#1
Thought I'd see what the forums thought of this story which was reported a couple of days ago:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/general_music_news/rolling_stones_face_fans_protest.html

Personally, I think (most of) the demands are something all bands should pay attention to. Here are my thoughts on them.

1) WE WANT SMALLER VENUES
Large stadium gigs are OK and look good on DVD, but when I'm actually there I always think small to medium size venues have a better atmosphere as it is a much more personal experience and you're actually watching the band rather than watching them on a large screen (assuming you aren't at the front of the stadium). It also provides more opportunity for the band to interact with the audience and makes the whole thing more enjoyable.

2) WE WANT LOWER TICKET PRICES
Don't think many people would argue with this one! Apparently some of the tickets were up to $350 which is just ridiculous. Also, I can't remember the exact figures, but U2 recently grossed about $700 million on their last tour. They could probably reduce their prices a bit as well.

3) WE WANT A SET LIST OVERHAUL
Obviously this doesn't count for younger bands who don't have so much of a back catalogue to choose from, but once a band has released a few albums, they can easily switch things around from night to night to make every gig a unique experience. A band like the stones probably has at least 20 songs you would expect to hear at a gig. If they only did 5 of them and spent the rest of the night playing other stuff nobody would complain.

They aren't in the same league as the Stones, but a few years ago I saw Del Amitri. Their two most famous songs are probably Nothing Ever Happens and Roll To Me. They didn't play either of them and nobody cared because they played enough good music that those two songs weren't missed.

4) WE WANT THE ELIMINATION OF THE HORN SECTION AND BACK-UP SINGERS
For me, this isn't just for the concerts. As far as I'm concerned if you're a 5 piece band you should be a 5 piece band. If you can't play it live without help, it shouldn't be on the albums either. Rock is supposed to be a raw form of music, it isn't supposed to need a whole orchestra on stage playing the songs. Just drums, bass, guitar, sometimes keyboards and vocals. The only back up singers you should need are the rest of the band.

5) WE WANT THE EXPULSION OF ALL OPENING ACTS
I don't agree with this one. Big bands can help smaller acts promote themselves by having them in the opening slot and introducing their music to a new audience. Any time I go to a concert, I'm always curious to know who the opening act will be and although I haven't always enjoyed them, other times I have liked them so much I've gone out the next day to buy their album and have found several artists in this way that I may never have heard of if they hadn't been supporting someone else.

What do the rest of you think? Are these things that all bands should take heed of, or are the Stones fans who are complaining just being miserable?

tl, dr? If you can't be bothered to read, don't bother answering.
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#3
I both agree and disagree with most of these points, and here's why.

I personally like the atmosphere of bigger venues, as it gives an immense feel to it. However I also like smaller, more intimate venues. Of the two I prefer the bigger venues but I would like many more bands to try and play smaller venues more often.

Lower ticket prices is an obvious yes to me.

The set list overhaul is an interesting one, I wouldn't want to see a band play the same 20 songs every time, but I would expect to see certain songs. Maybe play the 8 or 10 most popular songs they've released, and then mix it up a little with the others

The backing singers I agree should go. The band should sing them.
But the other members... I'm not sure. I enjoy hearing a nice, rich rock band playing but only if it suits. That in my mind is dependent entirely on the band in question.

And opening acts cannot go. They open your eyes (and ears) to new music whilst giving them a chance to play to new people, get a gathering, and more importantly get experience of playing with big bands.

Very interesting though, certainly food for thought
#4
Quote by GaryBillington

1) WE WANT SMALLER VENUES

2) WE WANT LOWER TICKET PRICES

3) WE WANT A SET LIST OVERHAUL

4) WE WANT THE ELIMINATION OF THE HORN SECTION AND BACK-UP SINGERS

5) WE WANT THE EXPULSION OF ALL OPENING ACTS
My thoughts:

1) Absolutely 150% yes. Unless you are in the first 30 rows on the floor or one of the side sections right next to the stage, stadium shows suck in terms of both view and more importantly, sound. Theaters would be ideal, but I'd even take arenas over stadiums.

2) I don't think anyone would argue against this. Concert ticket prices are outrageous in general and the Stones are no exception.

3) I agree with this also to a point. Should they play the hits? Yes. Should every show be a hit parade with little variation from night to night? No. This band has a large enough catalog that they can go multiple nights without repeating a song while still pleasing the people looking for the hits as well as those looking for the deep cuts if they would just put some thought into their setlists.

4) Backup singers could go either way for me. I don't know how they've been using them in the past few years, but I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to keep them on stage when they're needed (Exile material, Gimme Shelter, etc.) and take them off when they're not. As for the horns, keep Bobby Keys and ditch the rest.

5) I like opening bands as long as they don't cut down on the headliner's set time.
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#5
interesting thoughts but some are off base.

Smaller venues. from a sound standpoint yeah have to agree. on the other hand there is something about being in a stadium with 100,000 fans that is fun. few bands can fill venues that big so it's not much of an issue these days. the fact that after almost 50 years the Stones still can do this is a miracle.

Ticket Prices. yeah this sucks and honestly keeps me from going to concerts for the most part. i remember grumbling about paying $20 for Stones tickets in 81, now the service charge is more than that. problem is this is how most bands make there money these days. if people actually bought the Cds then concert prices would come down. of course if people balked at stupid concert prices tickets would come down to. if everyone just said $100 for Metallica, nope then when they were stuck with no ticket buyers the price would drop real fast. being older i'm lucky as i've seen most of the bands i love back in there hey day. both times i saw AC/DC they were the opening band and of course had Bon Scott singing (78 and 79 for those who want to know). am i gonna pay stupid money for them now, no can't justify it.

no opening bands well that's just stupid. new up and coming acts need a chance to show a bigger audience what they have. a few opening acts i've seen Metallica, AC/DC,Iron Maiden, John (Cougar) Mellenkamp, Thin Lizzy and a host of other bands that are huge now. being able to see them at the beginning of their careers is priceless.

backup singers etc. hey if the music calls for that then what's the problem?
#6
Expulsion of opening acts is a bizarre request. I can only imagine it's because the fan club is largely made up of older people and they need to get to bed early.

Having just clicked through to the article their argument makes a bit more sense:
We believe The Rolling Stones have stopped challenging themselves. There was a time when they would bring an opening band talented enough to challenge the Stones themselves who, in turn, would have to step it up even further when it was time for them to take the stage. We ask you: how challenging can it be to follow Third Eye Blind? How challenging can it be to follow Johnny Lang or the goddamn Spin Doctors? Forcing an audience who just paid a lot of money to sit through such tripe is a rip-off as much as it is an insult. While there are in fact hard working bands today who could give The Rolling Stones a run for their money, they never seem to appear on the bill. Additionally, even if those bands did open the show, most of those in attendance won’t have the patience for them. Therefore, we demand The Rolling Stones forgo the use of opening acts on this last tour. Cut the fat, less is more.
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#7
Quote by Andrewbiles
Expulsion of opening acts is a bizarre request. I can only imagine it's because the fan club is largely made up of older people and they need to get to bed early.

Having just clicked through to the article their argument makes a bit more sense:

I do kind of agree with the argument they're making, but I still disagree with getting rid of opening acts altogether. My problem with it is that they're using bands who could easily sell out their own tour because they're already well known - they should be helping to promote genuinely new acts who are only just starting to break through..
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#8
I disagree with 4 and 5, because I like hearing the horns and singers on some songs, and I love seeing opening bands(I found out about the black keys because they opened for beck). artists should control the performance any way they want, but i agree with smaller venues and lower prices. I went to see Eric Clapton from the nosebleeds, and it just felt like loud music with some guys standing on a stage WAAAY down below. I completely agree with smaller venues, you should at least be able to see their faces without looking at some sort of screen.
#9
I agree with everything except the opening act thing. Anyone who is against opening acts shouldn't be allowed to hear music.
#10
Interesting points...This is what makes a band like Phish really amazing -- They have a repetoire of well over 100 songs (probably more like 200) and no two shows are alike. They don't even have any repeats night to night.
#11
Quote by DharmaForOne
They have a repetoire of well over 100 songs (probably more like 200)
218 unique songs in 39 shows throughout 2011. 253 songs in 48 shows in 2010. Granted, it's probably an unfair comparison considering they don't have anywhere near the commercial success of the Stones so they don't feel the same pressure to play "the hits", but I'd be willing to bet that over the entire two year duration of the Bigger Bang tour the Stones didn't come anywhere close to that kind of variety.
How to achieve Frank Zappa's guitar tone:
Quote by Thefallofman
Step 1: Buy a Gibson SG
Step 2: Insert Green Ringer, EQ, 3 dead squirrels and a microwave into said SG
Step 3: Plug in and freak the **** out.