Actually, they did disappoint some people--a few of my students today (I'm afraid I wasted about ten minutes of class time talking about the concert) expressed their underwhelmment at the hands of the Lips' neo-Vaudvillean onslaught. The show seemed corny and fake to them--one of them directed me to this video--
--as an illustration of what he doesn't like about Coyne & company. It's the word "gags" that bothered my student--he wanted spontaneity, and what he got was a bunch of tricks.
He's got a point. But what are creative writing classes about, if not learning a few tricks? The fact is, concertgoers (and, ultimately, readers) are aware that you're putting on a show, and that you have adopted certain techniques to amaze, amuse, and inform. A writer wants to express some of her idiosyncrasy, her unique take on things--but at the same time, she doesn't want to repulse you with the unformed gush of her unconscious. A writer trims, tweaks, emphasizes. She employs a few of the literary props she knows you're gonna like, in order to get you to appreciate the ideas that might otherwise put you off. The least compromising writers may have the most integrity, but, with a few exceptions, they're bound to have the fewest readers, too.
So you have to decide--do you want to play to a half-empty club, or do you want to fill a stadium? I remember the Lips when they could barely do the former, but I must say I have no problem with them managing the latter. Personally, I suspect that, as a writer, I'm more CBGB than Astrodome--but 20 years ago I would have said the same thing about the Lips. Giant laser hands, here I come!