Monday, June 29, 2009

Concert vs Performance

I was reading this article on Michael Jackson in the Daily Mail yesterday and this particular portion struck me:

"It is worth noting that the O2 Arena has the most sophisticated lip synching technology in the world – a particular attraction for a singer who can no longer sing. Had, by some miracle, the concerts gone ahead, Jackson’s personal contribution could have been limited to just 13 minutes for each performance. The rest was to have been choreography and lights."

I've heard that the cheapest ticket for these series of concerts was going to be $81 - and that got me thinking, why would anyone pay that amount of money to see someone basically dance around and "sing" for only 13 minutes? In my mind, a concert is an event where all the participants are doing what they are supposed to do - musicians playing, singers singing. A performance, on the other hand, can be a combination of this - some musicians playing, some pre-recorded music. Some singers singing, some pretending to. If you go to see a band, say like U2 or Radiohead, you are going to a concert. If you go see Britney Spears or Madonna or Michael Jackson, you are going to see a performance. And I think it should be marketed as such.

I'm nor naive enough to know that even bands such as U2, Radiohead, The Who, etc. use some pre-recorded music, but does anyone really believe that Britney or Michael or Madonna can dance like they do AND sing AND never seem out-of-breath when singing? It's a sham and for me, I'd feel ripped off to pay high prices to basically watch a live music video. Then again, perhaps those who go see these performers know what they are seeing and don't care. They want dance moves and costume changes and video and the "songs" and "singing" is immaterial.

No comments: