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  1. #1
    The Catalyst RapidGunner's Avatar
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    Should live performances be exact copies of studio material?

    Being a musician myself, this is an interesting question I've always wondered about -

    Should bands/solo-artists try to replicate their recorded work note-by-note? Or should they loosen up and make it simpler/different so that it suits better to a live setting?

    On one side, you have guys like Arcade Fire, RATM and Linkin Park, who try their best to play the song exactly like the studio version. Even the "wierd"/unusual instruments used in the studio are brought out to the live setting to try and replicate that sound.

    But then you have bands like Nine Inch Nails, Muse and Radiohead, who change up the sound so that it can be played easier live (without worrying about recreating the "exact" electronic bleeps and all that) and can be enjoyed more by the fans and the band themselves. Also, it makes the live experience more interesting because everyone gets to hear a "different" version.

    What kind of performance do you guys prefer?
    Last edited by RapidGunner; 04-21-2012 at 07:22 AM.

  2. #2
    . Coldplay's Avatar
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    I don't know about that. Linkin Park has definitely been a band to change up songs. From incorporating new intros and outros to mashing up songs (FM verses over POA, for instance. Or Hands Held High over the reanimated version of Crawling, to combine both examples thus far), they've definitely tried to make each song unique.

    They completely redid the piano part to My December. They created a piano intro for Breaking The Habit. They completely redid Wake during the MTM touring cycle. The Radiance is completely different live. Hell, the Mario Savio speech from W&K now belongs to The Radiance.

    In The End typically has bits of the Pushing Me Away guitar part played during the second verse.

    Linkin Park definitely loosen up and change songs up during their live shows.

  3. #3
    The Catalyst RapidGunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by + / – View Post
    Linkin Park definitely loosen up and change songs up during their live shows.
    Okay, I somewhat agree. I was hesitant about adding Linkin Park in that group too. But no other band name's coming to my mind right now (although there are many such bands who sound EXACTLY like their own studio stuff). But i guess you get the idea of the question anyways.

    EDIT :- added some band names in the original post..
    Last edited by RapidGunner; 04-21-2012 at 07:23 AM.

  4. #4
    Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. minuteforce's Avatar
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    I personally subscribe to "loosening up" in a live environment. The songs that I write, whether it's on my own or in a collaborative environment, generally come down to a vocal melody over progressions and a specific dynamic structure. The only instrument I can play is keyboard and some piano so I write pretty much exclusively using those instruments (my drum programming ideas generally don't develop into fully-fledged songs). Since everything I write can effectively be played using a single instrument plus vocals, it doesn't matter however much production I add later or how much I add or subtract from that because the core of the song is always intact. Obviously, that doesn't work for everyone but that's just my background and how it informs how I look at the matter.

    You should determine what the most important aspects of the song are in terms of playing it and you find something to fulfil each of those things. A song isn't just a studio recording; it can evolve beyond that. Nine Inch Nails, during the promotion of "Pretty Hate Machine", were known for making their songs considerably heavier on-stage than they were on the album, presumably just because they were more fun to play that way and made for a better show or listening experience. Linkin Park do a lot of things in studio versions that don't quite make it into live versions to the point where live versions become distinct in their own right. A good example is, as Minus mentioned, "The Radiance".


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  5. #5
    The Catalyst RapidGunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minuteforce View Post
    Since everything I write can effectively be played using a single instrument plus vocals, it doesn't matter however much production I add later or how much I add or subtract from that because the core of the song is always intact.
    Nice point. And yeah, my songwriting process is pretty similar to yours.

  6. #6
    Extremely H! Vltg3 iamsatan's Avatar
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    I like it when bands/artists change it up, it makes the live show more exciting and surprising for fans.

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  7. #7
    can't shake the shock soun'wave's Avatar
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    i love the way Radiohead change up tracks like The Gloaming and Idioteque, the same with Linkin Parks radiance, its unexpected, and alot more interesting

  8. #8
    auditory_hallucination_ Robert's Avatar
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    My answer is no. Live performances sometimes sound better, per say, if something's added - like Brad's guitars in the verses of Given Up to Rob's drumming in Iridescent. Artists, expecially bands should be free in live shows. When it came to playing a guitar solo, Kurt Cobain didn't play it like it was in the studio version, but how he wanted to, how he felt like playing it.

  9. #9
    Sexy in a really weird way Pidgeon's Avatar
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    If I'm going to go spend money on a show I want to see or hear something I haven't heard before. Make it a unique experience not just rolling through the hits

  10. #10
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    No.

    One of the best things about attending a live show is the change up bands make.

    Those who don't are lazy and could care less about their music IMO.

  11. #11
    Makin' Money Before I Could Crawl. Money Maker Mike's Avatar
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    They should just have Mr. Hahn DJ all their songs, and the rest of the band could be backup dancers
    I make money.

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  12. #12
    The Catalyst RapidGunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Best Asian Ever View Post
    They should just have Mr. Hahn DJ all their songs, and the rest of the band could be backup dancers
    And I'd still pay money to watch that!

    And yeah, I guess the general consensus here is that people want to see something "different" in live shows. But, outside this community, there are many guys who HATE it when bands change it up.. One of my friends (to whom I asked this) said - "I pay money to listen to the song I like, not its crappy, watered down version." Btw, he HATES the live versions of Nine Inch Nails songs! Another example; some Youtube comments on Nirvana's live videos claim that Kurt changed up the solos because he couldn't play them! Wtf?

    Do they have a point, or are they a**holes?

  13. #13
    MEE† ∆† L∆KE $pvcxGhxztCasey's Avatar
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    Sometimes, it's impressive when the live shows sounds exactly like the albums. For instance, the Weeknd. But, I don't want to hear, say, the Red Hot Chili Peppers do a 2 1/2 hour set or something and have it sound exactly like a CD being played really loud in an arena full of people.

    It just depends, really. If I'm at a hip-hop show, I rather it sound like the album, but only because most rappers live are garbage and really kills my interest in them as an artist (wassup Lil' Wayne?).

  14. #14
    The Catalyst RapidGunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F-ck Casey View Post
    Sometimes, it's impressive when the live shows sounds exactly like the albums. For instance, the Weeknd. But, I don't want to hear, say, the Red Hot Chili Peppers do a 2 1/2 hour set or something and have it sound exactly like a CD being played really loud in an arena full of people.

    It just depends, really. If I'm at a hip-hop show, I rather it sound like the album, but only because most rappers live are garbage and really kills my interest in them as an artist (wassup Lil' Wayne?).
    Good point.

  15. #15
    Ambient ernieball003's Avatar
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    Do the song justice, not the recording.
    And who are you, the proud lord said, that I must bow so low?
    Only a cat of a different coat, that's all the truth I know
    In a coat of gold or a coat of red, a lion still has claws
    And mine are long and sharp, my lord, as long and sharp as yours
    And so he spoke, and so he spoke, that Lord of Castamere
    But now the rains weep o'er his hall, with no one there to hear
    Yes now the rains weep o'er his hall, and not a soul to hear

  16. #16
    Into the abyss. Oberyn's Avatar
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    I like when bands change it up.


  17. #17
    It's Like I'm Paranoid...
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    It depends on the songs and artist. I mean, Pendulum added more guitar to some of their songs and mixed up the synths a bit. Along with putting Voodoo People in Blood Sugar at Download Festival.

  18. #18
    Swedish Fish Mafia Apop's Avatar
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    Putting variation on songs always makes it interesting for the more serious fan, for the casual fan, it could have mixed consequences. I went to the MSG concert last year with some friends who are more casual listeners of Linkin Park than I am. With the No More Sorrow intro that LP plays live, two of my friends absolutely loved it, while my one friend wished they just played the song as it appears on the album.

  19. #19
    Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. minuteforce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RapidGunner View Post
    One of my friends (to whom I asked this) said - "I pay money to listen to the song I like, not its crappy, watered down version." Btw, he HATES the live versions of Nine Inch Nails songs!
    Personally, I think that Nine Inch Nails' songs were substantially more aggressive-sounding in their live sets, so it's kind of the opposite of "watered down", IMO ;D

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