I attend a lot of live shows. Most are good, some great and some not that good.(I don't like to say bad, because these people are performers and I'm sure they work very hard) Recently I unfortunately saw a not so good show.
Saul Williams was playing the Duck Room in Saint Louis last month. I was very excited when the show was announced and got my tickets immediately. I did this because I'm a huge fan of Saul Williams. I've seen him do his poetry live, I've read all his books, I own all his music and I've seen pretty much every movie he's been in.(The best being "Slam" in my opinion)
My problem with the recent concert was, it wasn't really a concert. In his own words, it was a "workshop". This had me off guard from the get go. I went there expecting to hear music, but all I got was a damn "workshop". He would move back and forth between doing half a song and then reading poetry and then just talking to the crowd. Another problem, this must have been the sound and video people's first live show. They did not know what in the hell they were doing. First, their video playing on the screen froze before Saul Williams even got on stage. And then, the sound mix was so bad, Saul Williams himself had to tell the guys to turn the bass down and turn his microphone up. He was impossible to hear at times. It was unbearable.
There was another thing that had me frustrated. The show started at 9pm with two openers and Saul Williams didn't even get on stage until 11:30pm. Once on stage he only performed for about an hour. Two and a half hours of standing around and the payoff was a "workshop". Even after seeing this, I will still probably see him if he comes back to Saint Louis, but I will definitely think long and hard before purchasing tickets.
Still a big fan, but this "workshop" was a huge disappointment.
Ty is the Pop Culture Editor for Seed Sing. Look for him around St. Louis at any number of live shows. Do not expect him to attend anymore workshops.