Watch the Throne

My kids survived being chaperoned to the big show by Mom - no disguise needed, and they didn't even try to keep a distance.  Hey, they're only 14, and who knows what stupid thing they might have done without me. 

What a FANTASTIC spectacle.  The show started with Kanye West and Jay-Z on separate platforms rising out of the ground, with green lasers shooting down on them from above and thunderous music filling the whole arena.  As the cubes rose, there were images of flying doves on their sides, and then barking dogs, and then the cubes looked like gigantic fish tanks, with sharks (dolphins?) swimming around inside. "Watch the throne" indeed!  Then the show moved to one giant stage, and there were a lot more spectacular effects--fire jets, laser beams shooting around the arena, amazing images on a giant double screen.  All just incredible.

(The images are from the Atlanta show, but the Dallas show looked the same).

[12/9: What? Some of my images disappeared.  They're available here]

I would enthuse some more, but I've got things I need to do.  So let's get on with a little,  um, complaint.  Where, may I ask, was all the complex layering of sound that makes me a Kanye West fan (especially)?  Or, to be more frank, what happened to the pretty parts?  The 14s think this is a stupid question.  If I wanted to listen to pretty music, I should have stayed home and listened to pretty music.  Okay ... I'll hang my head in shame ... I am an idiot ...

But wait (pick me, pick me!) ....  These guys DO make complex and sometimes pretty music. So maybe the question isn't so dumb after all.  Why shouldn't I want to hear the whole sound? Take for example "Made in America," sung against the flag background above. This is a downright lovely and moving song--sorry, kids, but "lovely" is perfectly apt.  Yet as performed last night, the "lovely" was mostly missing.

Nobody seemed to care, but today I'm doing some remedial listening.  Oh wow,  so that's what the song sounds like (listen below).  That sound PLUS the spectacular show would have been more than a few degrees more amazing.

I know. This little rant may cost me the chance to attend future concerts with the 14s, who won't necessarily need an escort forever (we'll see).  Still. I believe I am right about this.

p.s. I forgot to say:  what exactly is the deal with printing "7:30" on the tickets but starting at 9:15?  Just wondering.


ianbargain said...

OK, you can just come ahead and say it. You were not appropriately high for a rock concert :-).

Jean Kazez said...

Wow, that might be it! There were marijuana fumes around us and lots of spilled beer, but all I had was a few nachos dipped in cheese.

Anonymous said...

I often feel the same way about live performances - the music just doesn't sound as good. I feel like so much complexity is lost because live shows are just SO LOUD.

Until last year I hadn't gone to any live shows for almost six years, preferring instead to listen to albums in the quiet of my home. I also listen to whole albums at a time, which I think is becoming rarer these days.

Wayne said...

Some live shows are really amazing, some are really bad. I think it just depends on a lot of factors, including the artist's mood.

But often, when you strip away all the production value in a recording, you're not left with much of anything interesting, thus weak live performances.

What I don't like is when they just sound like the recording... I could have stayed home and listened to it...

Jean Kazez said...

Yes, I think "too loud" might be a huge factor. Last week's incredibly terrific Wilco concert was NOT too loud. It sounded recordable to me--just as good as their CDs.

But then--yeah--there's got to be something going on to make it worth the big bucks. You don't want the show to be 100% like the recordings.