From another Eastman student

Twice before I’ve quoted one of my Eastman students. Here’s yet another one, who prefers to be anonymous. She’s writing here about why even she — not normally a big pop music fan — was drawn in by a pop event:

I am not the type of girl to go to a Warped Tour concert willingly, (my high school girlfriends basically had to drag me there) but it really was mildly entertaining. Here is the big reason why someone like me (sort of nerd) wanted to go out a buy a Good Charlotte CD after I attended an afternoon at the Warped Tour: stuff happened! There was a skateboard half pike competition as well as a BMX trick bike competition. There were also vendors lining the street selling promotional t-shirts, CDs, hats, water guns, and condoms, really anything that would entice the consumer.

When the bands were up on stage, I remember how I felt and what the music sounded like based on how the performing ensembles interacted with the people in the audience.They sprayed us with hoses, jumped into the audience, asked an audience member to go get them a beer in the middle of the song, burped, screamed, and even TALKED!

There was no heavy, red velvet curtain creating this unspoken wall between the stage and the audience. Also, we (yes, even me) thought that these guys up on stage were cool and wanted to be like them, and liked by them. It really did seem as though these alternative/punk bands were writing for the audience. They were writing for the tour, because that is how they make a lot of their money: it seems as though if the music is not enticing live, these bands have no future.

In Mozart’s letter to his father about the Paris Symphony, he explains how the “audience was quite carried away” and how they verbally and physically reacted to his work of music. (I am sure that if these people had a chance, they would have bought a “Mozart Rules!” T-shirt and a CD of this work recorded by the ensemble that they just heard play).


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  1. says

    One thing that’s always mystified me about classical musicians is how they’ll record a CD and then tour with programs that make no reference to the CD whatsoever. It’s like they don’t even want to sell the things. Then we hear endless hand-wringing about how classical CD sales are slipping. I plan to make fun of this as much as possible.

    If you think you’re mystified, you should talk to concert presenters. I’ve heard them say, with utter puzzlement, that jazz musicians always tour with CDs for sale, but that classical musicians almost never do that.

    I do know one experiment with this that failed. When Riccardo Chailly was recording Mahler symphonies, his record company, Decca, got involved in promoting a tour in which Chailly played the Mahler Fifth (I think), at the same time that the recording was released. I’m told that sales of the CD didn’t rise, but I wonder if anyone involved really knew how to promote concerts and CD together.

  2. Mike Lunapiena says

    Reminds me of a Facbook note I just wrote up called “How Come Classical Musicians Don’t Do the T-Shirt Thing”

    Basic premise of the note: one of the things fans love is merch, specifically stuff they can wear that says “I like this band” … consequently, in rock or metal or punk or whatever, most of the bands’ fans have band shirts, which does publicity for them and gives them money… personally, I think it would be damn cool to have like a Yo-Yo Ma shirt or a NY Philharmonic hat or something …

    but anyway, I agree with the quoted student’s sentiments, eccept that I’m way more likely to go to a “pop” show than a classical show… there’s just so much more energy..

    You can buy orchestra gear of various kinds, from many leading orchestras. But it’s mostly lame. I’d be embarrassed to wear it. The gear problem, then, turns out to be part of a larger image problem, which might be expressed this way: “Who do we think we are, and who are we appealing to?” If the answers turn out to be, “We’re a great orchestra, and we appeal to well-off, respectable art lovers,” then of course the gear will be lame.

  3. Peter Shrock says

    Good for your nerdy friend. But someone needs to turn her on to the White Stripes or the Kaiser Chiefs. Good Charlotte suck!