Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What's Killing Live Performing?

Is technology killing live performing. I just watched the "Dave Chapelle in Hartford, CT" video. Respect? What respect? 
True, all comedians have experienced a tough, noisy crowd, but usually not super stars.  Not to mention a super star that just came out of 'hiding'. No doubt, everyone in the audience was probably on their cell phones texting, filming, everything else but giving the entertainer their undivided attention.   

When I was playing a lot of coffee houses, I was getting a bit frustrated. You'd be in the corner playing and people would sit right in front of you, staring at their laptops and ipods with their ear buds plugged in.  You're standing there singing asking yourself, "Why am I here?"  After a while, if I was playing a coffee house which might pay only a cup of coffee and people were ignoring me while plugged into their ipods, I'd just leave after a set.  It wasn't worth the time or tips. I got tired of giving it "my all" in vain.  I didn't care about the repercussions. What was the owner going to do, not give me coffee? It's different if you're paid to do a show, you're professionally obligated to tolerate the crap.   

These days most people live by their cellphones. They carry around their friends, their music, their videos.  You can't pull them away from it.  
If no one is buying music, if no one is coming out to shows, if those who come out are still tapped into their 'world in a pocket' while you're performing, what are the incentives for artist to give you all they've got? Love?   Most musicians love what they do, but musicians are not loving what the audience is doing these days.    

PS. Obviously Dave Chappelle is a REAL pro.  He handled himself with comedic class.

Here's a monologue about some of my coffee house experiences. It's from my CD "Cafe Vignettes"


  1. Soo true. The zombie apocalypse is here.

  2. Loved your Cafe Vignettes
    Can so totally relate

  3. I once did a workshop that people came for JUST THAT PURPOSE. One young women was texting. I stopped the workshop and asked her if she wanted to share her texts with the rest of the participants ... I felt like such a school teacher

  4. Joey: Back to the days of being to loud to think over ... just set my four Marshall stack's over there so we can unload the next two trucks, will you ... thanks !!!

  5. This reminds me of a comic inspired by a comedian who relates our addiction to social media to a real drug addiction.