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Virtual tours

Mike Sudhalter  |  November 16, 2007

Based on the success of his nine shows in Kansas City, Mo., Garth Brooks told the Los Angeles Times that he's considering doing shows in L.A. and Minnesota.

He also told the paper he'd look into virtual touring like the ninth and final KC show, which was broadcast internationally into movie theaters. He was quoted as saying, "I'm trying to figure out how it's going to get easier. I can imagine bands in the future saying to me, 'You actually traveled to the cities where you played?'"

Excuse me?

I have no problem watching a live concert in a movie theater once in a while, but if you're going to skip my town and expect me to go see ya at Regal or AMC, forget it.

Someone needs to remind Garth of where he came from. Or at least tell him about that song he wrote in the late 1990's, "The Old Stuff". In it, he talks about his early touring days and mentions at least half a dozen honky-tonks that he played, many of them still in existence like The Barn in Sanford, Fla. and the Grizzly Rose in Denver. It helps their business that country artists actually play there, instead of piping in videos from the basements of their Nashville homes.

Guess it doesn't surprise me. This is the same guy that skipped the CMAs one year and accepted an award live from a show in Buffalo, N.Y. Buffalo? Nashville? Who cares? He's accepting the award live on television. That must be ol' Garth's train of thought.

Last month, I attended an Eric Church concert at a small club outside Sacramento, and let me tell you there's nothing like a concert experience at a small venue.

Technology is a wonderful thing, and it can replace many things, but one thing it can't is the live concert experience.

On Thursday night, I was in the northern California college town of Davis, and let me tell you, I've never been to a place where there are more bicycle riders. I enjoy going to Davis because it's a vibrant town with lots of restaurants that are open late. The rest of the valley closes shop around 9 p.m., I think. Anyways, they've got a couple good music stores, and it reminded me.

I always like to go into a used record store and hear the music playing. I'll ask the clerk who it is, if I like it. Tonight, I did that and he introduced me to a new subgenre "Gothic Americana." So, I guess alternative country has its own subgenre's now. The band is Slim Cessna's Auto Club, and it sounds country. But the lyrics are on the dark side with some tongue-in-cheek mixed into it. Apparently, the center of this Gothic Americana movement is Denver, Colorado. So, maybe that's why the Rockies had such a tough time in the World Series. They spent mid-October listening to these guys. Just kidding, their music sounds pretty good.

OK, these guys aren't going to be opening for Garth or Toby Keith any time soon. But at least, they'll come to your town in-person, not on a "virtual" tour.

:: Posted at 2:54 AM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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