Biting the Hands that Feed the Music

Ever since I read about the Steve Kimock Band show where Steve loudly exclaimed profanities towards the crowd for any reason that doesn’t matter in the overall context of the discussion, I’ve been wary of artists that tend to think they’re above the crowd or something.

The one and only time I saw John Scofield was at the Canopy Club on the U of I campus–I think it might have been 2001. The entire time he was playing, and I’m not joking, he was constantly adjusting every single sound level that one sound man can possibly adjust during the course of a show. Pointing up, pointing at his guitarist and pointing down, pointing at himself and pointing up, again down with the bassist–it was ridiculous to say the least.

Katie downright hated it and it forever soiled her opinion of John Scofield, and I definitely don’t blame her. I’m just glad those were free tickets, that’s for sure…

It looks like Dodge has a similar story to tell regarding Dios (Malos)…

Things got interesting when the evening was marrred by some rather unprofessional behavior from Dios lead, Joel Morales. Dios wasn’t happy with the amount of vocals in their monitors, so they kept asking for more. All venues are different and the sound man informed Dios that they just couldn’t put any more in…they were maxed out. Dios kept pushing the limit and on the closing number, there was a ton of feedback. The members of Dios got pissed, started yelling at the sound man, calling him a “retard” and telling him he had no idea what he was doing. The crowd started chanting “fight, fight fight!” and turned on the sound man too. It was really uneccessary and could have been saved for off stage. I just felt really bad for the sound guy.

He warned them, Dios didn’t get in for sound check, and these things are part of the risk of skipping that.

So the band skips soundcheck and has the gall to call the guy an idiot for not being able to mix vocals in the monitor correctly?

Yeah, I officially don’t like that band. Sorry guys, I don’t care how great your music is. Remember the reason why you’re doing this and please don’t embarass yourself again.

Post your similar stories in the comments–I’m sure you have one or two that’s worth hearing…

  • Georgey

    About the Scofield thing, have you ever tried to play a show where you can’t hear yourself play, or some of the other musicians? It sucks, and it ruins the show. I don’t understand how you’re criticizing him for trying to fix this, especially when it wasn’t his fault (if anyone, it was the sound guy).

  • Georgey

    About the Scofield thing, have you ever tried to play a show where you can’t hear yourself play, or some of the other musicians? It sucks, and it ruins the show. I don’t understand how you’re criticizing him for trying to fix this, especially when it wasn’t his fault (if anyone, it was the sound guy).

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin

    In answer to your question, yes, I have played a show where I couldn’t hear anything. It was no Scofield size show, but yes, I can understand that having that limitation could cause some seriously crappy music and it would make the whole show suck.

    The point I’m getting at is that it doesn’t really matter who’s at fault and who’s trying to hear themselves play.

    Scofield spent the idea damn show trying to get this right. It ruined it for me and mine, so that’s my point.

    He could have stopped and fixed it right the first time. He could have just gotten over it and tried to play and try to feel the music like any serious professional would.

    Maybe he skipped the soundcheck, and therefore now, the entire audience has to watch him soundcheck the entire show just to hear A Go Go the way he wants to hear it.

    That’s my point.

    Steve Kimock shouts profanities at his audience. Dios (Malos) publicly teases and talks very negatively about the venue soundman. John Scofield spends his entire show trying to get the sound perfect at the expense of the audience satisfaction…

    I just think all of that is worth calling out. I’m sure others have similar stories to tell…

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin

    In answer to your question, yes, I have played a show where I couldn’t hear anything. It was no Scofield size show, but yes, I can understand that having that limitation could cause some seriously crappy music and it would make the whole show suck.

    The point I’m getting at is that it doesn’t really matter who’s at fault and who’s trying to hear themselves play.

    Scofield spent the idea damn show trying to get this right. It ruined it for me and mine, so that’s my point.

    He could have stopped and fixed it right the first time. He could have just gotten over it and tried to play and try to feel the music like any serious professional would.

    Maybe he skipped the soundcheck, and therefore now, the entire audience has to watch him soundcheck the entire show just to hear A Go Go the way he wants to hear it.

    That’s my point.

    Steve Kimock shouts profanities at his audience. Dios (Malos) publicly teases and talks very negatively about the venue soundman. John Scofield spends his entire show trying to get the sound perfect at the expense of the audience satisfaction…

    I just think all of that is worth calling out. I’m sure others have similar stories to tell…

  • Damon Effingham

    Also Georgey, you have to keep one thing in mind:
    The Beatles performed TONS of shows without proper monitoring, or without monitors at all (I believe their Ed Sullivan performance was sans monitors, but I could be wrong on that).
    Understandably, that specific show was without improvisation or embellishment, but it is still possible to perform, especially if you have monitors that are just mixed poorly. You’d think, judging from Justin’s story, that Scofield would have at least gotten things to a decent level to be able to perform, unless there really was a monkey at the soundboard. My experience is that that often isn’t the case though, at professional venues.

  • Damon Effingham

    Also Georgey, you have to keep one thing in mind:
    The Beatles performed TONS of shows without proper monitoring, or without monitors at all (I believe their Ed Sullivan performance was sans monitors, but I could be wrong on that).
    Understandably, that specific show was without improvisation or embellishment, but it is still possible to perform, especially if you have monitors that are just mixed poorly. You’d think, judging from Justin’s story, that Scofield would have at least gotten things to a decent level to be able to perform, unless there really was a monkey at the soundboard. My experience is that that often isn’t the case though, at professional venues.

  • Nugman

    I’m sorry to see one of the kindest, most gracious, sincere men, Mr. John Scofield, pulled into this discussion. I feel bad that your experience is keeping you from one of today’s most brilliant guitar players.

  • http://www.ihoz.com zzyzx

    I don’t see why getting the monitor levels adjusted would ruin your show. I’ve seen a lot of shows where there would be regular signals to the soundman and that didn’t bother me that much.

  • Nugman

    I’m sorry to see one of the kindest, most gracious, sincere men, Mr. John Scofield, pulled into this discussion. I feel bad that your experience is keeping you from one of today’s most brilliant guitar players.

  • http://www.ihoz.com zzyzx

    I don’t see why getting the monitor levels adjusted would ruin your show. I’ve seen a lot of shows where there would be regular signals to the soundman and that didn’t bother me that much.

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin

    Nugman: I’d agree with that assessment that he’s one of the best in jazz guitar alive today…

    zzyzx: You had to be there. I hear you, though. Adjustments are expected and normally hardly noticeable…

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin

    Nugman: I’d agree with that assessment that he’s one of the best in jazz guitar alive today…

    zzyzx: You had to be there. I hear you, though. Adjustments are expected and normally hardly noticeable…