Monday, May 4, 2009

The Rock Show

Theory of A Deadman

Last year I went to my first rock concert. The performers were Theory of a Deadman, Hinder, & (my favorite rock band) Staind. Needless to say I was out of my element. I still enjoyed myself but it helped me understand something about the rock audience compared to the hip-hop audience:

Sometimes Less is More.

The number one problem with hip-hop shows is the 300 people on stage standing around with mics all of them saying different things at one time. This is especially annoying after you've spent money to see one of your favorite artists but I gotta hear Goon #7 or the crew's blunt roller get a mic and try to command me repeatedly to put my hands up or give his opinions on global warming.
Rock Concert: The headliner Staind walked on stage, picked up their instruments, and said the following:
Good Evening.

For the next 45 minutes to an hour they played music. No commands to put your hands up, no requests to make noise, no political commentary, just music. Really, they did all the work and to be honest, it was quite refreshing.

If anyone were to ask me who was the best MC, up until recently, that I've ever seen rock it would probably be DMX. I saw him a few years back during the Cash Money/Ruff Ryders Tour and he walked on stage and spit with no backup, no need for 5 dudes with mics to help, just him, the DJ, the beat, and the mic. At that same show it was supposed to be the triumphant return of Cash Money to New Orleans since becoming a major factor in hip-hop and honestly, it was a nightmare. Twenty people on stage with mics yelling indecipherable statements to the crowd. I was out before they even got to "Bling, Bling".

David Banner Rocking at SXSW '08

Hip-Hop and Rock have always been closely related but when it comes to performances, they haven't been close. I give props to Kanye for trying to change that perception but there are so many artists who haven't received the memo.

Sometimes LESS Is MORE!

At rock concerts you can tell everybody was having fun even in the stands where I was sitting. Crowd surfing, blunt smoke, drinks spilling, fights, chicks flashing, sometimes the crowd is the show. Sometimes this happens at hip-hop shows but they are few and far between. A lot of fans are too busy trying to look hard or just flat out refuse to enjoy themselves. And I don't blame them.

If I spend more than $20 to see you perform, I expect you to do all the work, not me.

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