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I am a big fan of smooth jazz including Walter Beasley. Tonight, my girlfriend and I went to see Beasley at a concert in a small venue (about 300-400 people) in Baltimore. This was our first time seeing him. I have listened to a couple of his live music cds and they were awesome. No one else was advertised to be at the show. During the first half of the show, a local non-recording smooth jazz group performed. When Beasley came on for the second half, I thought it strange that he did not bring his own band. Instead he used the band of the local group. It was very obvious that they had never played together before and Beasely even admitted it. He had to, because at one point, as the group was playing an introduction to a song, Beasley became involved in deep discussion with all of them for about 4 minutes with his back turned to the audience. He then said they were not going to play that song because the band was not playing it correctly. From time to time, during the performance, he would attempt to commend the musicians by name when they played a solo, but he would get the names wrong or as he did with the drummer, attempted to say his name and then just stated he did not know his name. He played and sang a total of 7 or 8 songs and then left. The tickets were almost $40 a piece. I thought for $40 tickets, the performance was unprofessional. Why didn't he bring his own band? To save money? I had read that he has steady band perform with him. In fact, it was publicized that his bassist had recently died and that he had been with Beasley for around 20 years. While the local band musicians were okay, I know his show would have been much better with his regular band and for $40, I think we deserved them. Also, he should have played for a least an hour and a half, not the 40 minutes or so we got.

Maybe I'm just a whiner. The last smooth jazz concert I attended was in 2008, in a small jazz club in Philadelphia where Marion Meadows performed. He brought his usual band and gave us at least 2 1/2 hours of music. He was great. I had expected no less from Beasley.

Maybe this is way concerts are these days. Has anyone had similar experiences with these "brand-name" musicians lately?
 

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Re: Diisappointment in Walter Beasley concert or maybe its just the way things are now...

I hate it when that happens.

here's what I do.

1st edit your tags on this thread so that it shows up on google.

Type up an email and send your thoughts to Walter. Include the reference to and link to this thread. In all probability, Walter's secretary or "people" won't care a damn about one disgruntled fan but they will take notice of the bad publicity they are getting here simply because it's gonna pop up whenever someone googles Walter.

Secondly. Send a snail mail letter to Walter beasley expressing your disappointment. Snail mail tends to get read more than email.

Third. Call your local talkback DJ and express your disappointment.

Finally, and this is the kicker. Call the promoter, Write the promoter. Ask for a refund and threaten legal action. The promoter will definitely have Walter's ear.
 

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Re: Diisappointment in Walter Beasley concert or maybe its just the way things are now...

That seems incredibly lame and unprofessional. Even for a free show or a $10 show, never mind a $40 one. And telling the audience you aren't going to play a song because the band is playing it wrong? That is really cold. Blaming them publicly to the audience is pathetic, especially when presumably he chose to play with that band. I don't see many pricey concerts, but Maceo Parker's band was certainly professional and tight and together, and even the $15 ones I more typically see don't do b.s. like that.
 

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Re: Diisappointment in Walter Beasley concert or maybe its just the way things are now...

I'd be livid as a patron if I spent $40.00 on the show you described...and I would be livid as a musician for what a performance like that does to undermine the faith non-musician patrons have when they spend that kind of money hoping to be entertained by professional musicians. Many of the people who were in the audience that night might think twice in the future about checking out an artist who truly does deserve their patronage.
 

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Re: Diisappointment in Walter Beasley concert or maybe its just the way things are now...

The worst thing to do is complain to paying customers about having a bad time. The audience is there to have a good time. An old timer musician once told me about how he never heard Paul Desmond playing the same tunes the same way live yet he still enjoyed every one of Desmond's concerts.
 

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I have been to a famous pianist's concert recently and payed $35 for it. About halfway through the show he brought out some students from Berklee and everything went downhill. After the students left the stage, he started banging, and I mean hard, on the timbales / misc percussion set up in front of the stage.

I was very disappointed with the performance. He had a great rhythm section & they were playing great before the students came out.

Very strange behavior.
 

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Strange that even Berklee students wouldn't be anything other than capable. A fellow musician once told me that music school students, Berklee specifically, had technique up the wazoo yet not able to play with the emotion that real world experience gives.
 

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They were highly talented folks, just not at the level of the pianist or the rhythm section.

I didn't pay to hear students, I paid to hear one of the greatest living pianists. Everything just got a bit weird onstage.
 

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Wow, I expected this thread to be about the quality of the music or performance, but wasn't prepared for anything this bad. I agree with Dog Pants, raise a stink about it, especially with the concert venue/promoter. They won't be able to do something about it if they don't know what's going on (although it seems like someone on their staff would be onsite and aware of what took place). And you're definitely owed a refund for that lame a** production.
 

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I'd complain.

Many years ago I went to see Ian Dury & the Blockheads on one of their very last tours. I paid about £25 for the ticket, which was pricey back then.
The whole point about Dury et al was that it was all supposed to 'appear' to be a bit of a shambles, but it still remains one of the tightest, most professional - and most thrilling - gigs I've ever been to.
I couldn't honestly tell you how long they played for - I think it was about an hour and a half, maybe two - but it seemed like it passed in a flash and ended much too soon. I can still feel the buzz of it to this day.
That's my gig benchmark - and for what you paid I've have expected all that AND a free drink at half time.

So yeah, go complain!

Regards,
 

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Hiring a local band is a common practice but if you go that route as an artist it is your responsibility to have charts for the guys you hire. I would also expect that they rehearse the whole set at sound check, hours before the show. You got ripped off for sure. I have been in a local band that was hired for an artist. Every time I have done this I got charts, mp3s and a rehearsal or two with the artist before the show. $40 bucks is big money for a ticket and if you charge that kind of money you better have you s**t together.
 

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I would think he would appreciate hearing from you. He depends on his fans like you to make a living and I'm sure he respects that. Who knows what conditions led to this debacle but its hard to believe he takes something like that lightly. I heard him live once doing just two numbers but they were great and it was a serious band and setting so he was on. Hearing what you have to say may help ensure it does not happen again.
 

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Many times over the past 20 or so yrs. I've been hired to play in the back-up band of a "name artist". Everything from The Four Tops to the Jimmy Dorsey Orch. to Aretha Franklin. Without fail, there is always a lengthy afternoon rehearsal (cram session) to make sure that everything is as tight as possible. Most of the time, the band is supplemented by the "traveling" rhythm section, or lead players. In a perfect world, it would still be cost effective to travel with a full band, but those days are long gone. Having said that, the majority of the times I've been a "hired gun", the band is a large (12+ musicians) ensemble.
Reading your post, I have to say that you definitely got hosed. When you say there was no mention of an "opening band" or anything else, you were lead to believe this was his full-time working band. Obviously, it wasn't. $40 bucks to hear him rehearse with a bunch of local cats? I don't freakin' think so!
I'd complain to the artist, his "agent", the venue and anyone else that would listen to me bitch! Good luck and let us know the results!

John
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the input and advice about complaining. I'm not going to complain. I just wanted to vent and know how some of you felt about the situation. As a retired trial attorney, I certainly know how to raise heck and get everyone nervous and upset, but its not worth my time in this situation. I'd rather use that time to shed. Plus, as a Christian, I have learned to forgive. I just won't go to any more shows where he is the sole major act.
 

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"Plus, as a Christian, I have learned to forgive."
Amen to that, Madlou. And you'll sleep better too. Not having to get all fired up over something that you have no control over.
But it's good to vent to get it out of your system.
 

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