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Wrong way round, Brian!

Posted by Lewis on April 07, 2006

In Reply to: Play to the crowd posted by Brian from Shawnee on April 06, 2006

: : What dooes it mean to "play to the crowd"? I assume it means to give and audience what it wants.

: Yep, that's what it means. This can be used as a mild rebuke, such as when an old rock band "plays to the crowd" by performing songs that are 20 years old instead of trying out some new stuff that the critics want to hear.

Brian - the critics are just cruising the shoals sniffing for blood! Rarely do they have much positive to say about the new material.

You know how it goes, the band have a new and uninspired album and the band of golden oldies plays almost all of it and only performs a couple of the old numbers - can be a real let down.

Even worse is when a band play none of the records that you own and only play recent stuff - I saw Marillion last year and they played 0 tracks from the first 4-5 albums that made the name famous - not even the hit singles. I was disappointed, yet the newer material was quite good too, so it was like seeing a new band and I quite liked them. Still, to me Marillion will always be associated with Fish.

Steve Harley and Richard Thompson both manage to avoid the greatest hits trap and get a good balance of excellent new material mixed in with their classic records. Too few artists are sufficiently creative to still write great material 20-30 years on - Thompson and Harley are still good enough.

"Playing to the crowd" is akin to "grand-standing" where a performer (sport or music) shows off their skill whether it is justified in context or not.