The mention of two specific acts in the “songs bands won’t leave out of their sets” thread got me thinking as to which – if any – acts should accept the reality that they can no longer cut it live and really ought to call it a day on the live performance front.
The two acts in question are Jethro Tull and Don McLean.
Having not seen the band since the SFTW tour in 77, grew all nostalgic and foolsihly went to see JT on their 50th anniversary tour in Dublin a couple of years back. With Anderson’s voice (never the greatest to begin with) shot to shit and the musicianship from his backing band workmanlike at best, they were shockingly bad. Couldn’t help but notice later that JT had booked two further tours for 2020 – both victims of COVID. While one can sympathise with IA in that he has serious COPD and his vocal chords are shot to shit after years of heavy smoking and inhaling dry ice, it’s hard to forgive him for taking such a piss poor act out on the road.
On Saturday, I was talking to a friend’s girlfriend who had seen Don McLean on his last tour. Apparently he was so disinterested in being onstage, he didn’t so much phone as text in his performance.
All of the above is not to criticize acts who can still cut it in the live arena (Neil Y being an excellent example) or acts who never sold that many records and depend on the live circuit for their living (e.g. TFC). The fact that IA and DM have both made shitloads of money merely makes their continued touring look like the greedy money-grabbing exercise it really is.