The Customer Is Always Wrong : Low Vs. The Mega-Entitled

Posted in Rock Und Roll at 1:56 pm by

(Taylor Hicks, pledging to play whatever the people wanna hear at Rock The Garden 2014)

Over the weekend, Duluth, MN’s venerable Low performed as part of Saturday’s Rock The Garden festival at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center.  The show’s co-sponsors, public radio outlet The Current, report that Low performed a 27 minute version of “Do You Know How to Waltz?” from 1996’s “The Curtain Hits The Cast”,  “and stretched out the song’s jammy, droning coda to create an unending wall of noise.”   It seems that not everyone in attendance was thrilled by Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s creative direction that afternoon, and the radio station quotes one outraged patron as insisting,  “we paid them to put on a show and they didn’t. They very do literally owe us”.  And yeah, you paid $55, perhaps musicians should put on clown makeup, take requests and give you a hand job back rub after the set?

Not to sound unsympathetic towards persons who paid for tickets (I do that most of the time) or had to arrange for babysitters (I’ve heard of such things), but there’s plenty of bands who will gladly jump thru flaming hoops and/or do the human jukebox thing for you. That they’re not restricted to the state fair circuit and actually constitute a large portion of what you hear on stations like The Current (or KCRW, WXPN, KUT, KEXP, etc.) is neither a good or a bad thing, but it hints at the sort of sensibilities Low encounter when they play one 27 minute piece and call it a day.

I’m sure there’s folks who found the whole thing self-indulgent, but whether a show is free rf $5 or $25 or whatever, admission doesn’t entitle the audience to select the repertoire. That Low or anyone else would be obliged to put on a certain type of show simply because that’s whats expected in that kind of setting sounds to me like a terrific argument for doing anything but. I’m tempted to conclude something entirely unhelpful, like, “this is what happens when you share a bill with Silversun Pickups”, but this sort of “you owe us” attitude exists in other settings, too.   But really, it’s called the Walker Arts Center, not the Walker Glorified Karaoke Snore-atorium (& Launching Pad For Bands Who Wanna Be On The Closing Credits of  “The Newsroom”).

15 responses to “The Customer Is Always Wrong : Low Vs. The Mega-Entitled”

  1. Curious says:

    Thanks for the nice picture of Taylor Hicks, who has been headlining
    at Paris hotel in Las Vegas. Just curious, though, what does this
    article have to do with him, since he’s not actually mentioned in the

  2. GC says:

    i’m suggesting that when he’s invited to play next summer’s Rock The Garden at the Walker Arts Center, Taylor is the sort of performer who will be very careful to avoid the sort of controversy described in the article above.

  3. Laura says:

    I can only imagine the frustration felt by those in attendance. An amazing jam is one thing, but to do only one song and call it a night? Um…no. I too was curious about the Taylor Hicks picture and then read the comments. I’ve seen him live before. Man can rock a stage. He jammed with the Allman Brothers…now that was some damn good music!

  4. thetruth says:

    I’d love to see Taylor at the festival! Hope to see him next year!

  5. Curious says:

    You are so right about Taylor. He is a class act! There’s nothing
    like seeing him perform in concert. He puts 150% into every song
    and works off the audience. Quoting someone who saw Taylor’s
    show in Vegas he said “So much soul, so much groove, so much power. Really blew me away”.

  6. Collision says:

    Holy shit, Costa’s finally admitted to being curious?

  7. GC says:

    I think it is fair to say Mr. Hicks is putting at least 155% percent into this performance.

  8. tillyann says:

    I think I much prefer this type of Taylor performance.


  9. tillyann says:

    Not the link I intended. Sorry about that.

    Here you go, I hope.


  10. tillyann says:

    Hey, thanks for putting up my link. Hope you watched the 2nd one.
    Dare you to watch one more. As the frontman for the Little River Band recently said “taylor will restore your musical soul” .
    That he will. Plus hes killin it and makin a bundle in Vegas.


  11. GC says:

    he’s killing something, I’ll give you that.

  12. tillyann says:

    Yes, he definitely is. I knew from the beginning you were being an ahole, thinking you are somehow musically superior or just superior in general and it was annoying. But then I thought about T and how well he has done with tours, broadway, and now a solid Vegas contract and respect from many top musicians in the country and compared that to a blogger that seldom gets any comments and I felt much better.
    Would you like me to send you the harp duel with John Popper? Its really great. Or maybe the jazzed up In the Ghetto? Very creative.
    Really, it wasn’t necessary to use an old, old pic of T on a article that had nothing to do with him. Cheers.

  13. GC says:

    i have to say, when this week began, I never imagined I’d be asked “would you like me to send you the harp duel with John Popper?” Sure, there’s blogs with more traffic and comments, but I don’t think anyone will ever be able to take this moment away from me.

    And in all seriousness, I’ve learned my lesson. DO NOT FUCK WITH TAYLOR HICKS’ LEGION OF FANS. They’re as devoted as he is talented. Perhaps even more so!

  14. WeWanttheFunk says:

    Is there any way to set up a deathmatch with the Huckapoo crowd?

  15. tilly ann says:

    GC, I had no intention of coming back here but I ran across this today and it made me think of our convo.
    And I was so curious as to what you would think of the arrangement and of Jamie McLeans guitar in the middle part of the vid. Jamies not with Taylor now and I sure do miss him. He is the best.
    If you have a minute I would appreciate a listen and see what you think.

    Whos the Huckapoo crowd anyway? Does he mean the Huckabee dude?
    You know if you guys think Taylor is some sort of rightwing wingnut because he sang at the convention, well all I can say is if you knew anything about him you would know NOTHING could be further from the truth. Businesswise he might lean a little right but not in any social way.

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