Should Bands Play What We Want to Hear?
Then there are your Bob Dylans, who just don't give a shit. If you go see Dylan, he knows you want to hear Blonde on Blonde, but he's going to give you Together Through Life and Planet Waves. But once you've reached Bob Dylan's status, nobody is going to really call you out on what you're playing. They'll just be happy to see a living legend in the flesh.
Given that that's not the case for today's pop stars or next-to-one-hit-wonders, the case can be made that some bands should play what we want to hear, and others have earned the right to do whatever they want. Is Brand New one of those bands who has earned it?
Considering their rabid fan base, regardless of their own reactions recently, they are probably a band who can play any record and still not be cheating their fan base out of the Brand New experience.
It all really comes down to your status with your audience. If they have the right amount of adoration for a band, then all can be forgiven. I'd be happy just to see Prince, regardless of whether he plays a three-hour-long set-list of deep cuts in completely new arrangements like he typically does. However, last month on Rocks Off, we detailed a similar such routine when Third Eye Blind tested their audience's patience with deep cuts, which went over like a lead zeppelin.
Ultimately, it would probably be most accurate to say bands should play what they can get away with. Know where your bread is buttered, be in tune enough with your audience to understand how much they can take, and act accordingly. It's a give and take, like any relationship, and it's just as unfair to rob the fans of a good time as it is to rob yourself of being able to play what you feel like.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS