catapult magazine

catapult magazine


live music


Feb 23 2003
05:20 am

I just saw an invigorating live performance on Saturday Night Live last night performed by the Foo Fighters. I’m still smiling because of the joy a great rock’n’roll performance brings. How I wish I was there live, in the flesh.

What is it about live performances? What makes a great live show?


Feb 23 2003
09:57 am

Sad i missed it. I quite enjoy the foo fighters, having seen them live numerous times, i find their live shows one of the best out there (well that i have seen). What makes them good live is theri energy. how many bands do we see go up there and just stand there navel gazing. that is so old.

take oasis for instance. i love their albums. i love the behind the music’s about them (i think it is that britpop angst and need to be cheeky) but i hated them live. i saw them once in a theatre setting and found i couldnt wait for the show to run it’s course. which is quite rare.

foo fighters give you a show. which, frankly, is what we are paying for. to have them play a exact dub of the new album would be boring and i could burn it on the net for .79cents (which i dont believe in by the way) but when dave grohl throws in some smoke on the water lick into monkeywrench 0— how can you not love something like that.

with bands like the foo fighters you never know what to expect. that is what is special. even U2 as good as they are live — you can read their setlists for the tour on the internet even before they make it to your city. you could bring a copy and tell everyone what they will play next, lame. lame. lame.

the violent femmes of old used to do something that your rarely, if at all see anymore. They would know their extire repetoire and just call the set list as they went. what a novel idea.


Feb 25 2003
11:19 pm

I recently went to a Sam Roberts concert and discussed it with my friend who went along. The opening band had some good stuff—rock’n’roll “with all the licks.” But we hated their set because of their stage presence. The lead singer looked like a cardboard cutout rock star—perfectly shaggy haircut, good looks, trendy-yet-slightly-edgy dress, and an apparent lust for his own microphone. Everythig he did looked choreographed, and when there was dead time between songs, he never said anything original or genuine. He was obviously out to look and sound like a rock star. And the rest of his band all seemed out to do the same. They each stared ahead of them, and when they actually looked at each other, it looked staged and Spinal Tap-ey. They weren’t in that moment, they were off signing record deals somewhere in the future.

On the other hand, when Sam Roberts and his band took the stage, the presence was amazing. His sheer look of determination and will didn’t leave his face for the entire concert. He was simply and powerfully himself. He spouted his politics in no uncertain terms, he rocked out unabashedly, he passed around a bottle of Jack Daniels. It was the most electric thing I’ve seen since Ani DiFranco (don’t get me started on Ani DiFranco’s stage presence). The crowd and the band all unified around him and it was a great show.

I’m not in a band (alas, no one needs good squeezebox players nowadays), so I can’t speak from experience, but it seems like a good band is never on stage for just one reason—they’re there to entertain, to enrich, to unify, to release, to enjoy themselves, and to fulfill their need to make music (any I’m missing?)—but they unify under one thing when it’s time to make the thing happen, whether that’s fun, politics, a person (in the case of Sam) or just the god of rock’n’roll. And they do it because they want to; because they would if there was no crowd, no venue, and no cash. Who’s in a band? Am I far off?