Monday, November 19, 2007

Thoughts on live performance.

Last week, Lodhi and I decided to go check out an underground rock concert some kids were organizing at PACC. Can't remember the last time I was at a gig just to hear somebody else play, and this was a great concert. It had great sound, a crowd full of teenagers just wanting to rock out, and some awesome bands that were playing their hearts out.

I was just so impressed with the raw energy and enthusiasm of these kids. They played some great classic rock covers, including Hendrix, Zeppelin, Dire Straits and the Beatles. It really warmed my heart to see them play bands that I used to cover when I was their age and it also made me sad when I realized how for removed I had become from the rock concert experience. Lodhi and me both felt it when he looked at me and said, "You know sometimes, I think going mainstream was the worst thing that could have happened to us"

Maybe I'm just a little jaded because our last show didn't go too well. I know we're not exactly the biggest band in Pakistan, but I miss the days when we were just starting out and we had nothing to lose. ADP could just go up on stage and really have a go at the audience. We weren't worried about press reviews, ticket sales, audience reactions, sound issues...back then, it was just the four of us playing together, doing what we love.

These days, a gig can turn into a nightmare very quickly.The sound guys dont show up on time, you worry about sponsors and covering your expenses, press people want invites, random people who claim to know you want free tickets, so-called industry types show up looking for love while there's always some video director or some big shot in the audience you are hoping to impress so they might fart in your direction.

The band usually goes by the saying "you are only as good as your last show". We are under tremendous pressure every time to live up to expectations. Much to my dismay, our reputation as a live act is becoming bigger than the quality of our songs.

Don't get me wrong, playing live is my life and love and there is no greater high than a great rock show. But I want people to know the songs, I want them to connect with the music and lyrics. I could pull our a harmonica solo and Yasir could do something fantastic on the darbuka like he always does. But in the end, it will all just be gimmickry if they don't give a hoot about what I'm singing about.

tortured artist? not so much...needy entertainer?...you be the judge.

2 Comments:

Blogger Atta Khan said...

hey lisn omar, how would u like to come to my school before a concert or sumfin and just talk to kids..i have a few friends who just love ADP songs (including moi)....if the guards try to stop u guys from coming i can let u in on my reference...and it would be a grt way to promtoe ure band!

5:47 PM  
Blogger pluto88 said...

Hey!
Haha, so you updated, which is more than what I can say I did.
BUT. Yes. You do not seem to mind toilet humour, which is cool as I consider Blink-182 funny because of that (a big social no-no, btw, telling people you like Blink). And I think you don't mind The Beatles.

So yes. I like you and your band. Still trying not to say it in a creepy way.

Anyway, before I kill this,

Keep updating your blog!

9:06 PM  

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