Quality vs. Style

In my post from yesterday, I tried to compare the experience of an indie rock show, a world-class electronic music show, and a super-indie avant-classical music concert. The audience sizes were a couple hundred, 4,000, and a couple dozen, respectively.
The disparity in the qualities of each of the shows was startling, while the ticket prices were almost the same: $15, $20, and $15 (suggested donation), respectively.
As my mom always said: "If you want to be happy, don't compare yourself to others." We all have different struggles, and the same is true for ensembles.
But my experiences were so different. So it must have a lot to do with my expectations/reaction, which were high/disappointed, uncertain/blown away, and very low/disappointed, respectively.
Unfortunately, there's no science or rubric, as much as I would like to find one to judge them all. Each was a totally different style and a totally different level of quality, qualities commensurate with the level, from indie to world-class. When you go see an indie show, you know you're gambling with your time and could win, lose, or be indifferent. World Class, however, begs a higher bar and, when disappointing, incurs more wrath.
So how do we guess as to which concerts will succeed and which will suck eggs?

  • I would see any concert of such-and-such style at any level of quality.
  • I would only see a concert of such-and-such style if it were at least this good. [Holds up hand to eye level.]
  • I would never go see a concert of such-and-such style no matter how quality.

So, when I often complain about the suspect quality of contemporary concerts in Chicago, I'm betraying an affinity for the 2nd point, finding mediocre contemporary classical music unworthy of much attention. I'm not blinded by love. When it's good, it's really good, but when it's not...it's not worth slogging through 5 concerts a week for 1 diamond in the rough.

There's a lot of new music going on, and I, for one, will not go blind through myopia.

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