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Bill Frisell...
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Author Bill Frisell...
mousegarden
I went to see Bill Frisell at Cadogan Hall last week, and again, not a good experience, just like when I saw him at Ronnie Scott's.
He's one of my favourite guitarists, but the way his music is presented isn't right. Both times I've had to struggle and really concentrate hard just to hear him it's so quiet. I'm not the only one to notice this, I heard others complaining in the audience near me and my friend said the same thing.
I knew it wasn't going to be a good experience, I just got up and left after twenty minutes, another £40 wasted. He's not suited to large venues, his management should know that. Small intimate clubs of around 200 max, not halls of two thousand, all the magic is lost, it just doesn't work.
I thought about mailing him but what's the point? I wasn't the only person to leave that concert, others were having trouble too, so maybe he should listen to someone, or his management should.
tim gueguen
Was he playing solo or with a group? I caught him back in 2012 at Saskatoon's Broadway Theatre, which has a capacity of 430, when he was touring behind his Beatles album. Definitely no volume problems there, but that was a band setting.
Kent
mousegarden wrote:

I thought about mailing him but what's the point?

... so maybe he should listen to someone, or his management should.


d'oh!

Listen to what? People that aren’t letting him and his team know?
mousegarden
Kent wrote:
mousegarden wrote:

I thought about mailing him but what's the point?

... so maybe he should listen to someone, or his management should.


d'oh!

Listen to what? People that aren’t letting him and his team know?


OK I'll mail him tomorrow, and let you know what response I get. I'm just trying to put myself in his shoes, if I received my email.
umma gumma
was it like this?

mousegarden
umma gumma wrote:
was it like this?



In terms of volume yes, exactly like that.
It isn't even enough to get over the ambience of the hall! There is a certain volume, at the very least, where you have rise above the ambient noise floor, if you don't do this, it's very distracting and hard work trying to listen. In situations like this, which I have to say, I've only experienced with Bill Frisell, I just can't be bothered, this type of presentation, as far as I can see, has no purpose, in his music, it's just bloody ridiculous.
mousegarden
OK, I've mailed his management, be interesting to hear what they say.
umma gumma
yep agree 100%

you could clearly hear people coughing etc in the audience, and it was louder than some of the music

HEY BILL, CRANK UP THE PA!!

grin
mousegarden
umma gumma wrote:
yep agree 100%

you could clearly hear people coughing etc in the audience, and it was louder than some of the music

HEY BILL, CRANK UP THE PA!!

grin


Well, no reply so far.....

And yes, he could actually "have" a PA, if he likes to play quietly, fine, they could rig the PA so it covered the audience, and didn't interfere with Bill.
All in all, my ticket was £35, my train fare was £36, drinks about £15, a total waste of time and money.
I've had feedback from others who agree with me, Bills management really should take this on board.
mousegarden
Still no reply. Just sent a copy to another contact at his management.
m0n0mania
I was there with MG and can concur. There was a guy 3 rows in front of me who tried to remove his jacket & the rustling was horrendous. He was trying to do it slowly and carefully to prevent annoyance but only succeeded in prolonging the awkwardness. He looked mortified.
umma gumma
wait: so he did not have a PA, was just using two twin reverbs up on stage?

*edit* those aren't even twins...deluxe reverbs?
mousegarden
I just had a reply from his management, he said they are really busy so can't investigate right now, I'm looking forward to a follow up email.
m0n0mania
There was a decent sized PA in the venue. Don't know if it was being used.
umma gumma
didn't those morons learn anything, after The Beatles at Shea Stadium?

very frustrating very frustrating very frustrating

" hey lets go play in front of 5,000 people, with no PA! "
mousegarden
m0n0mania wrote:
There was a decent sized PA in the venue. Don't know if it was being used.


I think that says it all, I couldn't tell either, the bottom line is, if he wants to play quiet fine, but it is possible to cover the audience with a PA and not interfere with the stage sound.
His manager mentioned a "sound engineer" what on earth were they doing? I guess putting the guitar amp on stage and plugging it in!

seriously, i just don't get it
BananaPlug
Sounds like a bad match for the venue but in a smaller place I prefer it when a solo act plays a quiet set. Ideally, people in the audience quiet down too and really listen, instead of chatting with each other and blurting out stuff to Instagram.
Boat
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
I have seen Bill Frisell live twice. The first time was at the Vogue (or Orpheum?), a medium-sized proscenium theatre in Vancouver. He was playing with the Willies. I could hear him fine, but I wasn't enamored with the music.

The second time was at the ScotiaBank venue in Vancouver, and it was a club-like setting, with a small audience sitting at little tables. I was literally sitting directly in front of Bill, and if I'd wanted to I could have stood up and patted him on the head. It was brilliant. He played jazz standards and it was spellbinding. He has such sophisticated harmonic control that it is scary.

Funny story: before the show there was a Q&A and I asked Bill about how he achieved his rubbery intonation, was he consciously aware that he was strangling the neck and causing almost constant wavering in pitch? He seemed genuinely troubled by my observation. Doc Sketchy, makin' friends....
PapaLazarou
Pretty sure he's going for a John Cage thing. Don't shoot the messenger though Dead Banana
mousegarden
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch wrote:
I have seen Bill Frisell live twice. The first time was at the Vogue (or Orpheum?), a medium-sized proscenium theatre in Vancouver. He was playing with the Willies. I could hear him fine, but I wasn't enamored with the music.

The second time was at the ScotiaBank venue in Vancouver, and it was a club-like setting, with a small audience sitting at little tables. I was literally sitting directly in front of Bill, and if I'd wanted to I could have stood up and patted him on the head. It was brilliant. He played jazz standards and it was spellbinding. He has such sophisticated harmonic control that it is scary.

Funny story: before the show there was a Q&A and I asked Bill about how he achieved his rubbery intonation, was he consciously aware that he was strangling the neck and causing almost constant wavering in pitch? He seemed genuinely troubled by my observation. Doc Sketchy, makin' friends....


His music needs intimacy, the Tiny Desk concerts are amazing.
You wouldn't put on a solo clavichord concert in the Albert Hall, it really is exactly the same situation. You need to be close to hear all the subtleties.
Idunno
I had this problem when I saw Jonathan Richman many moons ago (possibly at ULU, can't remember exactly). The band just used a vocal PA and a backline of amps. Not loud enough for the hall. No such problem when I saw BB King at the Hammersmith Odeon with the same setup. Plenty loud enough, and I wasn't anywhere near the front of the hall.
memes_33
I’ve seen him probably 20 times in a bunch of different settings,and while some shows were quiet, I could always hear. He’s amazing- seeing him at least once at end of this month, probably more than once.

One time I saw him at SFJazz in San Francisco with his big sur quartet. He was the only amplified instrument. The power went out in the venue, so he just grabbed his acoustic and played in the emergency lights. Was epic.
siltola
Nice guy! I meet him in Córdoba. Really nice night with him.
deke
I’m guessing the OP has never seen a classical guitarist. Segovia and Bream. I saw them both - zero amplification and concerts I dreamed about were utterly ruined by non stop coughing and snorting people. This included front row for Bream. Maybe Frissel is going for something similar thinking it is “intimate.” The only thing I found intimacy with in quiet concerts was the sound of people’s pleghm.
memes_33
i saw him again on friday, and this time was very quiet. other than the time i saw him at Grace Cathedral in SF, this was the only other time i've seen him solo. it was great, but i do think he could have turned the amplifier up. i understand having a big dynamic range for a more dramatic effect, but it never really got loud, so i don't feel anything would have been lost from him turning his amp up.

the guy behind me fell asleep and was snoring, and the kids next to me came in super stoned and were giggling the whole time, so these things would have been less noticeable had he turned up the amp a little. but what do i know? i'm just a music nerd; he's bill frisell!
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