The biggest thing I learned is that people in that music business consultants still don’t know what the Hell they are talking abut. Even though they keep pimping about how forward thinking they about this new music business.
I’ve never heard of a band called Lettuce. How about you? Let me tell you…..they’re good. Like really good. Their genre is jazz/funk/jam band. There was absolutely no singing, hardly any talk between songs. No big boisterous personalities on stage. They all came together and just simply made good music.
They played for about 40 minutes and then the big star of the night came on stage, John Scofield. John is a guitar player by the way. Lettuce essentially then became John’s backing band as they played his songs. Again……hardly any talking in between songs. No stories. Just very simple Thank You’s and the name of the next song coming up.
John doesn’t move all over the stage nor does he really play to the crowd necessarily. He looked mostly at the band member when they improvised and also led the band along while they were playing as he was also directing some of it.
John is an excellent guitar player and Lettuce were also really good. In fact everybody was so good that the only reason why someone would not like this is because of a matter of taste. This genre just isn’t your thing. Cool.
So as I watched & listened, I took a step back and noticed how everybody was doing it wrong. In terms of what today’s music business consultants, songwriting coaches, etc would say. There was no front person for about 40 minutes until Scofield came on. And again Scofield didn’t really engage much with the crowd. There was hardly any talking between the songs and definitely no story telling to really draw the crowd in to make that emotional contact. The songs didn’t have these major hooks nor did they have elements of perfect songwriting craft as many of today’s songwriting coaches preach & teach. In fact every song was instrumental. Not only that but there was tons of improvisation. These are all things which music consultants don’t talk about or bother to acknowledge.
Where were we? At good sized theater in Downtown Los Angeles. 500 or more people in the audience. By the last song, over 75% were standing and dancing. In fact the aisles were filled with people dancing the whole night. People got out of their seats and went to the aisles to dance. I mean it was crazy and cool to see.
Here is what I learned…….99% of the music business websites and consultants are quite clueless. How many of their clients would love to play in front of 500 or more people and then have 100s leave their seats to go dance, move, & drink in the aisles. Hmmmmmmmm, I would say ALL of their clients would love that.
Yeah…..yesterday’s music business was bad. Today’s music business…….even though today’s “consultants” support independent musicians, their advice just sucks. You don’t know any more than your clients.
Lettuce & Scofield may not be your thing, and its not necessarily my thing. But man…..watching really good music making, and watching people dance move and love the evening gives me more hope that there are plenty of people who just love good music and don’t care about all of the trite things every other performer does.