Saturday, September 09, 2006

4th Row, Center

"Fuck retro-anything, fuck your tattoos, fuck all you junkies, and fuck your short memories."
He sang that verse 6 times in a row, each time slower and more condescending then the last, until He was just speaking it loudly and enunciating incorrect syllables.

He made a sarcastic theme: being constantly concerned for the LA "VIPs", which sounded even more snide coming from beneath His fake handlebar moustache, cop sunglasses, and cowboy hat.

The band's stage configuration was even spiteful; guitar and bass up front, drums in the middle, and He positioned himself in the back, almost behind the drums.

Because He was doing us a favor by being there, He didn't break a sweat.

They didn't play any of the songs that got them famous. Nothing that has a music video.

After playing for about an hour, the whole band stopped, put their instruments down, sat on a riser in the middle of the stage, and watched the audience yell and scream. They teased the audience, making them beg for more music, for about 10 demeaning minutes.


I looked around and suddenly felt like I was in an abusive relationship. The kind where there are all sorts of heart-felt justifications and excuses for inexcusable actions. I felt cheap and used. They made it really clear that we were there because we needed them, and made it very clear that they didn't like us.

Now that I've harshly critiqued all these details, step back and think about the level of skill and charisma needed to accomplish the task of alienating 50,000 people, while, at the same time, making them your submissive bitches. Call it sort of mass brainwashing or social manipulation on a grand scale.

Much like every other person there, I completely fell for it. All of it. I felt violated, sore, and raw. I still feel that way 24 hours later. However, I am in love with the fact that music can have this kind of power. The power to hurt, the power to control, and most importantly the power to make people examine the darkest most painful parts of themselves and walk away stronger.

I will always pay to participate in this kind of cathartic soul rape. I will always walk away bulletproof. It just may take some time to get there.

-R

7 Comments:

Blogger Meat O' Benito said...

"Shoot you in the fucking head."

He checks off box labeled "Shoot you in the fucking head" and continues down the list, all the while unable to ignore the feeling of the dead hairs gummed to his upperlip and down the sides of his crowd-pleasing scowl.

6:58 PM  
Blogger xtx said...

it was Journey...wasn't it?

7:08 AM  
Blogger Clownboy said...

Journey with Steve Perry's replacement have as much charisma as itchy balls. I was talking about the newly reformed Cinderella. Goddamn they're deep!

12:41 PM  
Blogger min_o said...

that's brilliant! and i wish more musicians could find the balls to say what they mean instead of the usual "so honoured to be here" bullshit.

3:19 PM  
Blogger the pants said...

dude, cathartic soul rape is my new favorite phrase. well done.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Datura said...

You won't feel what you'd like to feel
Lay back and let me show you another way.

Thanks for sharing that, I'm getting 4 degrees warmer vicariously.
Life's too short to push it all away.

8:04 PM  
Blogger murl.the.squirrel said...

i know im late to reply to this but i saw them in DC on sept 30 (the 1st time i saw them was about 4 yrs ago and they absolutly ripped my soul from my chest and threw it back at me)

he was wearing a cowboy hat and boots this time. i think he always stays in the back of the stage. i like that. anyway, he didn't do that with aenima (im guessing it was a special twist for those in LA) but they did do the thing where they all sat down in the middle of the stage for a while.

unfortunatly i was 4 levels up and the experience wasn't quite the same as the last one (floor tickets, no seats, major chaos). i will defenitly shell out the big bucks to get closer next time.

8:48 PM  

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