The first time I saw Marcus Miller live was in Utrecht, Netherlands, with a colleague of mine who also played bass and was into jazz. It was a great concert, with Miller chatting with the audience, in a relaxed atmosphere.
The second time was last week, during the Istanbul Jazz Festival.
The concert was very strange in the beginning. The geniuses of jazz, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter got on stage, started playing. In the full Cemil Topuzlu open air theater, the audience sat there, and listened. But with no apparent connection, or enjoyment. I found myself telling my mother that Marcus Miller was much more connected to the audience in Utrecht, and this felt really strange. She had also saw Marcus Miller live before, and agreed.
And then it came. Half an hour into the concert, they took their time, Marcus said hello, and there it was. Miller and Hancock talked about Miles Davis, his music, and how their tribute was to his whole life, rather than his songs or a specific period. They complimented the Istanbul Jazz Festival audience and continued. And the rest of the concert was a blast. The audience was crazy for the music, the band enjoyed it, and it was a great tribute to Miles Davis.
Add to this the dinner at Quick China in Nişantaşı, and the walk back with the newly redone pedestrian area around CT theater, it was a great evening.
This whole think made me rethink about my not-yet-theory-level thoughts on interactions with audience in a previous blog-post. I think that a concert experience is better with good interaction, but there are always exceptions (like Jonsi or Explosions in the Sky) where very little interaction doesn’t diminish the awesomeness of the experience.