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Artists Who Won't Perform Their Hits


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According to the article, that's true. But reading the lyrics is contradictory to me: "played them all the old songs, thought that's why they came," and the line "said hello to MaryLou, she belonged to me," which would imply to me he sang that song, too... Curiouser and curiouser...

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I can see that. I try to find ways to sympathize with people just so I can better understand what causes them to do what they do - in any matter of life. In a case like artists not wanting to perform their hits, you figure that in a lot of the population's lives there are times we'd rather just forget and not relive. And while we're mostly private people as opposed to public figures, it's difficult to escape... and would be particularly for those who have chosen to make a living with their personal dramas in song.

So I get it. On the flip side, they did choose to make their living with their personal dramas in song... :crazy:

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I think the issue boils down to expectations. We as the audience have no right, I believe, to expect the artist to play anything. If I go see Bruce Springsteen and I expect to hear Glory Days and he doesn't play it, do I have the right to get upset? It's his concert, his set list, my opinions are not asked for, nor are the opinions of anyone else.

That's why I said before, if you buy a concert ticket expecting to hear certain songs and you don't hear them and then get mad, that's not the artist's fault. That's your fault for taking it that seriously in the first place.

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I don't know that I ever go to a concert "expecting" to hear a certain song. I usually hope that I'll hear a certain song or two, but it's no big deal when I don't. I agree that if they wanted my opinion on their set list, they would ask.

However, artists should also be open to playing songs that they know/feel their audience would appreciate hearing, IMO. We saw John Fogerty last month and outside of about 4 new songs, every song he played was a major hit. Every. Last. One. Very satisfying concert.

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If you're spending money to see an artist you love live, you should appreciate hearing whatever they feel like playing that night. Of course we all want to hear certain songs, but the artist shouldn't feel obligated to perform them if they don't want to. They're the ones on stage, they're the ones that have to do it.

If you did a song that doesn't reflect your values anymore (as is the case of the Beastie Boys), or were huge on the radio (as is the case with a lot of Springsteen songs), or you just plain can't stand the sound of, you shouldn't have to force yourself to perform it because someone, somewhere will pitch a fit if you don't. We're paying them for the honor of seeing them do their craft for us. Whatever they feel like sharing with us in that experience should be enough.

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There's also the instances where the artist says the songs don't translate well from studio to stage... I've had several artists tell me that, for that reason, there are some songs they don't play live. If they did it would sound crappy and they don't want that to happen.

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It's for this reason I love seeing AC/DC, Kiss, The Stones, etc... They know that the people paid extravagant amounts of money to see them live on stage. And they don't want to disappoint them by playing an entire setlist where the crowd can't even sing along because it's tunes nobody has heard yet (or only a few times).

Bands that play their hits assure themselves of good concert reviews. It's part of the music biz: you gotta suck it up and give the fans what they want, otherwise you lose some of those fans.

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You gotta suck it up and give the fans what they want.

I guess anyone who deals with clients has to do this, and a band who doesn't is going to do light concert business. Maybe it comes down to attitude. Clarence Carter would rather not play "Strokin'" (settle down, Beavis :rock:) at every show, but half the fans in the building might not be there if it wasn't for that tune, and Clarence seems to appreciate it.

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