Vineyards as Concert Venue ?? - Beauty and the Beasts

New Zealand and Australia (January 20 - February 10, 2009). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Vineyards as Concert Venue ?? - Beauty and the Beasts

Post by Shockvalue » Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 am

Attended the January 31st concert at Bimbadgen in the Hunter Valley after having also been to the 2 in Sydney . A fab concert, I think Leonard has clearly set the standard for superb sound quality, even in an outdoor venue.
However with regard to Vineyard venues for large concerts, albeit often in idyllic settings, to me there appear to be quite a number of disadvantages. This is not withstanding their often difficult accessibility. The crowd management was poor generally, particularly in one section(GA) which narrowed as it approached the right side of the stage. This resulted in many people crowded into a small area. It appeared that many in this area were intoxicated(with alcohol, constant cigarette smoking and clearly other substances)and were a distraction and annoyance to others in the audience ; at one stage the Police were called to manage the problems when security couldn't. There were also young children in this area.
Issues of annoyance were not confined to that area either, one guy in front of our seated group proceeded to light up a cigarette with smoke blowing into the audience. I do not know why smoking addicted individuals are accommodated at all in these sort of events. Thankfully he was quickly "jumped upon" by other audience members. Another woman behind us was talking so loudly, describing the contents of her Asian food, ingredient by ingredient to her partner during a quieter number.Total lack of respect to those around her and the artist.
As wonderful as this particular concert was I wouldn't attend another in this setting again. I think that although indoor venues can also experience issues with audience management, Vineyard settings for very large concerts have more potential to bring out the worst in some people with potential self regulation problems.
Thankfully Leonard was so good that he allowed the majority to transcend the obnoxious minority.
Lenny Bimbadgen.jpg
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Last edited by Shockvalue on Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Irene Teresa
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Re: Vineyard as a Concert Venue ??

Post by Irene Teresa » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:39 am

Id pretty much agree with your viewpoint. there are pluses and minues to all venues. The vineyards although beautiful and spacious and the sound was good etc can be hard to get too for some - and the intoxication and noisy distrurbances plus heat and/ or rain can be down points . Personally I probably wouldnt go again to a winery, as beautful as it was once the sun went down - Im just not into being around thousands of very drunk people. Im sure they make heaps of money and for som they enjoy it all the more cos theyre drinking etc, thats all fine of course. each to their own. And the place give out free breath tests before you drive off. But for me, Im just not that into that type of thing maybe im getting old :D Im more a coffee shop type of Gal LOl .And enthused but not out of control audiences. All us nearthe front aisles etc had a few fall on us, into us, across us or stand in front of us! or try to manhandle us LOL :P and loudly interups the show :D ..BUt then again never heard such a great singalong esp to hallelujah~ so yes both are seen sides. IT sure had some bonuses and would have been lovely for Lenny and the band quite spectacular just looking out into the darkening sky trees and thousands . fresh air ( if your away from the ciggies and dope LOl) and the magic got through even the most anebriated ( spelling?) consiousness and allowed them to enjoy and feel good.
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Re: Vineyards as Concert Venue ?? - Beauty and the Beasts

Post by paavali » Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:13 pm

We must have lucked out with our position. Apart from a couple of dancers (yes - dancers) blocking some peoples' view, our experience at Bimbadgen was fine. There were a few people standing during some songs, but around us there wasn't really any drunkenness or other messiness. Maybe left of centre was the place to be :)

But I have had bad experiences - most recently at a Nick Cave concert at the Brisbane Riverstage..... not unexpected given the slightly different age group & demographic.... but would have thought most Leonard Cohen groupies to be pretty mellow!!
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Re: Vineyards as Concert Venue ?? - Beauty and the Beasts

Post by dce » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:18 pm

I guess I don't want to weigh into this discussion too much ... except to say that, even despite all the various inconveniences of the outdoor shows, I still think these venues have extracted the best performances from LC. As I've said elsewhere, it's hard to pin down exactly why, but ultimately I think it comes down to the fact that a concert in a huge auditorium seems inherently to have a more controlled air to it -- the audience is in darkness for most of the show and people don't feel that it's as appropriate to go a bit nuts in expressing their emotions. But at the winery shows -- at least in the sections I have been in (and I'll happily admit it could be VERY different at the back of the GA for example) -- those 'barriers' don't seem to be there.

But yes, I have seen some incredibly drunk people at the winery shows (even down the front) ... but then again, the drunkest guy I saw was at one of the Entertainment Centre shows ... so I guess there will always be a few idiots ...

What I do really hate about the outdoor shows, though is that there seem to be a proportion of people who seem to pay absolutely no respect to the support acts -- sure, they're not the reason you paid your money, but at least give them the courtesy of listening. As opposed to talking throughout their set ... grr

dce (on the road)

Dean Engelhardt
(For most of November 2010, I followed Leonard and the band as they toured around Australia and New Zealand. You can read about my wanderings on the blog I created to collect them all in one place:
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