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There's a really weird phenomenon that I've noticed among mainstream musicians. After reaching a certain level of fame, they tend to become pretty terrible during live performances—often due to burnout, drug addiction, or sheer egotism.
It's often said rockstars forget what made them start being musicians, or that they forget why people liked them in the first place. If you look at bands known for bad performances, it's pretty clear that the "rockstar syndrome" is a very real thing.
Wondering if your favorite band or musician burned out? These performers were pretty notorious for kludging performances, to the point of losing fans.
Don't get me wrong. DJ Khaled is a wonderful DJ who has a lot of positive messages to spread to people. His beats are killer, but it's fairly common knowledge that he's one of the most notorious single-person hip hop bands known for bad performances.
Overhyping the crowd, awkward dancing, and too much turntable scratching is what he's known for. His concerts are so awkward, when he played an Overwatch convention, he ended up with a lot of confused gamers wondering what he was doing there.
Considering that his only major hit was "Because I Got High," it's not surprising to hear that Afroman has a serious, serious drug problem that impedes his ability to perform.
One Reddit user explained his concert experience as such:
"A buddy of mine saw him and said he was literally brought out limp and barely conscious, popped into a chair, then they played his music with him on stage, passed out in a chair. Always makes me think of that rock star in Restaurant At The End Of The Universe who was sentenced to spend a year legally dead, but still did shows and went out. This was in Savannah GA, I think."—yournewbestfrenemy
Black Eyed Peas
Do you remember the Black Eyed Peas? Did you ever notice how you never really hear them touring anymore? It's Fergie's fault. She developed a very serious meth problem and shot out her vocals—not to mention her performance abilities.
Fergie has been known to visibly urinate herself during concerts, and yes, she's openly admitted to pissing herself too. Oh, and sometimes she would rant and rave instead of sing. Because, you know, meth.
Because of her live fast, die young reality, Amy Winehouse was known for being high on the list of bands known for bad performances. She would often show up late to the show, regularly take bumps of cocaine from a bag hidden in her hair, and once in a while, puke.
Eventually, her voice started to give out. She started to croak more than she did croon. Many fans started to feel too uncomfortable to buy tickets to her show because her antics were so worrisome.
Chicks on Speed
The Chicks on Speed scored one big break—one of the girls was seeing a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. So, they did what anyone would do, and asked them to go on tour together.
Their problem, though, was that they were really terrible at music and didn't actually play songs at all. They became one of the most notorious bands known for bad performances as far as opening for a major headliner is concerned.
It was a pretty clear money grab move. To make it even cringier, when they'd get booed offstage, Anthony Kiedis would yell at the audience for it. Hey—they did bad live performances. What were they expecting?
This old school 2000s chick metal band was a favorite among edgy girl goths in middle school and high school. On CD, they were known for having some pretty decent songs for what they were—including a hit called "Brackish."
That being said, they were one of the most cringe-inducing bands known for bad performances in the metal scene. It was allegedly a large part of the reason why the band failed and split up.
Mimi may have been an amazing performer back in the day, but lately, she has been getting a lot of pretty terrible reviews from fans. The typical culprits are late appearances, delayed high notes, onstage bitch fits, and self-centered behavior.
One Reddit user remembered what happened when Mariah Carey opened up for Lionel Richie. Here's what he noticed:
- "She would stop singing (to build up a breath?) 5 seconds before she had to hit a high note in any of her songs. She hits a high note in a lot of her songs.
- She took five minutes in between songs to make fun of the crew who set up the stage because she didn’t like the layout.
- In the 90’s she did a song with Busta Rhymes. She performed that song during the show. Busta wasn’t there. Her solution? They played the music video behind her; she sang her parts and then Music-Video-Busta would sing his part. There were no other singers on stage.
- For the last ten minutes she brought her kids and a really goofy old woman on stage (the nanny?) and just had a dance party with them. This is after 45 minutes of a terrible show and everyone just wants to see Lionel Richie."—FeedMeEthereum
Morrissey is one of the most famous goth singers in history, and his entire musical career was built out of the hurt and pain he felt. You'd think he'd be able to channel that pain into some serious engagement, right? Well, not quite.
This singer is known for being very bitchy on stage, often bemoaning his record label. As far as OG goths go, he's one of the worst live shows you'll ever see.
Among goths, he's considered to be one of the few one-man bands known for bad performances, but amazing non-live music.
Katy Perry is one of those people you kind of either love or hate. She's a bubblegum pop diva, and to a point, that tends to mean she has some performing talent. However, there's a problem that tends to shock people about her performances.
A lot of people who have seen her live call her voice "unremarkable." As in, she could be any of the people you would see at every concert who just so happened to be told by Granny that she's "a great singer."
It's insane to think that so many of her performances fell flat like that, isn't it?
Puddle of Mudd
Puddle of Mudd was known for being pretty popular back in the 2000s, but these days, they're one of many metal bands known for bad performances and even worse PR stunts. Lead singer Wes Scantlin is such a mess, he will oftentimes not actually sing or perform on stage.
A lot of people who are into metal say that their live music is often ruined because of Scantlin's antics. And, if it's not the lead singer's antics, it's often the band's terrible lack of practice.
Along with an arrest record a mile long, Scantlin's behavior has become so erratic that his band has actually given up on playing onstage because of him. Getting booed off stage is the norm with them, and bookers are beginning to recognize the importance of live music over this band whenever possible.