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Playing On A Sound Stage To No One

Here's something I always wondered about: why did so many of our Glam heroes make music videos back in the day playing a concert... for no one. Was it purely cost? I get hiring extras adds a lot to production expense, and if that is the reason, then fine. Was it because the bands thought they looked cool prancing around for each other and no one else? Was it because any Glam metal video released between 1984 - 1989 received rotation on MTV anyway, and creating a huge concept was just a waste of time and cash? Maybe you have some opinions on the situation, so please share them in the comments section below. In the meantime, here's some classic "playing on a sound stage for no one" videos.

I must be on to something here, since Steel Panther made a music video in a warehouse playing... to no one.

Reader Comments (14)

I think maybe it was supposed to be like they were rehearsing for a big show. I don't know. As a teenage kid growing up in the middle of North Dakota, anything that wasn't wheat or dust was pretty cool.
June 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteroper8n
Have you ever been to a show where they taped a music video. Typically they did it in one take in order to not throw off the vibe of the show. By doing it in some warehouse without a crowd, they could take as many shots and as many "do overs" as they needed without having to worry about messing up their own concert.
June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
Not really sure did look cool..two of my fave videos used that concept as a little live edits..
GNR- Sweet Child and Great White- Once Bitten/Twice shy....good stuff
June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGene
I think Anthrax found a way to get the best of both worlds with their video for the song "Indians." I remember this like it was yesterday because I was there. This was in May of 1987, just after my 18th birthday. Anthrax put out an announcement that they would be shooting the video for Indians at the Park Theatre in Union City, NJ. People were invited to come for free to be the crowd for the video shoot. so, Anthrax had a crowd to play for, but because we all knew going in that this was a video shoot, they could do multiple takes without ticking off the crowd. What a day that was!
June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob
I've been to may video shoots over the years.

Partial List:

WHITESNAKE - Now You're Gone
KIX - Blow My Fuse
CRACK THE SKY - Lost In America
JOAN JETT and the BLACKHEARTS - The Only Good Thing You Ever Said Was Goodbye
EXTREME - Mutha.. Don't Wanna Go To School Today
KIX - Tear Down The Walls

KIX - "Blow My Fuse" was filmed at Hammerjacks in Baltimore. What they did was film the video at around 6:30 or 7:00 PM.. did about 20 takes for the song. This was all lipsynch. Then after the last take they announced that they were going to do a free show as a "Thank You" for those who came out to watch them lipsynch for about and hour and a half. Then KIX played for about an hour.

Crack the Sky, and Extreme was just shot at the actual show, live and in one take and then other footage was added to the video.

Joan Jett was just a shot during a show.. straight forward live video, nothing added.

Whitesnake was the same as KIX basically. It was an afternoon shoot with only 200 people allowed in the Spectrum in Philly. It was kind of a pain in the ass because the director would have the 200 people move around to different sections for each take. I don't remember how many takes they did that afternoon. Whitesnake then gave the 200 people tickets for the show later that night. It's pretty cool how with 200 people there they could make it look like the whole venue was full after the final edit.
June 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRock-It
WE are the audience.

p.s. Bob, Anthax suck eggs! (no, that's not a typo and neither is my comment)
June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Metalboy got it.

The whole point of shooting performance type videos is to put the viewer in "the front row". Shooting without an audience gives a film crew the ability to shoot a particular shot, over & over, without playing the whole song.

When shooting with an audience, you're generally going to run thru the whole song 10 or 12 times, & in post production pick your edits.
June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele
I'm sure I'll end up kicking myself for dignifying the mighty Metalboy!'s comment with a response, but here goes...I agree with you that, in general, Anthrax were/are a bunch of clowns. That said, I thought, and still think that, Among the Living is a good album. It's too bad they lost all respectability after that.
June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob
I was at the video shoot for Pearl Jam's Alive video. They weren't yet known really beyond Seattle, so they announced it as a regular show, but that they would be shooting their 1st video. it was at a small club, and they packed it. They just played "Alive" to start the show, then again to close they show. I think they just told the crowd to go nuts when they played it at the end, but the crowd was already going nuts, and everyone was soaking wet. It looks like they got plenty of good footage, cuz the video turned out fine, and it was a huge hit.
June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlamfly
I would think it's just for control. You can put down 10 cameras, have lots of different takes and have the band members looking as cool and un-sweaty as possible throughout.

2 of my favorite live videos from back in the day are Bad Medicine & Kickstart my Heart.

Oh, and Anthrax is a great band.
June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
Bad Medicine was filmed in Seattle...a bunch of people I know ended up in the video.
June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlamfly
Ya want hot n' sweaty in a vid? Danzig, "Mother".

p.s. Bryon! No Anthax aren't. Hookless, riffless wonders. I do like most of their covers, however, i.e. Cheap Trick's "Aufedersein", Joe Jackson's "I'm The Man", etc.
June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Glamfly? You talking Bon Jovi's Bad Medicine?
That's not Seattle. It's Long Beach, California.
Long Beach Arena.
Was there. They handed out 20 Super 8 film movie cameras to a bunch of girls & gave them stage access. The whole thing took an afternoon. The people onstage are straight out of the Rainbow Bar & Grill Parking Lot on a Friday night. So many familiar faces.
June 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele
random post as far as videoa are then-girlfriend (now wife) were college students when bon jovi played Lehigh University's Stabler arena and the recorded live portions of newly released song, "Bed of Roses" was recorded during the concert...on New years eve, to boot. he played that song about 8 times during the concert and ended after midnight with a racous rendition of "shout". Who knew that years later that our daughter would be conceived with that song's "inspiration". I know, TMI...but that's part of the reason her middle name is "rose".

Also, My older brother, was in the audience at the Philadelphia Spectrum during the filming of Van Halen's Panama. I still run into peple to this day who swear that they show up on the video. I however, was 14 years old and mother wouldn't let me attend saying I was too young and that I could see them the following year when they would tour. Again this was the 1984 tour...who knew what would happen next. My therapist still hears my shit abotu this and tells me to save it for the book instead. take care, peeps.
June 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfletch

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