Deaf Rockstars

02007-10-20 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

Jump (in pitch)! « RW370

The above-linked vid brings to mind two separate issues. First there is the issue of so many rock and pop bands using backing material. Do you remember the outrage when it was discovered that Millie Vanillie were lip-synching? Nowadays nobody cares that the pop starlets lip-synch or that U2, Depeche Mode, Van Halen and many others allegedly “fly in” various musical parts from CD or harddrives. The second issue is why such train-wrecks happen… The name train-wreck is appropriate because like a train, which can take a mile or more to come to a stop, a band or orchestra is not easy to stop once it reaches speed.

Maybe both the performers AND the audience expect an amazing arena show and don’t care what it takes to make that happen. The performers use anything in their arsenal, including backing-material, and the audience is willing to ignore the detail as long as the overall effect is thrilling. In fact in most arena shows the music takes a backseat anyway, while lighting, special effects and video dazzle the audience.

How to stop a train-wreck? Not easy, as I mentioned. Forget the rockstars, what about the FOH mixer? Was it his job to start the backing material or was it the monitor engineer’s or another person’s altogether? Could the FOH mixer have pulled the synth parts down in the mix or did the band need cues from the synth parts? Could he have yelled at the responsible party via walkie-talkie to switch from 48k to 44.1? How long did it take Eddie to figure out for certain that he hadn’t been handed a guitar that was tuned wrong? Or was it the ex-bassplayer, who had allegedly been fired for playing bass with Sammy Hagar? Did he sneak backstage and sabotage the show? Ah, to have been a fly on the wall of the dressing rooms after the concert…


  1. eddie

    haha horrible

  2. eric

    that was painful…

  3. Floating_Point

    I SERIOUSLY doubt if their being “deaf” had ANYTHING whatsoever to do with this.

  4. ottmar

    Ah, a Van Halen fan visits us, eh? If they weren’t deaf they might have stopped at any point instead of going on.

  5. eddie

    ohhhh….. and ottmar hits back: ottmar liebert gets 1 point vs. van halen fan (who has no premise for his argument )so gets none

  6. Vic2rh

    At times it sounds oddly like a bagpipe player has joined the band. (Actually, that would have been an improvement.) And then as if to say, “Fuck it!” he jumps a giant inflatable microphone! (Just kidding, that’s probably just their normal way of finishing the show.)

    Anyway, I’ve had limited experience with big arena concerts, partly because the sounds just always SUCKS! I mean, I can imagine that filling a space that big with decent sound is a tough job, but mostly it’s like they don’t even try. The basic equation for an arena show: LOUD = GOOD. Why, why, why???

  7. Curt

    Not that I’m a Van Halen fan or anything (any more!) but this is not a case of the synth being accidentally set to the wrong sampling rate. Ed was simply handed the wrong guitar. Check out any number of “Jump” vids on YouTube – the song plays back on every video in C# (although the studio recording is in C) and Ed is only horribly out on this one vid.

    Reportedly, there are links to VH’s guitar tech’s forum where he explains the problem but I didn’t bother reading it.

    I wonder why it never occured to Ed to swap out his guitar? Granted it’s CRAZY loud but he seemed to know early on that he was out of tune… it would have been so easy to just get another guitar (for example his Frankenstein, as he used in the other YT vids). A few seconds of no guitar in this synth-drenched mix would have been worth it!!


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