Slow ticket sales

It’s been pointed out on Twitter that the FM tour is not selling well. Even venues in places like LA, that might normally be expected to sell out quickly, are not even half full.

Granted it hasn’t been very long since tickets went on sale, and some drop in interest is expected without LB. You can’t blame the new guys. But what’s the worst that could happen? They play to some embarrassingly empty venues? Would they actually cancel a tour if it sold poorly enough?

What’s disappointing is that some spurned FM fans are actively rooting against the band, cheering for bad ticket sales. 

 

Original Post
c.houser posted:

I would love to gain insight to how FM fans feel about all of this.

I'll be seeing Joe Jackson in July. So glad it's not an arena show!

From the Fleetwood Mac fan forum, there are several "factions".

The fans that love the Lindsey-era, are obviously very unhappy. To them, the band turned on his "creative leader" and sacked him much like The Clash did when they "fired" Mick Jones. 

The fans that love Stevie are generally ok with this as they see this as a chance to focus on her FM songs many of which haven't been played in decades.

The fans that love the pre-Lindsey years (the band had nine albums before Lindsey joined) are also generally happy as this means that they'll finally hear all those great Peter Green/Danny Kirwan/Bob Welch songs in concert.

slowpogo posted:

What’s disappointing is that some spurned FM fans are actively rooting against the band, cheering for bad ticket sales. 

Why is that so disappointing?

I am a big Lindsey Buckingham fan and a much bigger Neil Finn fan.  But I don’t want to see or hear Neil taking Lindsey’s place and performing in Lindsey’s band.  In my heart of hearts I would not be unhappy if this venture failed.  

What if Split Enz fired Neil Finn and replaced him with Lindsey Buckingham??  I’m sure there would be lots of angst about that, no?  

brownie posted:
slowpogo posted:

What’s disappointing is that some spurned FM fans are actively rooting against the band, cheering for bad ticket sales. 

Why is that so disappointing?

 

Because it’s completely childish. It’s, “if I can’t have it my favorite way THEN I HOPE IT DIES”

It’s the kid who’s mad the party doesn’t have chocolate ice cream so he throws everyone’s vanilla cone on the floor.

You could keep an open mind and think, “hey, the band as I know it is gone and that sucks, but *ahem* I haven’t even heard the new version yet, and who knows? It might be great.” 

or, you could throw a sullen tantrum about it. Just saying.

Maybe these people (and I) would feel differently if Lindsey left of his own accord and the band hired Neil and Mike because they wanted to continue on, but I don’t think that’s what happened.  It’s hard to keep a completely open mind when someone you admire is not treated well.  I have no hard feelings against Neil, he took advantage of a gift that was offered to him.

I understand the divide on both sides of the fence; not all FM fans are happy, just like not all Neil fans are happy. This new incarnation of Fleetwood Mac or Neils latest musical adventure (depending on how you view it) will have to face some harsh critics and hardcore skeptics when they hit the road later this year.

They won’t be the first or last big act to have to do so; The Eagles went on without Glenn Frey and Van Halen carried on without Michael Anthony (just to name a few recent ones); I won’t even start to go into acts like Styx, Yes, Chicago, Supertramp, Journey, etc. 

Personally I would attribute low sales to insane ticket prices and probably wrong strategy in terms of venues. They should have aimed for smaller more intimate locations to test the waters instead of diving straight into large arenas.

As much as I love Neil and FM, and I fully support this tour, I cannot afford to pay $300 for this experiment.

brownie posted:
slowpogo posted:

What’s disappointing is that some spurned FM fans are actively rooting against the band, cheering for bad ticket sales.

What if Split Enz fired Neil Finn and replaced him with Lindsey Buckingham??  I’m sure there would be lots of angst about that, no?  

I could see how that could transpire hypothetically - The Enz decide to get back together for a full world tour and maybe an album. Everybody commits to a 2 year period devoted to it. Neil wants to get out another solo album and has some other side projects so wants the Enz to work around that.

They don’t want to have to work around Neil (on tour or in the studio), so fire him. 

If that happened and he was replaced by Lindsey I’d be happy enough. Lindey’s edgy paranoia would hark back to the original Phil Judd era Enz. Spellbound, Stranger than Fiction, even Nightmare Stampede (!) might make the setlist. I’m So Afraid would slot in there nicely. I would even like to see a Bucked up version of I Got You. I would just want Message to My Girl and other Neil songs off limits. That wouldn’t work.

For me, it would be the best of both worlds - I get to see the Enz, but quite a different incarnation to the last 5 or 6 times I’ve seen them with a vastly different set list, AND I get to see Neil doing more solo stuff and touring at the same time.

I do appreciate that other Enz fans who had never had the opportunity to see them live with Neil in the band may feel short changed though.

I would also feel differently if Neil was replaced by Rikki Morris (who covers some Neil songs in Eddie’s ENZO) and they did the same greatest hits setlist, put Rikki in there and pretended that nothing had happened. I wouldn’t buy tickets to that concert...

I feel the same about Fleetwood Mac. I saw them twice on their last tour and felt really privileged to see the full Rumours lineup. I am just as excited about this incarnation because I know it will be quite different from the last tour and I don’t want to see the same concert with the same songs again. If Lindsey had been replaced by somebody who was just going to sing his songs, and it was another greatest hits setlist, I would have no interest but this doesn’t appear to be the case. I am excited about what Neil and Mike will bring to the table and really hope the tour makes it to NZ.

brownie posted:
slowpogo posted:

What’s disappointing is that some spurned FM fans are actively rooting against the band, cheering for bad ticket sales. 

Why is that so disappointing?

I am a big Lindsey Buckingham fan and a much bigger Neil Finn fan.  But I don’t want to see or hear Neil taking Lindsey’s place and performing in Lindsey’s band.  In my heart of hearts I would not be unhappy if this venture failed.  

What if Split Enz fired Neil Finn and replaced him with Lindsey Buckingham??  I’m sure there would be lots of angst about that, no?  

The issue that's not being mentioned here is that the band wanted Lindsey to stay with them. The entire band agreed a year or two ago that they would tour in 2018-19.  The band members all made their plans accordingly. Then this year, Lindsey changed his mind and said that he no longer wants to tour until at least early 2020. Apparently, the rest of the band spent weeks trying to talk Lindsey into changing his mind and stay with the band for the tour that they had been planning for a long time. He wouldn't change his mind so the band had two choices: they could have cancelled the 2018-19 tour or they could have looked for a replacement for Lindsey.  They chose the latter option which seems to be a very reasonable thing to do if Lindsey couldn't be convinced to change his mind.

The whole premise of the Lindsey Buckingham firing was the need to get on the road soon based on tour plans in the works for over a year. So I expect the concert to go on as planned with plenty of discounted  and promo tickets available as the tour comes to each US city.  It would be ironic if the tour was canceled or delayed.

I’m not surprised by poor ticket sales for this tour.  I think the news of Lindsay’s release from the group and the roll out of the new members was not as planned but social media got ahead of them. The group must have realized the blowback would be strong. I suspect Neil and Mike are hired guns and their $$ take will be less than the other band members. I just wonder if their take is tethered to ticket sales in some way.  Would anyone have knowledge of such arrangements?  

You know, I'm not a fan of this venture but I really don't want it to be any kind of flop, critical or financial: Neil has given me too much wonderful music over the years to be so petty and vindictive. But I can't help recalling how other non-Buckingham line-ups fared over the years. Remember Rick Vito and Billy Burnette? Exactly. That line up and their one album have largely been forgotten by FM fans and the public in general, and I suspect that this whole event will only linger in the mind of Neil's fanbase. Fair play to him for jumping at the chance, but at this point in time I can't really see either party coming away from it with their reputations enhanced. That's not to say they'll be sullied either though.

Having said all that, I'm really not surprised sales are slow. If a key member of ANY band was removed from it and a relatively unknown replacement was brought in, I suspect sales would fall.

Paul H posted:

Having said all that, I'm really not surprised sales are slow. If a key member of ANY band was removed from it and a relatively unknown replacement was brought in, I suspect sales would fall.

I struggle with what Neil’s stature really is. Crowded House are considered an 80s band with a few hits in the States, but my perception is they and Neil are considerably better known in the UK, Europe, Canada, etc and of course Aus/NZ. Between all his ventures Neil has easily sold several million albums at least, going by all the gold and platinum records. So even if Americans consider him a minor figure, FM’s potential ticket sales globally are certainly better, I would imagine?

Well, I can't say that Neil is better known in Europe/UK because I have no feel for his US profile, but I still wouldn't say he was well-known here. The Crowded House name remains known but so many years after their heyday I don't think they have that much pull. The last UK tour was much less extensive than previous ones and only focussed on a handful of medium sized venues. Neil's last UK tour was also relatively modest compared to previous ones. Quite to my utter amazement and embarrassment the final night of his last tour (in my hometown) failed to sell out by quite a distance.

I think the question is how much appetite is there among FM fans to see this new incarnation (at such high prices) and how much appetite is there among NF fans to see him play someone else's songs (for such a high price). I think the answer to the latter is "pretty small" and I could well understand why many FM fans are also passing the opportunity to see their band fronted by someone else.

It's perfectly normal for this to happen: Queen's audience fell after Freddie was replaced, INXS have struggled without Michael Hutchence. You take out one of the key reasons for people's fandom and people will lose interest. There must be very few examples of bands successfully changing leader/significant member and carrying on successfully. Off the top of my head I can think of Genesis, Marillion (and, ironically) Fleetwood Mac (but that was when Buckingham joined).

When NF and mates come to the US, they have cities they usually play, as well as regions that sometimes get left off the list.

So if there's a venue within a day's drive, that's worth looking into.  It's a rare occasion, and not to be missed.

Which kind of makes it  less special  that Neil will be coming to my local metro?  Am I just some spoiled, jaded fan feeling locked out?  

 Actually happened:   I just now heard the musical refrain "..go yo-ur own way" for some pharmaceutical ad while streaming the news.  (sigh)

Yeah, I'm torn about going to see FM, and it is only because of the $$.  I've seen them several times, but it's really, stupidly expensive this tour.  Same with Elton John, who is also coming to Atlanta. 

I feel lucky FM is coming here, and was interested in going before the tour dates were announced.  Now, I feel like I have 10 months to figure out how much I want to pay to see this, um, experiment.  It may be great.  I may see set lists from early dates in the tour, catch some fan-shot videos, and decide to fork over $500-$600 for me and my wife to go.  Or, I may decide that's just too much money for something that will be over in 2+ hours. 

-Dave in Atlanta

Fleetwood Mac is Mick, John, Christine, Lindsey and Stevie. Some other greats are part of their seminal history like Peter Green and Bob Welch. I don’t think it’s childish that long-time fans are unhappy about Crowded House and the Heartbreakers moving in on Lindsey Buckingham’s rightful place on stage.  And we can maintain the true line-up on our downloads, CDs, DVDs, vinyl and memories. Fleetwood Mac without Lindsey Buckingham? No, thank you.,

Some of these arguments are pure spin and are making those longtime fans of the band and Lindsey as being sullen about not giving the band’s new lineup a chance. It’s not really a lineup , it’s two guitarist friends of Mick and Stevie’s who somehow were ready to go at moments notice in replacement of Buckingham because Buckingham had the audacity to smirk along with the other band mates at one of Stevie’s longwonded thank yous. Smirk you say ! Of course he’s out of the band! Sounds like Ms. Nicks let her temper and her ego get ahold of her.  And it was her ultimatum ( if I don’t get my way I won’t play at all, so you’d better get rid of him, which comes off as petty and tone deaf to any long term faithful Fleetwood Mac fan.)  

Oddly,  Buckinghams solo tour was re-parsed around the Mac tour as was his and Christine’s, although the same was not done with the Nicks and  Pretenders tour.  So it appears that Lindsey was not the prickly self centered artist in this scenario.

For those who think of Fleetwood Mac as a backing band for Stevie Nicks and her cover songs , great!’ Have at it! Enjoy you Stevie and Leo Sayer or whoever it is at the mike.  Fleetwood Mac purists are loyal to the music and the band and to its visionary Lindsey Buckingham who was treated very badly at the end stage of the supergroup’s lifespan.

To some of us, loyalty means enough to pass up on a watered down version and to pray Buckingham kicks *** in court . This group made this all about the money their final tour, so Lindsey hitting them where it hurts might teach them a lesson the sorely need. I only feel bad for Christine and f0r true Gleetwwod Mac fans. 

Regarding the RRHOF, Stevie was running at number one but has already been surpassed in short notice by Def Leopard.  I can’t help but think that her negativity towards Lindsey is cutting into the votes.  Maybe this year they should have nominated Patt Benatar.

It has since come out that Lindsey was trying to work out a solo tour around Fleetwood Mac’s tour much like Lindsey and Christine had done when they were recording a new album while Stevie was touring with The Pretenders, and the rest of the group thought they were making a new Mac album.

Lindsey states he was forced to put off any solo touring in support of his new release, even tour appearances that weren’t in conflict with Mac’s tour. So perhaps he wasn’t the difficult one.  

Bottom line is that the group handled Lindsey’s dismissal poorly, and did not seem to take the fans into account (it wouldn’t have mattered if it was Clapton or  Keith Richards who were replacements) when it blew up the Rumours lineup because the band diva threw a tantrum.

This is a special, magical group, these four people who’ve spent 43 years together with Lindsey and it is a terrible end to their legacy.  They’ve forced Lindsey into a corner and he’s coming out swinging. For a long term fan like myself who feels he grew up with and knew these talented artists, and was encouraged because of their nuggets of wisdom and gorgeous songs, it’s disappointing that it’s ended up in court with Lindsey v Stevie Nicks and her backing band. Such a letdown.

Get Real posted:

It has since come out that Lindsey was trying to work out a solo tour around Fleetwood Mac’s tour much like Lindsey and Christine had done when they were recording a new album while Stevie was touring with The Pretenders, and the rest of the group thought they were making a new Mac album.

Lindsey states he was forced to put off any solo touring in support of his new release, even tour appearances that weren’t in conflict with Mac’s tour. So perhaps he wasn’t the difficult one.  

Bottom line is that the group handled Lindsey’s dismissal poorly, and did not seem to take the fans into account (it wouldn’t have mattered if it was Clapton or  Keith Richards who were replacements) when it blew up the Rumours lineup because the band diva threw a tantrum.

This is a special, magical group, these four people who’ve spent 43 years together with Lindsey and it is a terrible end to their legacy.  They’ve forced Lindsey into a corner and he’s coming out swinging. For a long term fan like myself who feels he grew up with and knew these talented artists, and was encouraged because of their nuggets of wisdom and gorgeous songs, it’s disappointing that it’s ended up in court with Lindsey v Stevie Nicks and her backing band. Such a letdown.

Well, that's one way to look at it.  Of course, the other way to look at it is that Lindsey has a long documented history of troubling behavior.  If you want to read about it, read the book "Storms" by Carol Ann Harris. You may feel differently after reading the book. If her account is close to the truth then I completely understand why Stevie and Mick wanted to move on with a new lineup.

All I'm certain of is that Neil is having fun & enjoying this ride. The tour is cost-prohibitive for some of us, $200 for a nosebleed seat is a lot for me. But I hate to miss an opportunity to see Neil, because south Florida was always a rare stop for Crowded House. Hoping I can find a deal somewhere as the concerts draw closer-sometimes single tickets are discounted then. Anyway, Neil is happy, so I'm happy for him!

I just just watched my first clip of NF singing a FM track - Monday Morning, on another thread here.

Judging by some of the comments I've read online I was expecting rotten tomatoes and boos come the end of the performance.  To my ears I heard rapturous applause though.

Seemed to 'go down well' with the crowd.

Nice one, Neil. By the way, you really nailed the vocals on that performance too 

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