State Of The Music When people don't buy tickets for concerts, blame the musicians

That’s one of the killers of the music industry; artists refusing to tweak their performances across events to keep their acts fresh and creative.

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Wizkid putting up a show at Amsterdam concert play

Wizkid putting up a show at Amsterdam concert

(Youtube)
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In my short time in the music industry, I have attended a lot of concerts.

Every week, there’s a new concert. And seeing how small Lagos is, and the smaller number of trending stars that are commercially viable to be booked for these shows, you might get to attend three shows during a busy weekend, and see two or three artists perform at all three concerts.

The problem is, they will offer up the same performance at all three concerts. The start, mid-point, progression and conclusion of their sets will be the same at all three concerts. By the time you get to the third performance, you are jaded and blue from seeing the same set.

And that’s where the problem starts for everyone in the music and concert ecosystem: You decide to never attend another concert featuring any of those artists.

That’s one of the killers of the music industry; artists refusing to tweak their performances across events to keep their acts fresh and creative.

 

This makes their performances stagnate. All of my interest in an artist gets watered down when I watch them perform more than once. The first time is mostly excellent, but the second time usually diminishes the aura of creativity and spark that drew me to them in the first place. That’s why I try to avoid watching most of my favorites more than once in 6 months. And it’s mostly because of seeing them repeat their sets consistently without creative repackaging.

It’s like watching reruns of your favorite commercial. It’s funny the first time, less funny the second time. It becomes a chore the third time.

Artists who become a chore to watch at concerts ultimately discourage potential audiences from committing their money and showing up. People would never want to put their money on what they can’t get value for.

Wizkid putting up a show at Amsterdam concert play

Wizkid putting up a show at Amsterdam concert

(Youtube)

 

Just like everything else that involves a transaction, as soon as our money goes towards a product, we feel like we own a part of it. In the case of concerts, after the money has been deposited, the dates have been fixed, the calendars have been cleared, and everyone is set for a good time, the connection between the artist and fans become commercial. Once you pay for the product, the artiste is under obligation to deliver for you.

But another view which considers the power of music exists. The musical experience cannot be simplified to just another commercial transaction. It is emotional. Whether it is the pop razzmatazz of Wizkid or the ethereal sensory intercourse of Asa, the performance is something experiential and essentially intangible.

Wizkid at Amsterdam concert play

Wizkid performing at Amsterdam concert

 

The problem happens when the artiste fails to deliver satisfactorily, or when it is below par or the artiste doesn’t play to the script and leaves fans dissatisfied, it does feel more like a betrayal, a sacred promise broken, and a cosmic law which has been flouted. It feels painful.

Attending the best concerts, you feel like a higher level of trust has been established in the hall, with the audience and the artiste feeding off each other to lift themselves. When this is broken, there is no worse feeling.

Artists break this promise when they repeat their sets and put fans off. They betray their audiences, when their last performance is still the same as their next one. No one is asking for a revamp of their performance elements. Fans simply want a repackaged set delivered for satisfaction.

When they don’t, they hurt their reputation, put fans away, and ultimately kill the concert culture.

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