This is a frustrated entry because I have no live specimens to present to you.
Remember when I said last week that I was surprised when the Robert Cray show started at 7:30 sharp? Well, that show did not represent an aberration in the Denver area, it seems. Wednesday night the early bird struck again, this time with Jonathan Richman at the Lion’s Lair in Denver. This week’s excuse was that the artist had to catch a bus to Salt Lake City to perform soon after. I have never heard of someone trying to escape Denver to reach the SLC so these have become frightening times indeed.
I was talking to my dad after I found out the show ended at 9:30. He was railing against the conditions in his day when the band would go on 2 and a half hours after the scheduled start time, preceded by a litany of mediocre openers. My rejoinder was that opening bands allow one a glimspe into the future, and the delayed start time allows more people to filter in for the headlining act, since some fans might not be able to attend the earlier ignition.
This was the case for my vacationing self. I had some shit to attend to. However, working people tend to prefer these early starts because they can wild out after work and also be in bed in time to face the new day with a modicum of vigor.
I wonder if this is a sign of the US music industry reponding to the will of the consumer. Or maybe it is just that performers have their own needs in this area. My band used to play at 7:00 PM on Thursday nights. It was great for me because I also hold an early-morning day job, but it was not great for all of my friends to attend.
In the past, music was a sacrifice of sleep for working professionals, artist and audience alike. Due to unfavorable economic circumstances could we be seeing a readjustment by the industry as a move to cater to its monied customers?