I got along to a Boh Runga concert last night, which I was really looking forward to as I loved the first Stellar* album, however something quite surprising happened.
Now I just want to insert here that 90% of the gig was superb and the intimate nature of it all (approx 150 all up, with a small group around the stage) was real nice. I’ve never been to Al’s Bar before and I was a little put off initially with the layout of the place – it seemed a bit like all eyes were on you as you desperately look around for a place to perch yourself and get comfortable – it actually seemed a pretty decent place for a gig and the lighting and brick interior added to the grungy soho feel. So I’m not trying to have a go at Boh cause actually for the main it was a fun night out.
At the end of the set, they walked off but the crowd (well an active group of girls? up the front) clamored for an encore. Boh comes back by herself and … I’ll let the clip speak for itself …
So no quite what you’d expect from someone so experienced in the music industry, maybe she really couldn’t be bothered with getting the guitar tuned, or maybe she just wasn’t feeling the love, or maybe the guy on the sound desk was messing things up – who know’s but I got to thinking that we forget sometimes how much pressure we put on performers. I mean we go to a concert (or a show, a play or some other live performance) and just expect the artist to do it perfectly, hardly half a note out of place while at the same time being genial, outgoing and witty, and saving the world in their spare time. Sometimes I think it’s probably all too much for one person to shoulder – of course the world seems to think that Barack Obama will have it all sorted before lunch – and that we should not make too much of an issue of celebrities slipping up every now and then, or falling on stage like our bushman friend, Joaquin Phoenix.
I’ve done a little live performance with a band I get together with and you know I struggle sometimes even with an easy song, and I only need to remember the chords, let alone the words. I do remember one time doing a piece by myself – an Oasis song – for a group of friends and getting a third into it, and messing up a piece. I made the fatal mistake of stopping the song and starting over – now I realise I should’ve just kept going as 99% wouldn’t even know, by stopping it became obvious to 100% of them that I’d stuffed up – shame for a young guy!
So for Boh to quit her song halfway through – big deal, we all have off days and maybe we just expect too much of these guys. Hey they’re human too, they get tired, have memory lapses, get frustrated … to be honest for all the glamour of the rock’n’roll lifestyle, they can have it. Like Paris and Nicole, I’m opting for the simple life.