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summed this up quite well in an interview once when asked why he'd pass the microphone to the audience from time to time; if you want to hear the record, listen to the record.
There is no excuse for sounding shit live though.
But I'm (possibly reliably) informed by people who've been involved with a few signed bands that being able to reproduce your record live is a big factor for a fair number of A&R people, which I find surprising and disappointing.
Obviously there is no excuse for being shit but I do think live performances and recordings are, and should be, entirely different things.
It always pisses me off when I hear an amazing record that just has too many tracks and layers to be pulled off live. Stupid as it sounds, its an issue I've always had with rap and hip-hop music, seeing as its the norm for artists to guest on other artists tracks in those genres; its nigh-on impossible to reproduce that live.
That said, a live show really should have some character. I'm bored senseless when a band sounds like they are miming to their own record. Its a tough thing to get right.
Certain ace bands have really polished production on record, and then a really parred down sound live, and it works really well.
bigger, heavier and more expansive live. i want my low key bands more hushed, intimate and hearty live. Basically a slightly exaggerated physical presence if that makes any sense.
I should probably say its not important. However, I do like polishness of a record and rawness of a live show
they don't just sound like a crap version of the record they're trying to play then it's all fine.
I like a bit of experimentation live. It keeps you interested since you get to hear something potentially completely new.
You go to a gig and basically get the same effect as playing the record really loud. I want showmanship, bum notes, extended solos.
Most improv acts sound much, much better live. I have friends that loved Dream Aktion unit and Brotzmann/Bennink at ATP that wouldn't go near that kind of shit on record because it makes so much more sense when you actually experience people playing it.
I'd stay at home and listen to the cd! Simple as...
a band to sound more like their record. But obviously this isn't always the case and it's great when bands can bring a lacking album to life on stage.
When I saw Asobi Seksu I enjoyed them but felt they'd lost a lot of the poppier side of the album.
If I go to a Flaming Lips gig, I want it to be a super-happy party, have the songs transcend mere music into a joyous ambience - seeing them live turned me around on much of their last album which I was initially disappointed by after the double whammy of Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - At War with the Mystics just made so much more sense live, with props, and audience mania.
If I go to see Radiohead, though, I expect them to come off reasonably close to record but obviously with that live edge, because their songs tend to be so perfectly crafted and timed that they need to keep it tight - Selway's not known for being a human drummachine for nothing.
Currently, the bands I want to see live most are !!! and iLiKETRAiNS - I want !!! to wig the fuck out, and I want iLiKETRAiNS to be precision intense.