By the time I walked out of You Me At Six at the LCR in December, I felt like I was gigged out. I had seen a band give a performance which was energetic, fun and, important, very good, but felt utterly bored with live music. No smiling, singing along or moshing. Gigs have lost their allure recently. Expensive, time-consuming and too often disappointing. But then I saw The 1975 on their latest tour and left with the biggest grin on my face I’ve had since my first gig years ago.
I know I am not alone in having gig fatigue. Finding the drive to go to see live music is something many are starting to lose. So how do we remedy it moving forward? After all, live music is the background of the music scene and where most new bands get their start.
The first thing to note is how few bands give value for money. £25 for a small show with an hour long headline set shouldn’t be the commonly accepted norm, but it is now. Secondly, bands need to use the space they are given creatively. Play with and own the space, don’t just stand in your assigned spot and play the songs. Use creative lighting and set ups. You Me At Six had a tiered stage, The 1975 used moving screens and conveyor belts. Thirdly, there is nothing worse than live acts that just play the hits. Fans love the favourites, true, but once they’ve had the same set five or six times, they won’t. Putting in rarities, unusual choices and variants makes going back to see a band again a thrill rather than a chore.
Gig fatigue is awful to feel. It makes a once favourite pastime something to dread and ultimately makes listening to music itself that little bit less magical. So for heaven’s sake, stop charging over the odds for the same set to be played by a band with about as much energy as I had after submitting my summatives.