And there's a noticeable difference between the audience in Mike and Brian's shows in the U.S.
Brian's shows have always seemed younger, hipper -- sometimes geekier -- perhaps more into the history of music, and on average 30 to 50 years old -- at times overly forgiving of Brian's shortcomings.
Mike shows have always shocked me at how old the core audience is; bad hips, white hair -- absolutely no care to who's singing the song -- "I gotta beer and a chair and it's all good." There's also that element of group homes, bikers, which I've often caught at Mike's -- but not Brian's -- concerts.
I catch plenty of classic acts in concert, I've yet to EVER see one older than at Mike's show.
It's interesting that it's essentially the same show and an absolute night and day scenario in terms of the cut of who's showing up.
The 50th bridged that gap a bit -- it was an older crowd than unusually found at BW's shows, but there was still a youthful element that must've been shocking to Mike.
And . . . . . . . . . there were people with pens there writing about what they saw and heard.
I think that might be stretching things a little.
Obviously the M&B shows do attract plenty of old people but plenty of their shows, depending on the venues, also attract all ages from young children upwards. This is even truer when the mighty John Stamos is involved.
I am with you on this. There are plenty of young people at the shows. Even Mike has mentioned many times on Facebook that there were many young people at this year's shows. He even talked about the kids even sang along on many songs and was amazed that they knew all the words. Maybe California audiences are a different mix than other parts of the country.
I dunno. I'm only partially being facetious when I say that when a crowd is, on average, really old, then the scattered young people stick out even more. Yes, I've seen young folks at old fogey shows like Ringo, McCartney (less so with McCartney; probably only because his tickets are so expensive), the Beach Boys, etc. But the average age at a Brian Wilson show is surely noticeably lower than that at a Beach Boys concert. There may be more 10-year-old kids at a Beach Boys concert than at a Brian Wilson show (which may also have to do with ticket prices), but there are more folks in their 20's and 30's at a Brian show. There are a bunch of interesting possible reasons for this, and it's a fun and interesting topic to discuss, but it's a difficult discussion to have when people are insistent on defending Mike's show against the charge that the audience is, on average, on the more geriatric side.
There are all sorts of interesting breakdowns on the potential stats on audiences. For instance, I would guess the age at, say, a UK "Beach Boys" show skews at least a bit younger than at a US show, since the band may have gained a disproportionately large number of fans in the later 60's and into the early 70's in the UK compared to the US.
I have little doubt there's a bit of a political, social subtext boiling under the surface of some of these discussions. I've seen it happen before during discussions of C50 playing larger markets versus Mike playing smaller, more out of the way markets. Setting aside how we individually feel about the group, when we're looking at how the rest of the world views them, there are some fans who think the reaction of an audience in Biloxi is just as integral to the band's career as a good review in Rolling Stone or the the large market newspapers, etc. I can step back and try to be objective and say, the amazing press C50 got was FAR better for their image/career, etc., than making sure they hit the Beau Rivage in Mississippi each and every year.