dances With Werewolves:

I hope he's O.K.; your description sounds as if he wasn't well, maybe even shouldn't have been performing. If that's the case, I hope that it was something temporary, y'know, the flu or something gotten over quickly...

EJ is always sickly looking. Thin as a rail.

 

Every time I've seen him, live or on a video, he's made a mistake or two. I have a video of him on Austin City limits and he messes up on "Cliffs" several times. Still a great performance. Still one of the best there's ever been.

quote:Originally posted by mdrs:

 

It's pure B.S., and obvioulsy inaccurate. I suspect it is posted for effect, not for accuracy.

 

John Petrucci > Johnny Winter

The Edge > Ted Nugent

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I was at the Eric Johnson web site and was browsing the forum and a Japanese guy was giving a review of the show. He got to meet Eric after the show and Eric apologized for playing bad as he was suffering for jet lag. He said his schedule was to tight and he was not playing his best. It didn't specifically mention the Bangkok show, but he isn't a 20 year old kid anymore with tons of energy.

 

Flying around the world while adapting to different cultures and time zones, while it sounds exiting, must be physically draining. I don't know about jet lag, I am an insomniac and don't think time zones would matter. But even seasoned performers have trouble adapting to changing environments.

 

I regret that you did not get to see him at his best. On his best nights, when his tone and playing are all on, there is no one better in the world. I guess I have seen Eric enough times to notice when he is on or off, but even on the least inspired nights, he plays better than most guys could ever dream of.

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I've seen EJ many times over the years and he can be the best player on the planet, and the worst. Sometimes in the same show. I'm not sure if has some kind of stage fright. Once saw him, he was awful, then he played Axis Bold As Love, and it was like sombody flipped a switch... simply amaizing. Another night, he was sooo on, and at the end of possibly the best solo he'd ever played, he was doing a long ascending run, the band started climbing with him, he finished with a high bend, and he opened his eyes... it was over. The rest of the night he kept messing with his pedals and amps, I left... It's odd, but the shows that I've seen have been incredibly inconsistant.
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