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Low crowds for recent metal tours...

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by labrekk, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. labrekk

    labrekk Member

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    What is it with all these small crowds for some metal bands? I read reports about the current Firewind tour with low turn-outs, same thing for some shows of the current Saxon tour, a legendary band with their first "real" North American tour in years. The last Primal Fear tour wasn't too successful in term of crowds either, even if the band itself was awesome.

    Firewind and Saxon are 2 excellent bands that give great live performances and it's a shame the metal crowd is not attending their shows in higher numbers. I mean, we all know that CDs are not selling too well these days, if these European bands come over here to tour and get noone to attend, someday, they won't tour over here at all.

    And it's surely not because of the ticket prices. I don't know the cost for every place in the US, but in my place, for Firewind (last fall), Primal Fear (last fall and last spring) and Saxon a couple days ago, all the tickets prices cost me only around $25 to $30. It's not arena tickets at $75 and more.

    Were there some "traditional" metal bands on tour in the last few years that got good crowds? I think Accept's last tour was quite successful, but apart from them? Even Hammerfall (which is quite well-known and toured over here a lot) didn't sell-out the venue on their last tour.
     
  2. DuchessOfDork

    DuchessOfDork Member

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    Yeah, last year's Primal Fear crowd was so tiny it felt like a private performance. :( They were SO GOOD. Accept/Sabaton did pretty well, but definitely didn't sell out. :/

    Hammerfall did well here last time, though. They sold out the place and it was absolutely packed.
     
  3. nailz

    nailz Member

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    Look no farther than the examples you see on this forum. "It's so far, I don't feel like driving 20 minutes and I was just AT a show 45 days ago."
     
  4. Justin G

    Justin G Member

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    There were somewhere between 30-40 paid attendees at the Firewind show at Jaxx last night. It was embarrassing. You can blame it on it being a weeknight, the package being perhaps too diverse (with Arsis and Nightrage) for Firewind's core audience, lack of publicity, or just plain laziness on the part of local fans. I'm going with A and D. Yeah, weeknight shows are tough, but if you're a power metal fan and live within driving distance you really should have been there. I would not blame bands like Firewind at all for writing off the US entirely after this kind of showing.

    Now Saxon is playing on Friday and I'm expecting a much higher turnout. This is a legendary band that's arguably in their prime (as far as album quality goes). Aside from a Rocklahoma appearance there hasn't been a Saxon sighting in the US in over a decade. Jaxx better be packed.
     
  5. dcowboys311

    dcowboys311 Member

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    There are a whole lot of tours these days. People can't go hit em all up. For example, in Atlanta, during the month of October we have 10 shows coming up. November has 11. Atlanta is a decent sized market but not even the same level as Chicago or NYC, so I imagine they have many many more. Time and budget restraints make it tough so you've gotta be choosy. I've heard some mixed things about the Saxon crowds.

    $25 to $30 is still a lot of money for a show. Most bands that come through here charge around $15 (not for DIY tours but legitimate club shows at the Masquerade). And finally, not every band is popular enough to draw a packed house. I do not think Firewind or Primal Fear are at all.
     
  6. Justin G

    Justin G Member

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    Accept and Sabaton had a really impressive turnout by most standards. They may not have sold out, but for a Jaxx show on a weeknight that was a very solid showing.
     
  7. Diabolik

    Diabolik Member

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    There is no real reason.....it can be from badly advertised shows to too many shows in the same period of time to bad line ups to just the fact that people are busy. Sometimes bands dont strike when the iron is hot. For me....Primal Fear is a band I lost complete interest in....I would not race to see them on thier own tour unless they had some other bands I wanted to see playing with them. The Firewind lineup is interesting but not enough to get me to go to the show. I fear that the US fans have been spoiled with lots of tours and festivals that they have taken them for granted and dont realize what a dry spell is like with nothing. People need to get out and support stuff or it will be gone one day.
     
  8. TychoCelchu

    TychoCelchu Member

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    Sheer quantity of choice. So many shows are going on now that on any given night I can choose between three, four, or more shows.
    Money. People have less of it to spend on optional stuff these days.
    The coolness of this type of metal: it's just plain uncool to like metal that isn't extreme metal, especially in the US. Fans of power metal are derided as gay, nerds, etc. That's why even trad-metal and power metal bands often tour with extreme metal openers.

    My takes on the bands you named:
    Accept's stop last year here didn't draw that much. At least 1/3 of the crowd left after King's X.
    Saxon, I won't make it to NYC for it, but I'd be surprised if it drew any better than Candlemass in 2008, which wasn't that crowded.
    Primal Fear: I actually tried to go to this and literally couldn't find a place to park. (They played in a part of the city that is notorious for being a parking nightmare. I drove around for over an hour, gave up, and went home).
    Hammerfall: When the played here last year, they had the biggest crowd out of this group of bands. They also played a pretty big place which i didn't expect to sell out, but they definitely did decently.
    Firewind: going to this tomorrow up in NH, no idea what to expect in terms of crowd. I do know that some metalheads who are in the area are going down to Saxon in NYC which is the same day, so they won't be at this.
     
  9. AngraRULES

    AngraRULES Member

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    My short answer: Metal fans can be awesome, but god damn do they suck.

    Long answer... coming later.
     
  10. DuchessOfDork

    DuchessOfDork Member

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    Yeah, I really can't complain.

    However, I've noticed that when bands tour less they get better crowds? Maybe? That could be the case. Blind Guardian and Hammerfall got great crowds and they hadn't toured in a few years. Could be something to consider.
     
  11. labrekk

    labrekk Member

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    Accept played with King's X last year? So this was the 1st part of the tour? It surely didn't really fit the Accept crowd, and the Accept crowd surely didn't really fit the King's X crowd...

    Sabaton did the whole North American tour last spring as far as I know, and it make a killer package.
     
  12. dcowboys311

    dcowboys311 Member

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    Blind Guardian is a big band with a lot of fans. Much like U2 will draw close to a full house whether they come once a year or once every 10 years, Blind Guardian will do just fine no matter how often they tour.
     
  13. Harvester

    Harvester The Promoter

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    You are describing a trend that has been going on for the past 4-5 years now. I've seen it with the data on sales for this festival. Thankfully, I have started to hit a fresh infusion of attendees as those that attended during the glory era of IV-VI just don't come out anymore regardless of who you book (although no amount of hard data will ever convince a few stubborn folks around here about that).

    There are two main reasons for the lack of draw recently:

    1. Fans of the type of bands/genres you describe have gotten older and face a lot more choices/responsibilities than they faced ten years ago. Many have children now that prevent them from getting out. Many cannot get time off from work. Many simply can't handle the physical stress from a late night out in the middle of the week. Many have moved on to other forms of music. Many have simply lost the passion for the live experience and prefer to sit on their ass at home with the stereo on bitching about how awesome things used to be. Nostalgia is only as powerful as having the day off after a show. Bands that reach out and hit a younger demographic are the ones that are going to succeed & continue over here. Nightwish (by far the biggest) Symphony X, Kamelot, Sonata Arctica, etc are the ones that are building empire with the next generation here. Why they succeed and others do not is a different discussion...

    2. Market Saturation. You can put a blind fold on and throw a dart at the calendar and hit a show these days. That may be awesome for the mid-majors with crossover appeal. However, when you are looking at a limited population to pull from, it's deadly. You are not going to see a correction anytime soon because playing out is the only source of income for a lot of these bands other than their job at their hometown music store.
     
  14. DuchessOfDork

    DuchessOfDork Member

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    So, speaking of low attendance.. anyone wanna stop that trend and attend the Sabaton show at Jaxx this Monday!? LOL

    Seriously, I got some tickets to sell if anyone wants them. >_>

    EDIT: And yeah, I saw Kings X with Sabaton in Baltimore. I didn't like them very much.
     
  15. mëtålspëd

    mëtålspëd Umlauts ist Krieg

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    I can tell you two reasons I personally dont see anything for shows (the past 3 years or so)

    1.) Shitty booking. MA used to get all the bands that NYC got. Not so much anymore.
    2.) I just cant afford it. I dont care if it is "only" $25... oil has to be in the tank, and food has to be on my kids plates.
     
  16. DuchessOfDork

    DuchessOfDork Member

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    HERE IS YOUR #1 CULPRIT, PEOPLE.
     
  17. AngraRULES

    AngraRULES Member

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    To be fair, though, the crowds stopped showing up to shows in MA before the booking agents realized that and cut MA off the touring routes.

    Wait... I think I missed something? :lol:
     
  18. DuchessOfDork

    DuchessOfDork Member

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    In retrospect, this is really putting pressure on me to go to Friday's Saxon show. XD Methinks I should drag my husband!
     
  19. mëtålspëd

    mëtålspëd Umlauts ist Krieg

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    You must have :wave:. Suppose I didnt tell you I got married as well?
     
  20. J-Man

    J-Man Old as Yoda

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    We just had UFO/MINDFLOW here and to be honest i was overjoyed at the crowd. This is usally a come late crowd here in El Paso, the venue was 3/4 capacity when the first band THE THIRD EDGE hit the stage, and was full when MINDFLOW went on.

    But there are cases where you can't get 75 people to show up. And Glenn hit the nail on the head it's demographics, newer group coming along, older crowd with more responsibilities, and more aches and pains.

    And if any of you get updates from enterthe vault you will see the saturation that Glenn spoke of, damn Fienberg!
     

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