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Waiting for Something Bad to Happen

by Daniel Gallan / 07.02.2013

I remember reading a review of the Kings of Leon concert last year on this very website, and feeling so kak after reading it. It wasn’t so much of what it said but what, in my opinion, it failed to say. The review was negative. It labelled the band and the fans as sell outs, all from the perspective of a private box at the back of the stadium, seated above the thousands of plebs, but that’s OK. Everyone has a right to their opinion and can think a band sucks or a show wasn’t quite there. I personally know someone who thinks that Pink Floyd are terrible. And despite me disagreeing, its OK. Which brings us to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

People have opinions. But what made me feel down about that KOL article, instead of saying how amazing the band was (which they were) and how rocking the gig was (which it was), the article chose to focus on perceived negatives and simply left the reader feeling down. In a way, all the article seemed to do was bitch. And all we seem to do is bitch and here’s my point, when it comes to live music there are surely so many better things to do than bitch.

I recently marvelled at the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Joburg and left the experience, dumbfounded, in awe. Obviously the band was amazing, the Peppers are one of the greatest bands this planet has produced (yes they are you whiney hipster).


But that wasn’t it. I was overwhelmed by the occasion. I was breathless and not just because I was belting out every lyric and jamming like a Southern Baptist on a Sunday. I was simply overwhelmed. My friend going bos next to me asked on more than one occasion if I was alright. I must have looked like a space cadet. I wasn’t. It was sheer elation. Pure ecstasy. Bliss.
I love live music. It is what gets me going. It is my drug (sometimes augmented by other drugs) but live music is the one that I simply cannot get enough of.

I love seeing a musician actually play music. I love watching the crowd respond. Obviously some gigs are better than others. Saturday morning at the Waterfront is not the same as RHCP at Soccer City. An intimate evening in a small venue with an on-fire Tom Waits cannot be compared to Haezer at the Assembly.

But I digress. At Soccer City I interrupted a couple making out when the lights were on for a bit. I yelled, “turn around! Look at the stands! Look how much we rock!” They did and they agreed.

So whenever I read a review bitching about a live music, or scroll through another cynical, clichéd tweet or facebook update expressing somebody’s underwhelm at a live music event, it makes me cringe.

My journalism professor at Wits told me that journalism does not consist of “waxing lyrical about a festival or gig,” but rather consists of seeing the world through a critical eye. Well I say we have enough critics and to what point a lot of the criticism? We have an abundance of people in this country sitting on these forums complaining, bitching and moaning. And it’s like we’re all just sitting around waiting for something bad to happen. Waiting for our expectations to be met. For the lead singer to lose his voice, for the drummer to lose his rhythm or for the sound guys to make an ass of things. For it to be kak.

I say let’s hear it for the optimists and the romantics. Sing louder and shout further because, I don’t know about you, but this moaning for no reason beyond the global first world meme of disastisfied, is getting a bit much and meanwhile music is pretty fucken sick.


*All images pilfered from Big Concerts’ Instagram.

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