Jordan: So what about that concert, huh? That was quite a, how to put this, social and cultural experience. I have never been in an environment where I’ve felt so out of place wearing jeans and a t-shirt to a concert.
Si: I have never seen so many gluteus maximii (AKA butt cheeks) in one place in my life. I can’t imagine going somewhere in a bra, underwear, and fuzzy boots. I’m 110% not about that PLUR life.
Jordan: Oh and the light up binkies! I thought pacifiers were for babies, not teenage girls!
Si: I’m still very confused as to who finds a girl sucking on a pacifier sexual? Or a guy in a fuzzy hat?
Jordan: I don’t know, man, but that show made me feel like I had been transported to another country, or even worse, another planet. I saw so many things that I did not know even existed and things that I wish I could unsee.
Si: I mean, the couple in the neon Nike spandex workout gear was pretty intense. We thought they were buying minors alcohol, but a girl (who, by the way, had “it’s my birthday, dose me”, written on her back) said that they were selling molly, and then asked if we wanted some. No thanks.
Jordan: Let’s talk about the music for a hot second. Yeah, there were some ok sets, some good mixes, but it was so hard to focus on the music when there was all this insanity happening all around. You were constantly pushing people off of you, trying not to touch other people’s half-naked bodies, and we were mostly just trying to keep our cool.
Si: It was just a really weird experience. I’ve been to EDM concerts before and they’ve been fine, but this one seriously just embodied all of the worst stereotypes about EDM–excessive drugs, drinking, generally griminess, random groping in the dark–it was just a gross situation. In fact, the opening acts all sounded generic. I don’t think I could’ve differentiated between their individual styles at all and most of them were just super-percussive and had samples from the same few hit songs. The number of times I heard the drop from Martin Garrix’s “Animals” was kind of insane.
Brown and Gammon
Si: He started the concert off, and it was alright. It was a good inbetween of that heavier dubstep style with some of those typical female progressive house vocals so it was fine, but not really anything special. I couldn’t tell if he had a distinct style of music–it seemed really out of place and all over the place. There was a really weirdly dissonant part with the melody. I have no idea if he couldn’t tell if it was dissonant, or if it was some contemporary musical Schoenberg-esque statement. I’m going to assume it’s the former. He also had really bad and generic graphics from his label, and to be honest, it just made the entire visual aspect look so lame. When your music isn’t crazy inspiring, you’ve got to have some lasers or frolicking cats in the background.
Jordan: For an opener at a club, he wasn’t bad. But for an opener at a concert, I wished his material was more original and unique.
Si: I literally have no recollection of this guy. I’m pretty sure that says it all.
Jordan: Ditto. His name was on the concert flyer but he was completely MIA.
Heroes x Villains
Si: The guy who does the actually DJ-ing had another man with him (hype man? emotional support? bff 4 eva?) and they had a weird sort of stage presence. As he started DJ-ing, the other man jumped around the stage to get the crowd revved up and sure, he was able to do that, but pretty much all of the crowd energy at the start was due to him, not the DJ.
Jordan: One thing I didn’t understand was that the crowd was constantly chanting “hey”. I really didn’t understand what that added to the show.
Si: I’m just going to continue being a hater and wonder why he played Swedish House Mafia’s “Save the World”. Is it 2011? Also, he should not have announced that he was going to try and play trap music. I’m not sure what he was playing, but it was not trap.
Jordan: Trap, trip-hop, what is the world coming too? I don’t want to hear that at an EDM concert. It’s as if Miley Cyrus started singing Metallica on stage.
Si: I did not like Cookie Monsta. His set was repetitive and the most exciting moment was when he tossed cookies out to the audience. The most disappointing moment was the rest of the set. And the fact that I didn’t catch a cookie.
Jordan: AND his graphics were downright terrifying. There were clowns and the images were pretty gory. Never mind his creepy opening track. He had this recorded monologue that fit all the characteristics of creepy: a deep voice talking of a journey and even the classic evil laugh. He definitely had a theatrical side.
Si: His graphics were what Dr. Suess’ world would look like if it was run by colorblind serial killers.
Jordan: However, the headliner, Flux Pavilion, was definitely the showstopper of the night. He provided the vocals for his opening song, “The Scientist”. Not many DJs enjoy singing on their tracks, like Calvin Harris for example, who stated he didn’t want to be the vocals on any of his future albums. But Flux actually sings a lot and I give him that much more credit. It shows that they have a good understanding of music.
Si: Definitely, you could tell that Flux has some artistry. The openers were just all so bass and rhythm heavy. There’s a reason why drum symphonies don’t exist. It gets really boring really quickly. Flux interweaved melodies in his set and the set was just so much more cohesive and fluid as a whole. His light show and graphics were also awesome. There were some Japanese influences in the graphics and they just looked so awesome. My inner eighth-grader/anime geek was freaking out. There were also a set of ink splotch graphics that were really beautiful in a Rorschach test meets the Temper Trap album cover kind of way.
Jordan: Flux really knows how to put on a show. His graphics were on point. My favorite was the one of moving jellyfish. His laser show was also really dope. The lights were above us instead of pointed right in our eyes and it was totally wicked. All in all, I wouldn’t say that this was the best concert I’ve been to, not even in my top five, but it was, however, a cultural experience. It was more of a learning experience than anything. This concert was proof to me that EDM is not the problem. It’s not the music or the artist that expects this kind of extreme and rash behavior–it’s the people who attend these concerts that believe that they have to dress and act a certain way to be accepted into this world. And it’s just not true.
Si: Maybe it’s naive of me, but I’d like to think that concerts are more than just a place where you can get crossfaded to a live soundtrack. The artists performing are putting so much into these concerts that it seems almost disrespectful to dismiss what they’re doing and spend the entire concert trying to find a girl in lingerie and fuzzy boots to grind on you.
Jordan: EDM is not about how crazy you can get, how much molly you can consume, or how little clothing you can wear. It’s about finding new ways to make music. Electronic music incorporates technology and science and it explores a genre that didn’t exist twenty years ago. We should appreciate that. EDM is about enjoying this new and upcoming genre, it’s about dancing, smiling, enjoying life and having fun! You do not need to be intoxicated or drugged to enjoy the music. It’s infinitely better to just go with a group of friends, dance your ass off, and smile.
–Si Chen and Jordan Farley