Ten Signs Your Favorite Band Is Past Its Prime
Earlier this week, Weezer announced plans to partner with Carnival Cruise Lines to arrange the first ever "Weezer Cruise." The four-night voyage from Miami to Cozumel will also feature sets by the likes of Ozma, Dinosaur Jr., Wavves and loads of others.
Never mind how awesome we think all this sounds. Fact is, it also makes us feel a little old. Really. Aren't cruises typically the place to find bands like Styx or Journey as the cling to the final shreds of fame?
Does this mean Weezer is officially washed up?
Worse, how is one supposed to figure this out, if they're too blinded by fandom to realize that the band they love is actually holding on way past its expiration date.
On that note, we've put together a list of signs that your favorite band is past its prime.
A member of the band signs on to judge a reality television show. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is the obvious target here, but we can't let folks like Adam Levine of Maroon 5 off the hook for The Voice either.
There are two competing versions of the group touring. After original Herman's Hermits lead singer Peter Noone left the group in 1971, drummer Barry Whitwam kept the group going with various replacement musicians over the years. Later Noone started his own version of the group sometimes bills itself as "Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone." And this is hardly the only example.
Avenues such as YouTube are turned to in order to find new members. In 2006, Journey reached out to Arnel Pineda, frontman of a Filipino Journey cover band, after seeing clips of Pineda singing Journey tunes on YouTube. See also: Turning to reality television programs to find a new member, a la INXS.
The band's songs are performed in noticeably lower keys. Roger Daltrey's high-pitched wail in "Won't Get Fooled Again" is undeniably one of the greatest moments in rock history. Too bad The Who have continued to tour a decade past the point at which he was last able to pull that bit off.
The singer has to read their lyrics. It's not just R. Stevie Moore that we caught with sheets of lyrics in front of him at Hailey's a couple weeks ago; Courtney Love was very noticeably having to rely on a teleprompter with both lyrics and guitar chords the last time Hole came through town.
Special medical precautions are required to tour. Since 2005, the Rolling Stones have traveled with defibrillators and a trained medical staff -- just in case any of them collapses while on stage.
They embark on way too many reunion tours. There was probably a reason you guys broke up in the first place, no? By the time most bands reach their fourth reunion tour or so, it gets tired, with each "Farewell Tour" offering coming off as believably as McDonald's saying that this is the last go-'round for the McRib.
Members can't stand one another. It is always obvious when band members stop touring out of sheer enjoyment and start just showing up to collect a paycheck. Clear signs include bands canceling or showing up late to gigs because of backstage fistfights (See: The Vines, Oasis, Days of the New) or when members barely acknowledge one another's existence onstage (we're looking at you, Pixies).
There's no more denying that the band's fan base is aging. When the band stops hawking merch like comic books and action figures in favor of putting their logos on coffins (see: KISS), it's a good indicator its fans are no longer spring chickens.
Too many lineup changes or too few original members. It's almost a crime to use the name Lynyrd Skynyrd when refering to the group of musicians that tour the country as Lynryd Skynryd these days. Now, 47 years after their formation, rhythm guitarist Gary Rossington is the only original member of the group. At what point does a band become its own tribute act? Right about at that point that Skynyrd's at right now.
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