Thursday, February 17, 2005

Half a concert = Three Doors Down

I love my Monkette2B -- for my anniversary present, she sprung for tickets to the 3 Doors Down concert just outside Dallas, Texas; for Valentine's Day, I got the T-shirt.

We treked over to the show and listened through the two opening bands, one of which is unmemorable, the other was Saliva -- which plays early 80s metal (think Def Leppard before Histeria or Motley Crue from '83-85) and is fairly well known. At 9:30, Saliva was done.

At 10:00 3 Doors Down came out; eight or nine songs later at 10:45 they said "good night, Texas." The songs = singles from previous CDs, and the singles-to-be from the current CD, which the fans made #1 this week. The versions -- basically standard live versions, little variation from the CD spots.

At 10:50 they trundled out for a two-song encore and they finished before 11:00. That's it. Before the finale, Loser (a subliminal hint to the fans who shelled the dough for this?), Brad Arnold said, "we've got time for one more." The Monk thought "no, beanpole, you have time for another set."

And I didn't even mention the extended pauses between songs and the five times Brad asked the audience how it was doing.

That's crap.

The Monk has seen numerous concerts: U2 (x2), Sting (x4), Mellencamp, Eagles, Midnight Oil, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, Ramones, UB40, Bruce Hornsby, Barenaked Ladies (x2) and others. Most went around 2-2.5 hours. That's standard. The only one of those that didn't shatter the 90-minute mark was The Ramones -- and a 70+ minute Ramones set with more than 20 thrash punk songs is worth anyone else's two hours. Springsteen often goes for four hours.

The Eagles went > 3 hours with no opening act; U2 went > 2 both times, including when I saw them in 1987 and Bono was only a week removed from his broken shoulder injury (this nullifies any excuse that Brad Arnold wasn't feeling well -- Bono's shoulder pain was obvious from the Green Seats in Madison Square Garden, nowhere near the floor). I've seen Sting go 2-2.5 with opening acts and over 3 without an opener. Pearl Jam had a SHORT set when I saw them: about 2:15, 23 songs -- that's well over double the 3DD set.

In a similar set-up, same venue with more notable opening acts (Butterfly Boucher, whose remake of Changes would be on the Shrek 2 CD three months hence, and Howie Day)
Barenaked Ladies churned along for more than 2 hours and a pair of encores.

I've heard this is par for the course for 3DD. If so, they need to revamp their act because dropping significant cash on an opening act-sized set is bulls't. They have 3 CDs out now, that's minimum 33-35 songs of their own material, and they do covers too (everyone does), like That Smell from Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The average concert consists of about 6-8 songs from the new CD, plus 15-20 songs from the band's history. Some acts do this differently if they have a large back catalog (Pearl Jam, Sting, U2). Still, when Pearl Jam had released only Ten and Vs., they had under 30 songs, but they performed full concerts including covers of Neil Young and others they admired. When U2 released The Joshua Tree, their set list was only their most recent three albums and I Will Follow; and they gave full concerts.

So what's wrong with 3DD? Why do they shaft their fans? Laziness? Greed? Boredom? This is a radio act right now, and that's it, until they put more into their shows than a 10-11 song rehash of their singles. Not worth the cash. My Monkette2B got shafted.

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