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Thread: I feel like I'm at a turning point

  1. #1
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    I feel like I'm at a turning point

    I want to preface this new thread by saying this is in NO WAY meant to be negative. I feel like this is the one place I can actually discuss my thoughts on Garth with other crazy Garth fans. This is just something I've been thinking about and wanted to "throw it out there". Hopefully I don't regret that decision HA!

    This most recent World Tour was amazing. I got around to 14 shows bringing my number of full shows to 34. (Not counting the dozens of other appearances like Opry, CMA Fest, TV tapings, etc.) I feel like Garth was a better performer on this tour than he was even in his "prime" in the 90s. Every show was epic and the closing run in Nashville was something special to behold. However, now that the tour is over I feel like things have almost reset. The tour very much felt like a celebration of the past, his legacy and the fact he is the greatest modern country performer period. Where do we go now?

    For me personally I feel like my fandom is kind of at a turning point and I have this feeling that every project coming up could be epic.....or an epic disappointment. What I mean by that is this:

    - The new live album could be an amazing document of an amazing tour....or it could be an overproduced greatest hits record with crowd noise thrown over a bunch of highly touched up tracks.
    - The live version of the Anthology could be the greatest document of his world tours. It could feature recordings, DVDs, pictures and stories that we have never seen or heard....or it could be a rehash of everything we've seen a million times (Reunion Arena, Texas Stadium, Ireland, and Central Park) with virtually nothing new and little about the tours besides these few shows.
    - The Anthology volumes could be the most comprehensive look inside his career giving the fans stuff we've dreamed of seeing/hearing.....or it could be just another way to sell all of his previous music to us once again.
    - The upcoming stadium tour could be one of the greatest tours in the history of music....or it could be a chance for him to sing the same 20 songs to us once again (minus housekeeping) and jack up the prices like the Atlanta stadium show, which I'm convinced was a "trial run" of what's coming.
    - All the talk of what's coming could really be that amazing....or it could just be Garth overhyping.
    - The new music could be on par with his greatest work....or it could be on par with the worst tracks from Man Against Machine and Gunslinger

    What I'm saying is I think a lot of how interested I am in the future is really based upon where these things are going. I'm not interested in reliving nostalgia with him over and over and over again. I'm totally fine with the nostalgia part of things if we are getting "new" stuff on this nostalgic journey. (New as in stuff we've never seen or heard before from those earlier time periods. Not just a rehash of everything I own 10 times, literally.) I also think he has got to deliver more new music along the lines of "Ask Me How I Know". I think that was a great record, but honestly the albums have both felt subpar. Not bad, but just subpar.

    It is totally possible for acts to go on a nostalgic journey and constantly bringing something fresh and new. Like Emerald I am a HUGE Metallica fan as well. They are currently doing deluxe remaster box sets of every album. With each release the album is included but there are demos, rough mixes, live shows, DVDs, etc. Stuff that fans have dreamed of getting their hands on. You can literally spend months going through it all. The last one contained 10 CDs (9 of them unreleased stuff) and 2 DVDs (pretty much all unreleased). The "vaults" are opened up if you will. Garth CAN DO THAT, if he will. At the same time, they are releasing some of the best new music of their career (got 2 Grammy nominations this year). My point is this balance between the past and present can be done well.

    I know some fans hate when we compare Garth to other artists, but the complaint I always hear is the expectations for Garth are unrealistic. My point for comparison is to say it IS NOT unrealistic. Garth just CHOOSES not to do it. I do agree with Skywise, Garth is his own artist and he will do things his way and on his timing. Honestly, that is what I think is the problem.

    Long story short, I want to be as excited as I've been for the comeback and this tour, but I think a lot of what that looks like going forward really depends upon the moves he makes and what he does to keep us engaged. If it is selling "The First Five Years" to me over and over and over again I think my interest will disappear pretty fast. If he is bringing unique things to celebrate his legacy, along with new music that is great, count me in.
    Last edited by rhd13; 02-01-2018 at 10:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    I very much like the way you have constructed your post. It perfectly sums up what has been said here in various forms over many years.

    However......

    I have been a fan of his music since day one, and I feel like I can say what I am about to say with good confidence, though I do hope I am wrong.

    Garth is a perfectionist- and a control freak. The music must be "perfect" in his mind for it to be released.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garthmedic View Post
    I very much like the way you have constructed your post. It perfectly sums up what has been said here in various forms over many years.

    However......

    I have been a fan of his music since day one, and I feel like I can say what I am about to say with good confidence, though I do hope I am wrong.

    Garth is a perfectionist- and a control freak. The music must be "perfect" in his mind for it to be released.
    I think you are right and that is what kind of scares me. To release an Anthology I feel like you have to be more vulnerable and release things that aren't "perfect". In fairness, he did that a little in the first volume of the Anthology. There were some day-writes and alternate versions of songs. Was kind of shocked those were there so it gives me some hope that we may get some more of that. Fingers crossed.

  4. #4
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    I think you did a great job expressing how you feel. Like Garthmedic said, it's what a lot of people have expressed on here. Especially the last 3 years.

    I think the thing to hold on to...if he was speaking the truth and not caught up in the moment....is the emphasis he made in the first Studio G and repeated this week on how this tour caught them up to where he was in the 90s when he retired and now he is moving on to what would have been coming afterwards if he had not retired. If that's true, it could be some really good stuff since he has had a lot of time to come up with new material. The concern is that that statement is something he came up with on the spot and isn't truly how he has been looking at things. Because he did release two (not counting the xmas album) during the tour that is his new stuff. Though it did seem that Man Against Machine was just something he put out to get him back in the spotlight and not anything too special to him with the exception of a couple of songs. But maybe the tour confirmed to him that he is the artist he started out as in the late 80s and has confidence to really go forward with some things.

  5. #5
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    Another thing that I've wondered a lot about is how many of the 6 million plus that saw him on this tour are going to be interested in this next phase of his career. I am a therapist/counselor so I love chatting with people and I talked to a lot of concert neighbors on this tour. The overriding theme was that most of these people were very casual fans and not much more. (I don't mean this as derogatory. I am a casual fan of all artists I like except for a handful.) Many were there to see him because they never saw him in the 90s (some were people in college or slightly younger). Some had seen him once in the 90s when he passed through their town and were seeing him for the first time in 20 or so years. I would also say that many had no idea he had two new albums since he came out of retirement. Other than "Ask Me How I Know" it appeared they knew almost nothing about what he'd been up to since the 90s.

    To me this is telling. Casual fans are great for touring and putting butts in seats every few years, but when you are trying to make inroads at radio and become a relevant artist once again I think it takes more than that. To me it is going to be fascinating how he tries to navigate these waters. I'm afraid that he will appeal to the "lowest common denominator" and continue to feed his legacy to the point it turns some of the more hardcore fans off. I will say though, if anyone can figure out this balance it might be Garth.

  6. #6
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    Man... Ryan.... GREAT post.... I can't say much more about how you expressed how you feel, other than to echo what Garthmedic (spud) / garthcop have said. it's a lot of what's been expressed on PG over the years....

    I've re read your post a few times... what I keep coming back to is this statement

    Garth is his own artist and he will do things his way and on his timing. Honestly, that is what I think is the problem.

    Long story short, I want to be as excited as I've been for the comeback and this tour, but I think a lot of what that looks like going forward really depends upon the moves he makes and what he does to keep us engaged.
    BOOM.. Mic drop ( )


    Garth cannot, cannot, CANNOT continue to rely on his past... yes, we know the anthology's got to cover the span of his career... but as you said so well in your posts, it can't be a rehashing of things we've heard 'a million times before.'.. Well well put..

    I still remain amazed at the parallels Garth's showing between his 'comeback/re awakening/2nd chapter' and KISS' reunion/post reunion life... Now, in all fairness, KISS has remained a viable band for going on now 22 years in their "2nd act" (in fact, in another 2-3 years they will have been in the 2nd act longer than their first act)

    Garth: 1989-2001.. ()beginning to scarecrow()

    Garth's first act.... undeniably important, influential, game changing...

    KISS 1973-1983... ()beginning to taking off the makeup()

    KISS's first act.. though not AS influential from a sales standpoint, EXTREMELY influential and important from a LIVE standpoint... they ENTERTAINED... not just sang..

    Garth's "retirement" (2002-2014) - a few releases, nothing REALLY earth shaking/new.... (yes, MTAM and the lost sessions, etc. were in this period as was BIAOMR... Still, garth was for all intents and purposes, not an active star.. not as he had been..)

    KISS's time as a hair band / makeup free band (1983-1995).. much the same.. they released albums, sure.. (4 of them if memory serves... _+ another live album and an attempt at a grunge sounding album)

    Garth's family meets his "requirements" for a comeback... (kids out of house, trisha with him, etc..) (2014)
    KISS has the unplugged album (1995)

    Excitement builds for both... huge excitement...

    Garth's '2nd act' begins w/ the latest tour... (2014-2017).... phenomenal, record breaking tour and crowds.. a few bits of new music (MAM/GS).. but the tour LARGELY focussing on the greatest hits.... the 'old stuff'.. the nostalgia)

    KISS' reunion tour (1996-1998).. Focused on nostalgia.... 'putting the makeup back on'. 'original lineup'... the greatest hits....

    Now, HERE is where Garth needs to learn and grow...

    KISS: They had Psycho Circus.. tried to make new music.. didn't totally work... old issues w/ band members popped up.. same issues that derailed things in late 70s/early 80s.. KISS tried to keep going (establishing current lineup) w/ new music (Sonic Boom in 2009 and Monster in 2014) but have largely forgone the new music game and have focused on the greatest hits.. they have become an irrelevant Nostalgia act... Is a KISS show still something to see? sure, if you've not been to one since the 80s, or you dont' remember a lot about them. But if you've seen them since the reunion tour... it's same old same old.. and w/ the "law of diminishing returns ", they become more and more irrelevant

    Garth: Cannot continue to live on this path/live on his merits/old music... He HAS put himself back to where he was touring wise/energy wise etc.. from the old tour perhaps..

    If garth can't keep pushing forward... (and that may mean that yes, even though I am one to talk against it, he needs to do things that other artists have done)... can't keep innovating... can't develop more music and new music, etc...

    If he keeps on the nostalgia / GH / re releasing angle...... then he's going to become, well, KISS.... minus makeup and loud heavy metal music


    (ok that was too long but I'm not as succinct as Ryan is.. : ) )
    An objective Garth fan, with my own views...

    I have a purpose
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    My collection of all things Garth....
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  7. #7
    I've said it many times, I think Garth should be more like Springsteen, U2 and even George Strait. By that, I mean yes they mostly performed their hits but always found a way to make room for the new stuff to see if people liked it or not and mostly the audience response had mostly been positive when they do play new stuff. Now in Bruce and U2's case, they'll sometimes squeeze in an album cut or two in their set list, and they'll even perform something that's never been released on an album before.

    Basically what I'm saying is, Garth can play the old stuff all he wants, but he also needs to look to the future.

  8. #8
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    Skywise, I think that is great analysis. His career arc is similar to KISS and I think this next part of his career could possibly look like their recent years where it is just a constant rehash of old music. (I hope not!)

    I'm a pretty big KISS fan myself and if you take a look at their Wiki page you will see that since the reunion (1996) they have released 10 greatest hits albums and 6 box sets. If memory serves the only one of those that I found essential was the big 5 disc KISS box set released in 2001. It was a great overview of the band and contained some rare gems. (My wife and I also met Gene Simmons and got that thing signed by him at a book signing!) I also thought the live box set was pretty cool and contained an entirely new live album. That's about it though.

    Point being, I'm sure many casual fans lapped those albums up, but being a huge KISS fan who literally owns all their studio albums, I drew the line and just couldn't keep rebuying. Why would I? Why would anyone buy them unless they were a casual fan looking for a compilation that contained "Beth", "Rock and Roll All Night", etc.? Eventually though the casual fans do run out. If you look at the sales/chart numbers for those comps there were a couple really comprehensive ones that went Gold in the early 2000s, but after that for the most part they weren't very successful. Same for the box sets. The big cool box set in 2001 went Gold, but following that the sales numbers weren't that good. As you said, there is a clear point of diminishing return.

    Who knows how it plays out, but I do think Garth has his work cut out. I think he will be better served by keeping the fans like us somewhat interested and involved. If he doesn't I think you are right, it's going to have the same arc as a band like KISS. Lots of big tours and big shows, but not really progressing or doing anything new. Once you've seen it once you've seen it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricOutcast View Post
    I've said it many times, I think Garth should be more like Springsteen, U2 and even George Strait. By that, I mean yes they mostly performed their hits but always found a way to make room for the new stuff to see if people liked it or not and mostly the audience response had mostly been positive when they do play new stuff. Now in Bruce and U2's case, they'll sometimes squeeze in an album cut or two in their set list, and they'll even perform something that's never been released on an album before.

    Basically what I'm saying is, Garth can play the old stuff all he wants, but he also needs to look to the future.
    THIS!!! You can play "the old stuff" and find some time for something for those hardcore fans. Garth actually did that this year with house cleaning, but he said himself that would probably end with this tour. Unless he becomes a little more daring in the core setlist that may be the last time we see something like that.

  10. #10
    rhd13:

    That was one of the best written posts here in Planet Garth history. You have set the bar high.

    I so totally agree with what you say, I have never followed Metallica but that is brilliant in what they're doing.

    For myself the Live anthology will be a big turning point, there needs to be untouched material from concerts that he has never released before.

    The new album also has to be something special.

    Fingers and toes are crossed!

  11. #11
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    Didn't someone ask him straight out about dropping House Cleaning and he said they never would? But I also thought he said they wouldn't do it on a stadium tour, I think.

  12. #12
    Guys we're talking about a guy that's had to be dragged into the digital age kicking and screaming. Garth will always do things his way for as long as he calls the shots which let's face it will be always. What he should is hire a consultant or someone to say Garth you need to sing more songs off of your album. During the tour when people posted the set list, you wouldn't have been able to tell that he had a new album out because he only played one or two songs from it. I remember in 96 when during a concert Garth said tonight you're going to hear 95% old stuff and 5% of our new stuff. That's still the case currently. So basically he wants to be a nostalgic act. If that's what he wants then there's nothing people can do.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Garthmedic View Post
    Garth is a perfectionist- and a control freak. The music must be "perfect" in his mind for it to be released.
    The trouble with this (and it is true) is that his sound is mediocre when he imposes that sterility on it - even his best material (and the material is exceptional). Ironically, I find the tracks that are the least “sterile” are album cuts (This Ain’t Tennessee, Wolves, etc.). And I am most definitely a huge fan (35 shows, 12 cities on the last tour). I have never heard, seen, or experienced a performance as musically compelling or honest in any genre as Garth.

    I think he becomes a game-changer again if he can put out material that is as strong as his early work (Ask Me How I Know is right there - we need more of it) and capture capture the unmatched honesty he offers live on the albums. It can be done - but it will require some more vulnerability in the studio and in the cutting room.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAlpadacas View Post
    The trouble with this (and it is true) is that his sound is mediocre when he imposes that sterility on it - even his best material (and the material is exceptional). Ironically, I find the tracks that are the least “sterile” are album cuts (This Ain’t Tennessee, Wolves, etc.). And I am most definitely a huge fan (35 shows, 12 cities on the last tour). I have never heard, seen, or experienced a performance as musically compelling or honest in any genre as Garth.

    I think he becomes a game-changer again if he can put out material that is as strong as his early work (Ask Me How I Know is right there - we need more of it) and capture capture the unmatched honesty he offers live on the albums. It can be done - but it will require some more vulnerability in the studio and in the cutting room.
    I also think if he needs to rely on mostly Third-Party Songwriters for that material, I say go for it, because this might be an unpopular opinion but I actually enjoyed most of Man Against Machine because of the third-party songwriters. One thing I think would be a good idea, have him team up with the Texas Songwriters community like Wade Bowen, Jack Ingram, Randy Rogers and Radney Foster.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAlpadacas View Post
    The trouble with this (and it is true) is that his sound is mediocre when he imposes that sterility on it - even his best material (and the material is exceptional). Ironically, I find the tracks that are the least “sterile” are album cuts (This Ain’t Tennessee, Wolves, etc.). And I am most definitely a huge fan (35 shows, 12 cities on the last tour). I have never heard, seen, or experienced a performance as musically compelling or honest in any genre as Garth.

    I think he becomes a game-changer again if he can put out material that is as strong as his early work (Ask Me How I Know is right there - we need more of it) and capture capture the unmatched honesty he offers live on the albums. It can be done - but it will require some more vulnerability in the studio and in the cutting room.
    It requires Rick Rubin.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Dale View Post
    It requires Rick Rubin.
    No man, Brendan O'Brien or Dave Cobb.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Dale View Post
    It requires Rick Rubin.
    I don't think Rubin would work with Garth.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by wimpy77 View Post
    I don't think Rubin would work with Garth.
    Thats what i thought, but I read a few years ago that Rick Rubin wanted to work with Garth. Thought that would be cool.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhd13 View Post
    ...the big 5 disc KISS box set released in 2001. It was a great overview of the band and contained some rare gems. (My wife and I also met Gene Simmons and got that thing signed by him at a book signing!)
    yeah there were some great gems in that set.. (don't remember all of it) and also a few demos that "thank goodness" didnt' see the light of day (IMO)

    ya met Gene? cool!! I met Paul Stanley when he was on his book tour a few years back... nice guy!

    I also thought the live box set was pretty cool and contained an entirely new live album. That's about it though.
    and I now have to go look back at that one again!


    Point being, I'm sure many casual fans lapped those albums up, but being a huge KISS fan who literally owns all their studio albums, I drew the line and just couldn't keep rebuying. Why would I? Why would anyone buy them unless they were a casual fan looking for a compilation that contained "Beth", "Rock and Roll All Night", etc.? Eventually though the casual fans do run out. If you look at the sales/chart numbers for those comps there were a couple really comprehensive ones that went Gold in the early 2000s, but after that for the most part they weren't very successful. Same for the box sets. The big cool box set in 2001 went Gold, but following that the sales numbers weren't that good. As you said, there is a clear point of diminishing return.

    Who knows how it plays out, but I do think Garth has his work cut out. I think he will be better served by keeping the fans like us somewhat interested and involved. If he doesn't I think you are right, it's going to have the same arc as a band like KISS. Lots of big tours and big shows, but not really progressing or doing anything new. Once you've seen it once you've seen it.
    to quote the praise song:

    "yes and Amen!"
    An objective Garth fan, with my own views...

    I have a purpose
    Made in His image
    Accepted by Him
    Given new life in Christ
    Eternity with Him

    My collection of all things Garth....
    The GarthCast

  20. #20
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    Skywise, sorry I didn't respond earlier. Haven't been around for several days.

    Yes, the wife and I (before we were actually even dating) met Gene at a book signing back in 2003 (I think.) It was the day after Aerosmith/KISS did a co-headlining show here in Nashville. Gene stayed in town to do a big book signing for whatever book he had coming out at the time. I'd LOVE to meet Paul Stanley and get him to sign the box set as well. How cool would that be? Gene was super nice as well. Funny enough, when I told him that my mom took me to my first KISS concert back in 1996 he had me call her and he talked to her on the phone HA!

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