The other night I had the privilege
of going to go see RiFF RAFF.
You may be thinking, "Woah hold on, RiFF RAFF doesn't even make electronic music. This blog is about EDM."
Yes I know. This is going to tie in to more than just rap and EDM shows. Be patient.
It was hands down one of the worst concert experiences of my life. My initial reaction was one of well practiced indignation as this isn't even close to the first regretful show I've attended. However, as my initial response of "I can't believe he only played for 25 minutes" started wearing off, I left the venue in the congested shuffle of disappointment and lingering optimism for an encore.
After not a long time by any stretch of my slightly faded imagination, I realized that I really wasn't that upset about the performance. This struck me as odd, since just a short while ago, I was witness to a harbinger of a much more pissed off, slightly poorer version of myself. I began to reflect on my inner conflict between wanting to be upset with RiFF for wasting my time, and not actually being upset with RiFF for wasting my time. Then I came to the only conclusion I could: RiFF RAFF's terrible show was still worth going to.
I say privilege
not because it was particularly enjoyable, or because RiFF put on a particularly good show, It wasn't artistically inspiring or unique to my other concert experiences in any way other than being particularly bad. I say privilege
because it was what will henceforth be known in this article as a "crappy concert."
We need crappy concerts just as much as we need crappy politicians, crappy parenting, crappy people, or a crappy way to show support for a people in their time of need.
We need these crappy things because they are exactly that.
Crappy concerts allow us to understand and remember why it is that we appreciate the things we enjoy to begin with. Without those crappy politicians, parents, and people everyone would be good at everything, nothing would ever not be enjoyed, refunds would cease to exist, and then what would we complain about?
5 Reasons You Didn't "Waste" Money On a Crappy Concert
1. "The opener was still badass."
In this case, the opener was a local San Marcos rapper David Shabani
. While Shabani is not currently the most prolific rapper in the world, his music is just the right noise from the hip-hop community for the younger, college age crowd that RiFF RAFF is likely to attract, and Shabani was working the crowd like some sort of parasitic ant fungus
I've touched on it before
and I'll touch on it again (I'm never afraid to touch something. Dare me.): very often, the best performance at a concert isn't even made by the headliner. Opening acts never cease to impress me. I really feel as though the reasoning behind the headliner being outperformed by their opening act is due to the headliner knowing that the crowd payed good money to buy tickets, which had the headliner's name printed in big letters. Whereas the opening act is always trying to gain new fans and become the headliner for next year's tour.
2. "It was something to do."
That sounds like I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel in order to compose this list. "It's something to do," is what you and your friend say to each other when you've both just decided to go loiter at the local park because there is literally nothing else to do. That sounds boring, but it's a lot like the process of brainstorming for ideas.
When you begin brainstorming, you usually start out with some crappy ideas, much like the crappy people and crappy concerts that you agree to go to. But after a while, some good ideas start popping up, then some really good ideas, then you get the genius idea to start a bar with your friends
and that one guy down the street who spends a little too much time in the sewers and under bridges.
Point being that, even if you start on square wheels, once your night gets rolling it's impossible to see how far you can take it unless you ride it out.
3. "Hanging with friends."
Piggybacking off of #2 is #3. This experience would have been entirely miserable to attend had I decided to play the part of the lone ranger. While a well-played concert can be a great experience for the solo participant, a crappy concert is another beast entirely.
What do you think the first thing I did once I realized my own crappy concert predicament was? I turned to my friend and said "Wow this sucks!" Can you imagine the disappointment on my face if I had turned to say that only to realize my friend was not in attendance, leaving me to appreciate my disappointment individually?
On top of that, I even made some new friends who were happy to appreciate my disappointment with me in group fashion.
4. "So THAT'S what a crappy concert is like..."
It isn't hard to attend a crappy concert. I typically pride myself in being able to pick out which performances would be the most impressive, and those during which my only form of entertainment would be physical exploration through self-synthesizing landscapes. I screwed up on this one. Sure the Neon Icon is crazy and off the wall. I assumed the Neon Icon would be just crazy and off the wall enough to put on a crazy and off the wall show. I was wrong.
It had been a while since I had been reminded of what it's like to feel cheated in that way. Now that it's fresh in my mind, I've got a resurrected motivation to not have to go through that sort of thing any time soon. I've also got a newfound desire to go and wipe that memory of RiFF's concert from my brain and go see a great concert whenever I get a chance.
There must always be a balance to the force between the sides of light and dark, good and bad, awesome and crappy.
5. "This concert actually was inspiring."
I suppose I did end up writing this editorial about a crappy concert after I was inspired to do so by before-mentioned crappy concert. So my previous statement that the show wasn't artistically inspiring or unique to my other concert experiences was a lie.
This concert allowed me to reflect and remember why it is I love to go out and buy tickets to shows even though I know it could be a crapshoot.