The Bieber Tops Beatle With Free Mexico City Concert

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Our Bieber fever and Beatles explorations continue with this news about Justin Bieber’s recent free concert in Mexico City that drew 300,000 bielebers topping Paul McCarntecy’s show that drew 250,000 fans just a few weeks earlier.

Here’s how Bieber responded to and reflected on the experience according to MTV.com:

While his fans displayed their devotion for the singer by braving the crowd to see him perform, in a press conference earlier that day, Bieber admitted there’s only one guy he would camp out to see perform. “There is no one I admire so much to do something crazy, but if Michael Jackson were here,” he said, “I would do it for him. So, I do understand the emotion that the girls feel, and that makes me feel very honored.”

Before taking the stage, Bieber opened up about the performance in a video he shot backstage. “I can’t say how thankful I am … This show here in Mexico City, it’s going to be incredible. I just wanted to make this video and tell you guys you inspire me just as much as I inspire you. God has really blessed me,” he says amid the shouts of his fans in the background. He added, “I hope to have this journey for a long time.”

Interesting that Bieber would mention Jackson in that way during the interview. The MJ shoutout and the craziness of the Mexico City show reminds me these previous Live Fix experiments.

Check ’em out, post your thoughts below and we’ll share your experiences on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Album Review: Rhymefest Raps To Clear His Mind With ‘El Che’

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RHYMEFEST EL CHE LP

After seeing Chicago emcee Che Smith (aka Rhymefest) perform at and then awkwardly depart the Hideout Block Party in 2008 and then light up the stage at the Every Drop Counts Haiti Benefit earlier this year, like the rest of his fans, I was waiting a long time. And finally the new album arrived. Now it’s time to tell you whether or not it was worth the wait.
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365 Days Later: Did Michael Jackson’s Death Change Live Music?

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I can’t believe it’s been a year already. But it has. And to pay tribute to Michael Jackson’s death that occurred one year ago today, we have news about the special concert hosted by VoicePlate that will be going on tomorrow in Los Angeles, plus a collection of your favorite King of Pop links to help us all remember just how sad, strange and peculiar his death was when we first heard about it.
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The Best of Live Fix 2009: What You Loved The Most

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From Oprah Flash Mobs and Bon Iver tattoos to U2’s intimate Claw stage and mourning Michael Jackson, it was clear that we had some pretty amazing experiences at concerts in 2009.

So how do we put all our experiences in perspective? Was there one moment that defined our concert experiences in 2009? Was there one event or topic that you loved reading about the most on Live Fix?
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Stuff Your Face (Before) Thanksgiving with Live Music News

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Are you a hungry live music fan?

I hope so.

Because I have 3 succulent and satifying live music news stories that’ll get you primed for the big feast later this week.

You can start the face-stuffing early as I dish out a meaty live music meal that’s simmering with stories that made my mouth water over the last couple weeks.

In other words, consider this a warm-up to get your belly ready for Turkey Day. 

What’s on the menu?

First, for appetizers, I have updates to both the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger and the back story to Michael Jackson’s This is It.

And then for the main course we’ll jab our fork and knife and cut into the wonderful world of fan/user-generated content as LiveNation.com overhauls its site to continue their interactive and social media efforts.

Live Nation-Ticketmaster Merger

I’ve been keeping a close eye on the Live Nation Ticketmaster merger ever since it was announced. And since the last update this summer, it’s been pretty quiet on the merger front.  It’s not a huge announcement but earlier this month Live Nation and Ticketmaster announced they will have a shareholders meeting January 8th to vote on the merger.  

That’s nice that they’ve picked a day to vote internally for the shareholders, but what really matters is what the U.S. Department of Justice says when they finally weigh on the merger of the “world’s largest concert promoter and ticket seller by volume.”  I don’t expect any big news to come out in December but it’ll be a top story that I’ll continue to follow and keep you updated on as we roll into 2010.

Go behind This Is It:

I always love  getting the back story. And at the Billboard Touring Conference AEG executives shared some of the “behind-the-scenes” info on the production of Michael Jackson’s This Is It.

Here are my favorite parts of the story that show Jackson’s commitment to remain the true concert King of Pop, the dedication of fans and how AEG Live always makes sure distance themselves from any responsibility for Jackson’s death. It’s also interesting how the number of shows mystery continues to grow with each report.

  • The Jackson/AEG partnership resulted in a contract that initially included 31 dates, a number chosen by Jackson because it would be 10 more concerts than Prince performed. The number planned shows at the 02 Arena in London later grew to 50.
  • After deciding to go forward with a film, and with major studios lining up to bid on the rights, “the biggest concern was that something would leak on the Internet and destroy the value of the intellectual property,” Phillips says. “That’s why I’ve never seen security like this in my life. It was like working in the Pentagon.”
  • Phillips says that 14% of ticket holders held on to their tickets, which were designed by Jackson himself.

New User-Generated LiveNation.com:  Good for business and fans?

From music to hard news sites, user-generated content has been trending as the way to go for bands, brands and concert promoters.

And with the growing popularity of social media  and the advance of mobile technology, it’s never been easier for concert fans to capture and document their live concert experiences.  

As I mentioned before I’ve been checking  out SPINearth’s and Verizon‘s approach and I’ve enjoyed being able to see a wide range of emotional insights from fans that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to see.  

Yes, the quality of the videos or the storytelling might not be the best, but I’ll tell you that I’ve learned  a lot about what fans focus on during the concert, which in some cases, helps me write better reviews and understand why we love live music so much.

As I’ve studied these user-generated content sites more this year, I’ve wondered about the true motives of the creators and developers. I wonder if it’s a crafty guise for promotion and market research.  When I say this I’m thinking about Live Nation’s recently overhauled site as Billboard reports

Artists will be able to upload details of their own concerts, for instance, which will appear with the artists LiveNation is promoting. Fans will be able to submit entries to artist-specific wiki pages, ratings and reviews, moderate Q&As and integrate their Twitter feed to the LiveNation site.

That all sounds great.

But I have my doubts, too.

Are they really creating a community where fans have more  power and  expressive freedom?

Or is Live Nation only interested in creating a slick market/research model that’s designed to find out more about their customers buying habits than their love for live music?

I’ll give Live Nation the benefit of the doubt for now and say that it’s probably a mix of both because many of those working on Live Nation’s new fan section are not just savvy business people but are dedicated music fans themselves.

 

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Live Nation's New Fan Section

For the most part, I’m all for fans having a way to share their experiences on these user-generated content site because it does give fans a voice.  I just want to make sure all the voices are heard and their not being filtered or censored in a way that hurts fans.

That said, as savvy concert fans, we should always be on the lookout and not get wooed into a completely mindless and relaxed state of entertainment. We should always be asking ourselves, are we being taken advantage of and does Live Nation really care about our life-changing concert experiences?

I consider it a huge honor and a privilege to hear and share your concert stories. I just hope that Live Nation feels the same way.

In addition to Live Nation’s new website, I’ve also been following their Facebook fan page  and Twitter updates for awhile and I look forward to sharing what I find with you, too.

That’s all the live music news for now.

Did I miss anything?

Still hungry?

Tell me all about it in the comments.

 

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AEG Live Wants Your Next Concert To Be 3D

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Man, this story got me pumped when I read it!

I just hope the corporate concert industry doesn’t mess up their great opportunity to revolutionize the live concert experience.

And it looks like we aren’t as far away from live concert mashups as I thought we were. 

What I’m talking about is this Billboard story that says AEG Live is bringing “live music movies” to theaters in 2010 in 3D with test runs this December.

Coming to a movie theater near you: a Dave Matthews Band concert, complete with flying red beach balls bouncing from fan to fan, right in front of your face. At least, that’s the simulated live experience that AEG’s new 3D concert film series hopes to replicate, along with other theatrically released live music movies scheduled into 2010.

That sounds like a cool concept, but I wonder…

Will this be like U2’s and Miley’s attempt at 3D concert experience?

Will fans go to see their favorite concert experiences twice (live and in the theatre)?

Is AEG Live and Action 3D  adding storylines to their concert movies? 

Or are they just splicing together concert footage and turning it into a  “3D interactive experience”?

I hope these “live music movies” are going to tell some type of  “story” because I don’t think I would sit through a concert film of just concert footage for 90 minutes, even if it was in 3D.

And how interactive are they going to make these live music movies? Are they going to be able to include all the senses, or are they just going to engage the eyes and ears? 

Looking at the Action 3D website and listening to some of the fan/consumer testimonials, it seems like an exciting experience. But the live music experience is more than just sight and sound, so I’d like to know how these “live music movies” go beyond just the standard 3D experience?

Thinking about some of the concert festivals I’ve reviewed, I thought about AEG Live’s connections to Rothbury.  So I wonder if any Rothbury concerts all be added to the mix since AEG partnered with Madison House to put on Rothbury 2009?  Now what would be interesting is if they told the story of a fan experience during a weekend at Rothbury. I’d like to write a review about that type of live music 3D movie!

Well, as of today, Billboard says that AEG has 56 performances in its library and plans to “release the first of its feature-length “In Concert 3D” movies Dec. 11-17,” with  performance footage from the Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper & Relentless7 and Gogol Bordello on 300-400 screens.

If AEG Network Live is looking for ideas to hone the 2010 releases here are a few:

1. Make it more interactive. It would be cool to merge AEG’s 3D plans with the interactivity of  what W+K agency did for an ESPN NFL promotion in downtown storescapes.  Approaching the movies with this level of interactivity would add a fantastic dimension to the live concert experience.  Just imagine what it would be like to grab a virtual pick or drumstick as it flung out from the screen, or feel virtual sweat on your face in the front row?

2. Tell a unique performance story. Like I mentioned above, there should be a story told about the band or the performance that makes the movie unique from the actual concert experience.  There’s a lot of potential here for a great fan experience by giving fans the inside scoop about the back stories of each performance, and I hope AEG will make the most of the chance to tell a unique story.

3.  Learn from “This is It”.   I still have yet to see it, but from what I’ve heard and read, the Michael Jackson movie hasn’t live up to the hype. So let’s hope AEG has learned how to improve making the live concert a more memorable and compelling theatrical event.

4.  Mix in fan stories.  The other thing that would make these movies unique is mixing the accounts and stories of the fans.  I know fans have tons of stories to tell. And if they were added as a subtext to the overall concert film story then it would add an excellent element of intimacy to the movies.  

What do you think?

What else could AEG do to really make these live music movies something special?

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Experiencing Grief, Joy and Community in Live Music

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Two things have been brewing in my mind lately.

1) The Community of Cathartic Mourning

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2) Building Relationships in Live Music

The Community of Cathartic Mourning

A good friend of my wife and I shared this Bonnie Raitt Star Tribune review with me a few weeks ago (the video above is one she excitedly posted on Facebook before the concert).

I share this review with you because it was one of my favorite reviews I’ve read this year.  And when I finished reading the review I thought about something very important that happened to me when our friend sent me the link.

My life changed.

I was transported straight to the heart of Raitt’s palpable concert atmosphere.

I read the review and I felt rushes of  joy, sadness, hope and an overwhelming sense of cathartic connectedness with the fans at the concert that captured the essence of live blues so beautifully. And this review represented one of the aspects of live music I love the most:

I love how live music can be an unexpected yet appropriate environment for group mourning (just like it was for fans at Rock the Bells after Michael Jackson died).

And it goes both ways.

Because live music can be just as cathartic for the artists as it can be for the fans.

The review writer/reporter, Jon Bream, didn’t say it overtly, but because of the way he wrote the review and captured the emotional intensity of the moment, I could feel that he too was traveling through and expressing his own version of cathartic mourning.  I could feel the emotion in the words as he took me step by step through the emotional progression of the show.

And the progression allowed me to travel though my own internal emotions from the past.

As I read the review, I recalled similar emotionally intense situations were I’ve been ambushed by grief at concerts. One that always stands out is Lollapalooza 2007,  where I unexpectedly mourned a friend who died.  That friend loved Modest Mouse and specifically their song Float On. During that song I welled up and had a moment of grief that was unexpected and somewhat undesired (like most of us I’m still working on expressing sadness and grief among strangers).

When you read the Lolla 2007 review you’ll see that I didn’t mention the Modest Mouse moment because I wasn’t quite sure how to make it appropriate for the review.

But nonetheless that moment was good for me.

And I’ll never forget that moment.  Ever.

Judging by Bream’s review, I imagine Raitt did her own mourning during the show as she mourned her brother Steve who recently died of cancer.

And I know, too, by reading the fan comments after the review, that other fans at the show were mourning in a similar way like I did at Lollapalooza 2007.

Which brings me to my second reason for this post: connecting with others during the live music experience.

Building Relationships in Live Music

Recently my friend Benjamin Slayter–who I had the pleasure of meeting at Rothbury this summer–asked me in a Facebook comment how I write my live concert reviews. This was the first time any body had ever asked me.  It was a honor to answer Benjamin’s questions and a pleasure to share what I’ve learned about writing live music reviews. So I gave him a short version of my approach which led me to write a more fleshed out and formal rundown that I’ll be sharing with you in a future post.

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The reason I mention Ben’s request is because meeting him at Rothbury was one of many relationships and connections I’ve made over the last year with other music writers, photographers, business owners and fans. And lately, I’ve been really excited as I think about how cool it is when relationships and community can be built because of live music.

So what I did was compile a list of people I’ve connected with over this last year or so because of live music.  The list is in no particular order and is a mix of artists I’ve interviewed on-site; writers and photographers I’ve met and had great chats with in the media tent; vendors and PR I’ve connected with at concerts. I’ve included links to their online work so you too can enjoy their words, music, photos, businesses and daily experiences as much as I have.

If I’ve forgotten anybody I do apologize. It’s not because I’m a jerk. It’s because I suffer from the occasional brain fart. So by all means feel free to send along your link so I can add it to this post.

As always,  thanks for reading. And I hope to see you at a show, or talk live music with you very soon!

Ann Teliczan: photographer, artist at Michigan Sweet Spot

Greame Flegenheimer: writer at Brooklyn Vegan

Mike: writer, editor at Sound Citizen

Garret Woodward: writer at State of Mind and RFW

Jesse Borrell: writer at  Jam Base

The crew at Rock for Kids

Lewis Cooper: writer, photographer at Gonzo Shots

Photographer Leigh Ann Hines

The crew Arts of Life

Dan Hyman writer at Popmatters

Jules Esh at Earphoria

Chicago emcee, producer, activist, poet Jessica Disu (AKA FM Supreme)

Jamie Ludwig: editor, writer at Alarm Press

Jen Cray: writer, photographer & editor at Ink19

Steve Wienberger: author of No Air Guitar Allowed

Chicago producer and beatmaker Radius

The crew at Pitch Perfect PR

The crew at Madison House

Sgt Tibs at GoWhereHipHop

Scott Legato: photographer at RockStarProPhotography

The Crew at Future of Music Coalition

Ben Ratliff: writer at New York Times

S.D. Green:  writer, editor at Ink19

Eric Mueller: Pirates Press

The Crew at Cornerstone Promotions

Drew Fortune: writer, editor at Popmatters

The Crew at Open Books

emcee, poet, activist Saul Williams

Ben Slayter: photographer, designer

Lily: Director of Popmurals.com

David Miller: writer, editor at Matador Travel

Photographer: Anthony Nowack

Dean Budnick: writer, editor at Relix Magazine

Janine Pumilia: writer, editor at Northwest Quarterly

The crew at Live Music Blog

Writer David Shehi

Frank Krolicki writer, blogger at Windy City Rock

Jason Petros editor, writer at Chicago Independent Music Review

The crew at I Pledge Eco

Wolfgang's Vault - Bonnie Raitt Live Concert Recordings

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Will ‘This Is It’ Be a Final Thriller for Jackson Fans?

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Some say that with This Is It Michael Jackson will finally get the silver screen moment he always wanted.

But will it be a concert film he would’ve wanted and one that fans deserve?

It certainly won’t replace what his live concerts were like or what his final tour would’ve been like.

But nonetheless this past weekend tickets for This Is It went on sale for the “two weeks only” theatrical run, with DVDs sales to follow probably in time for the holiday shopping season.

And according to the AP, AEG says the film will clear their name and answer any doubt that the concert promoter was taking advantage of Jackson.

“I think we still are hurt,” Leiweke said. “Some of the things that people have said about us, which are so untrue, this movie’s going to restore his legacy, and prove that we, in fact, gave Michael a second chance here. And an opportunity to make the kind of comeback he was dreaming of. And that we created an environment for him that was probably the best environment that the guy had the last 10 or 15 years of his life. And I’m very proud of the way we treated Michael, and very proud of the partnership that we had with him. And this movie is an opportunity to celebrate that, and we could get past all of the gossip and all of the innuendo.”

But still I wonder…

What kind of concert film will this be?

Will it be a moment of closure for fans or just open more doors of controversy, embarrassement and mourning?

It might clear AEG’s name but will the film help them also recoup costs?

What do you think about  This Is It?

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Will You Applaud The Michael Jackson Movie?

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Disclaimer:I know this is two Michael Jackson related posts back to back. So before I get to the news, I feel that I need to make a few things clear. I’d like to quickly say that although there’s nothing wrong with tribute blogs, Live Fix is not a Michael Jackson tribute blog. It just so happens that his death has impacted live music like no other artist in recent history. So it would be silly for me not to explore all the live music stories concerning his death.  If you’re tired of hearing about it then I apologize.  But do understand that my aim is not to be an opportunistic blogger, but to genuinely explore important stories that impact the collective live music experience.  And without a doubt Jackson’s death is one of those rare events that has many angles worth exploring within the live music culture context.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, according to this Billboard report on Sunday:

AEG Live, the company behind Michael Jackson’s planned comeback in London, is negotiating with several Hollywood studios seeking a deal to release in movie theaters a documentary about the final days of the pop singer, the Wall Street journal said on its Web site.

The Los Angeles-based concert promoter is hoping to recoup some of the $30 million it spent to stage a series of concerts Jackson was preparing for at the time of his death, and make up for some of the lost revenue from box-office receipts and sales of merchandise and food, the Journal said, citing sources familiar with the matter.

When I heard that there was around 100 hours of rehearsal film earlier this month, I thought this might be an avenue that AEG Live would quickly explore to recoup the millions lost in the cancelled concerts and create their own concert industry economic stimulus plan.

Then on Tuesday, the Guardian said that Sony leads the pack in bids for the tribute/documentary/live concert movie.  I’ll be sure to keep you updated as this movie story develops, too.

The Culture of the Clap

It goes without saying that the Jackson rehearsal footage is compelling to watch. But the part of the footage that also caught my attention was hearing the rehearsal director say “hold for applause.”   Many times we go to concerts and don’t think about the impact of the fan applause or why we applaud, whistle or give a hearty “whoo hoo”. 

We all know how important an applause is to a performer. But to hear it actually be a part of the Jackson rehearsal really reinforced its importance for me. I just wanted throw this thought out there for now. And I’ll definitely be exploring this more in future posts.

What makes you clap and applaud during a concert?  Do you do it because it’s expected?  Or do you do it because the artist has truly earned it?

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Rock The Bells 2009: The Elements of Mourning Michael Jackson

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Something huge happened two days before the first Rock the Bells  tour stop in Chicago transforming the festival in to a day-long mourning experience that I haven’t experienced before at a music festival. From the stage to the lawn seats, the death of Michael Jackson completely altered the entire emotional experience for both the fans and the artists. Even though we were all gathered to enjoy the beats and rhymes of hip hop’s finest, Jackson’s death hung like a shadow over the event as the distant look of nostalgic sadness and heartfelt loss was painted on fans’ faces.

That was an excerpt from my forthcoming Rock the Bells 2009 review on Ink19.  As you probably could have imagined the emotions of fans just a couple days after the death of Michael Jackson were extremely palpable.  The hearts of fans were tender and it was a very interesting mix of emotions as many otherwise hard emcees and DJs showed their softer side and adoration for the King of Pop.  

FinishedTagged2KRSOneSigned2While the festival celebrated hip hop and mourned Michael Jackson I also had the pleasure of taking in the artwork of POPmurals.com. I spoke with POP (Pieces of Peace) Murals organizer Lily B as she explained how the  local Chicago organization’s mission is “to build constructive and meaningful relationships between artists and their community, while providing social and artistic enrichment to both through education, community involvement and municipal consent.”   It was inspiring to watch her artists represent hip hop’s visual element as the beats and rhymes flowed from the stage. And as they painted I wondered how much the  live music influenced their choice of colors, design and overall creative flow.  Did a single verse, lyric or beat lead them in a different creative direction? Did the artist use their paintings to mourn Michael Jackson and thus create a new kind of live concert expressive art therapy? Tell me what you think after you check out the video below as I captured the artists in action.

Then just outside The Temple of Hip Hop on the festival’s plaza area, I got caught in the middle of a KRS-ONE autograph blitz as he built buzz for his forthcoming book The Gospel of Hip Hop: The First Instrument due in fall 2009.  I’ll be sure to scope it out when it comes out and let you know how it is. The video below captures the chaos.

 
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Is Michael Jackson’s Death His Final Gift To All Live Music Fans?

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Do You Remember The Time?

Do You Remember The Time?

When I posted my heartfelt thoughts about Michael Jackson and his London shows on Tuesday, I had no idea what would happen on Thursday afternoon. (See my Facebook trail from Thursday afternoon, bottom to top).

And over the last three days I’ve felt a wave of different emotions ranging from happy and nostalgic to guilt and sadness. It’s not that often that I respond to my own writing with such a wide range of emotions.  and It’s a first for me to have something I’ve written be so closely related to, or seemingly foreshadow a world-changing event. A friend asked me if I ever get premonitions. I said yes. But not about Michael Jackson.

I first heard of Michael Jackson’s death via a New York Times alert about him having a heart attack. Then came the big bomb. He was dead.

Like most of us, I was stunned.  First I couldn’t believe it.

And then as I read the Internet reports, I felt a sense of eerie creepiness run through me. Because two days earlier I had written about how his music was such a important part of my childhood and musical upbringing, one that still impacts how I listen to music today. It was like I had jumped ahead and started the tribute two days ahead of time.

And like the rest of us, I watched the non-stop news coverage with a mixture of sadness, guilt and denial. I also watched as Twitter and Facebook exploded with RIP tweets, updates and links directing fans to the scores of musical mixtape tributes that erupted after the news broke.  One of my personal tribute favorites has been Chicago rapper Rhymefest’s mixtape tribute  that he actually released in early 2008 to celebrate Thriller’s 25th anniversary and his love for Jackson’s music.  And I’ve also thought back to how we all celebrated Jackson’s 50th birthday at the 2008 Hideout Block Party.

And as the story of his death developed I struggled with how I was going to respond to the original post.  I wanted to respond quickly but I didn’t quite know what to say or how to say it. But I knew I wanted to wait a bit to sort out my emotions and also see how AEG Live would handle the cancellation of the London shows.

So now it’s Sunday. Just three days after one of the biggest, greatest and most influencial performers  in rock history has died. 

And I wonder: has his death impacted live music?

Yes, it has. It has shook the very core of the live music experience.

Yesterday, I was at the Rock the Bells  hip hop festival in Chicago.  And with all the Michael Jackson shout-outs and in between set musical tributes coming from the stage,  it almost felt more like a Michael Jackson tribute festival. And I imagine other festivals and concerts will have the same feel as the summer continues.

So over these last three days I’ve tried to figure out how to write about this. And I’m not exactly sure how to begin. But like I did on the original MJ post. I’ll speak from the heart and mix in the facts of what I know and what’s been reported thus far. And hopefully we can all figure things out from there. 

There are many angles to Jackson’s story. But I’d like to focus on the ones that impact live concert culture. Namely, the ticket refunding mess and the insurance issues AEG Live faces. 

“The Biggest Mess in Concert History”

First, according to Billboard’s Friday report, AEG Live faces an $85 million refund of  750,000 tickets to the London shows, which experts say “is one of the biggest refunding efforts and the biggest mess in the history of the concert industry.”   

But what about the fan’s experience over the last three days? While AEG Live issued Friday’s statement about the possible refund, their customer service line instructed customers to “await communication”  while also including this message:  

“We understand this is an upsetting time for all Michael Jackson fans and we want to thank you for your patience in this matter.”

And to make matters worse, Billboard says that “fans who bought tickets from unofficial sources, such as from sellers on auction sites or agencies, may lose their money.”

Then AEG Live  did eventually issue a statement  saying they would refund all the tickets to the 50 London shows. But AEG Live’s battle with Jackon’s  family and financial woes are far from over.

AEG Live’s financial future: between a rock concert and a hard place

As Billboard reports, the ongoing investigation of Jackson’s cause of death and the concert contracts he signed still impacts AEG Live’s financial future.

“AEG’s yearly financial results may now depend on Jackson’s cause of death. One entertainment insurance industry insider says that if Jackson died from a drug overdose or a pre-existing condition, the producer could be on the hook for any loss-which would include any money already sunk into the production, as well as the considerable cost of refunding consumers for the 750,000 tickets already purchased. If Jackson signed a contract saying he would return his advance in the event he didn’t perform, the company could end up in court with a long line of other Jackson creditors.”

That said, we might be looking at a blessing in disguise.

 The King of Pop’s passing gives us a chance to improve the concert experience

Judging by the outpouring at Rock the Bells yesterday, I know concerts this summer are going to be very different. And it turns this summer into one of the longest and largest group mourning experiences in the history of concertgoing.

But what about the concert industry and the business of selling tickets? Will Jackson’s death forever change how promoters and artists do business? It should. And it should also benefit fans.

On Tuesday, I wondered whether or not giving fans more control over ticket pricing would help the concert experience. And now with the impact of Jackson’s death on the concert industry, I think this question is more poignant then ever. Because reading all these Billboard reports tells me that Jackson’s death might have more power to forever change how promoters sell tickets than we realize. It’s a prime time to rethink the whole ticket selling process.

Having dealt and struggled  in the wake of death many times in the last several years, I’ve seen someone’s passing somehow turn into a blessing and become a benefit to those left behind on planet Earth. Death is usually a catalyst for change. That’s why I think Jackson’s death could lead to helping fans better understand the whole ticketing process and get them more involved in how it’s structured, which will hopefully lead to a better process that gives fans more control in determining a more realistic price of the concert experience.

Coming up…

Jackson’s death brought up a whole bunch of other issues we need to take a look at, such as pain. So stay tuned as we discuss how artists deal with physical pain before, during and after a concert.  

So tell me:

How have you mourned Jackson’s death? 

Did you ever see him in concert? 

And would you go see a Jackson Tribute tour?

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Is Michael Jackson Confused About His London Shows?

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The music of Michael Jackson has always held a special spot in my heart, especially after Thriller became one of my favorite albums as a kid growing up in the eighties.  (Update: This post was written two days before Michael Jackson’s death. Please read my response to this unexpectedly timely post here.) 

But I have to admit I’ve had my doubts about Michael Jackson returning to the stage to perform 50 shows  in London, a run that’s scheduled to begin the first week of July. And even though I once had a t-shirt with an velvety iron-on picture of Thriller’s cover on it,  Jackson’s attempt to perform again seemed way too strange a story for me to take him seriously.

And now, it seems, that the King of Pop is facing his own doubts and more legal complications as he gets ready for his upcoming London shows Billboard reports

AEG Live president and CEO Randy Phillips has rejected U.K. tabloid reports that Michael Jackson told fans that he only wanted to play 10 London O2 Arena shows rather than the 50 that have been scheduled.

And them came the legal issues saying Jackson was over committed in his attempt to do 50 London shows. But those same “over booked” shows would also allow Jackson  to pay some of his alleged large  amount of looming legal bills and achieve concert history:

Billboard reports  “Jackson’s series of London shows have been touted as unprecedented. AEG Live says that, all together, the shows will gather the biggest audience ever to see an artist in one city.

But AEG says Jackson will be there ready for the hungry London crowds:

The shows begin July 8, Jackson’s first in 12 years. Producer/promoter AEG Live has footed the bill for a $20 million production, and the show layout is coming together. “Originally we tried to keep the show down to 90 minutes, but Michael has so many must-do songs in his repertoire that the shows now will be two-plus hours,” AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips tells Billboard.

Well, we’ll see how this turns out…

What are your expectations for Jackson’s London shows?

And would you drink lots of Pepsi, grab your crotch and do the moonwalk at the show if he did a This is It! world tour?

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