On August 21, I asked readers of Danny's Diary to contribute their thoughts on "the perfect concert" as many promoters (and yes, some artists) were searching for insight as they strive to fine-tune their events and performances. Since many readers of Danny's Diary are seasoned veterans of concerts, those promoters and artists felt that those same readers would be frank in their thoughts—and as you are about to see, they sure were.Your thoughts and comments are still welcome. This topic won't be closed for a while as all the input that readers can offer will only give promoters and artists more to work with. So, after reading these unedited comments, send your own thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.Here we go!
We have been attending concerts since the 60's. We love all of them, some better than others. One thing that I do not like is when they talk too much. I like them to introduce the ones in the group and tell something about them. Some just go on and on! Some need to come up with new stories. If you attend more than one place you here the same stories!
I like it when they have the audience participate. Some concerts we go to the people just sit! Others get up and clap and really get into it. We were at a concert recently when they sang "God Bless America" and then people just sat there. I was one of the first to get up and some others did, but many stayed seated until they were told to stand.
Don't try to please all the people! That will never happen. Just continue praising the Lord and move on! We love all of you.
Joyce & Bob Arters
Hi Danny, Just writing in response to your query about what constitutes a "perfect concert". Of course such a question will receive very subjective responses as you indicate in your article. As a young teen I attended my first all night sing at Massey Hall in Toronto, Ontario. I was 'hooked' after I heard the first of 4 groups The Blackwood Brothers, then the Statesmen followed by the Lefevres and the Speer family. As I look back I realize that these groups provided a new dimension to my Christian faith-music that had a profoundly encouraging message presented in a way that was inspirational and professional. I looked forward from that time on (the late 1950's) to the twice a year concerts at Massey Hall and although we had our preferences it didn't matter who was coming because we knew if these were groups coming from the States it was going to be good. So we learned about the Oak Ridge Boys, the Harvesters, Jim Hill and the Stamps, the Frost brothers, the Prophets, Rebels, Couriers, etc. I've often wished I lived down south where I could attend more concerts but I realize that perhaps I would get spoiled and start becoming critical. So I'm wondering if perhaps an aspect of this question lies in the frequency and availabilty of many concerts and choice-have some audiences become a little spoiled? I remember during those early days that there were always 4 groups -usually a combination of quartets and family groups. This seemed to be the ideal combination and number for a fine all night sing experience.
Just a few random thoughts Danny-I enjoy reading your thoughts in turn.
-It would have a group with live music. This is an industry that has reduced it's self to professional Karaoke singers in most cases.
-Most concerts (non SG) or 50 to 150 bucks, people need to learn to pay for what they get, and then get what they pay for. Spent 150 for a ticket to see Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, then 100 for a Vince Gill concert, last month both were unbelievable and was happy that I had went.
-If you promote in a large city, I live in Houston, TX, don't start a concert at 6 or 7 on a week night those of us that work can not get there in time with traffic.
-There would be several groups but with adequate time to each to group to do promote their new stuff and sing their classics.
Just a few thoughts.
Less clowning around and more traditional Gospel quartet music like the 1950's and 60's.
Okee Dokee here goes…..
It is surprising that today's artists seem to have lost the memory of the "Golden Days" of Southern Gospel Music (the best music in the world). I am referring to the mid ‘70s thru the ‘80s. Words fail to clearly define those concerts. They simply had to be experienced.
First of all I do realize that we live in a very different world today. The level of "entertainment" is greatly elevated by technology and electronic media. Back in "the day" most professing Christians did not attend secular music concerts. So, the comparison to the sensationalism, excitement, volume, light shows….etc did not exist. We were content with good songs with a positive message, and good quality singing without comparing to secular artist who spend large amounts of money to tantalize the senses. Some of today's gospel artist have tried to mimic secular acts to entice the audience. Here it is artists: "DON'T BRING THE GOSPEL MESSAGE DOWN TO THE LEVEL OF JUST ENTERTAINMENT TO EXCITE THE FLESH".
Here are a few reasons that I have not attended near as many concerts in the last few decades:
#1: There are very few live bands on the road today. I know that the expense of band members cannot be justified by most traveling groups. But singing along with sound tracks that have backup vocals, voice enhancement components, stacked vocals….etc has made the concert experience just like listening to a CD in the privacy of my home. I might just as well stay home and listen to my surround sound while sitting on my couch in my pajamas while eating cupcakes and potato chips. In order to make the concert a little different than the recorded media, there is now the addition of lengthy speeches and mini-sermons to try and "minister" to the audience. I have attended concerts and the spokesperson for the group feel led to deliver a "special thought" or "revelation" for the evening and then attend another concert by the same group months later only to have the "same" message or thought given again. Note: "Don't fake sincerity".
#2: This comment is for the audience. I did not drive miles and miles and pay admission to hear you sing along with the performer. I also do not appreciate you socializing with a long lost friend or family member during the concert just because you may be waiting on your favorite group to sing. If you do not want to listen the performer, just go out of the auditorium to socialize or stay home and play "sing-along" with your favorite performers CD.
Another quick note to the audience: QUIT TEXTING AND SURFING THE WWW on your fancy mobile device. Its rude and disrespectful. I know that there can be many reasons that you need to stay in contact with others(health conditions….etc) but please just limit it to "need to".
So what is the solution?
Performers: Be sincere. Don't fake it. Quit competing with each other or secular artist (you will not win that contest). It is not pleasant to hear a tenor singer try and sing so high that it cracks my contacts or a bass singer sing so low that he sounds like he is belching a crunchy peanut butter sandwich after drinking a carbonated beverage. Do not try and substitute the spirit of God with increased volume or body actions. I will enjoy the concert without the headache and I can get the sermon from my pastor on Sunday morning. That is not meant to reduce your ministry to "just singing" at all. If the "real" spirit moves upon you to reach out to the congregation, you MUST do it. But, if your songs are spiritual and have a good message then trust me, the songs message will stand on its own.
Audience: Just be nice and considerate. Christianity goes far beyond "good manners" and respectfulness.
God Bless you and thanks for listening. If we win souls by mimic the world, we will lose those same souls to the world.
A longtime fan,
• Great songs with great melodies with supporting vice dominating musicians.
• Decent sound levels.
• Examples: most of the 70's groups, the current Blackwoods, the Chuck Wagon Gang, Bill & Gloria's music and videos.
• Sound levels that require ear plugs to avoid painful & ear damaging volume.
• Drummers that try to dominate the performance through volume and antics.
• "Contemporary" music? -- Great words with uninspired music.
• Screeching guitars & dominating drummers.
Thanks for giving us readers/concert attenders an opportunity to give input.
I have promoted concerts for 28 years and started from day one having only one professional group at each concert.
Mine are church concerts which is my favorite setting. I have no intermission, just a quick break in order to take a love offering. Thanks goodness it was never or ever will be my means of making a living. The perfect concert to me is a group that sings so everyone can understand the words and not have a band or canned music drowning out the words but less a live band with a drummer banging on the drums.
Don't forget—your comments are welcomed and encouraged at email@example.com.
(The views expressed in this article are solely those of the contributor(s) and may or may not reflect the views of others.)