Which version of your favorite band is worth seeing?

Courtesy the artist
There's always room for another Mike Love joke
At some point in the career of a band, the original members often reach an impasse and go their separate ways. Of course, there's still money to be made, so separate parties involved often hit the road and play their hits anyway. As a result, there often end up being multiple acts playing the same songs under the same name. Oops.

In recent years, as the stadium-sized egos of classic-rock bands and old-school rap groups have passed into their golden years, this has become an ever more frequent issue. Sadly, it often leads to mass confusion for fan bases who don't know which group they should be loyal to and fork over the cash to see. Lucky for you, we have five sure-fire tips to help you make your decision.

Is the original lead singer involved?

This is the "10,000 Maniacs Rule," because if Natalie Merchant is playing in your town the same night at 10,000 Maniacs, you sure as shit aren't shelling out to see the act who isn't performing "Carnival."

Beatles - Penny Laneby hushhush112
Who wrote the most songs?

This is simple. You're seeing Paul McCartney and skipping Ringo Starr & His All Star Band because "Penny Lane" is greater than "Octopus's Garden." (Okay. We totally love "Octopus's Garden," though.)

Which act has the most original members?

This would help solve the Black Flag vs. Flag debate except there have been so many members of the band that you could make the argument that any band you see is actually a Black Flag lineup. One Direction at Madison Square Garden? Congrats, that's secretly a Black Flag show because Harry was the lead singer like one night at a bar when Gregg Ginn ran into him.

(Note: This opens a bit of a technicality because, by dint of having one original member, Journey is still Journey. Apparently.)


Which act will have its leader die first?

This mainly goes for bands from the '60s who are trying to capture the last few dollars out there, but hate each other. We call this the "Three Dog Night Rule" because it feels like there are 12 versions of the band out there and they all seem like they're seconds from death's door.

Is Mike Love anywhere around?

Fuck Mike Love. Brian Wilson forever. Do not go see the Beach Boys unless you know for a fact that Wilson is there.... Well, unless John Stamos is going to be there.

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