Starfucker Crowd ::: photo by Christopher Nelson for Bumbershoot
Or something like that.
During the Bumbershoot’s of yesteryear I tried my best to bear witness to local acts playing on bigger stages to eager festival crowds. I enjoy watching music lovers appreciate the creations of people who live in their community are total strangers that walk, eat, sleep and breathe amongst ordinary people like you and I. You didn’t think you’d see your bus boy on the EMP Stage when he was making your dishes disappear as swiftly as possible the other day, did you? You didn’t think the girl who put the flower design in your coffee would be at Bumbershoot doing the same thing crooning into a microphone and making everyone fall in love with her all over again.
Or maybe you did, baristas get stalked.
That’s enough talk about what all single men who enjoy women and coffee do men in tin foil hats do. Let’s talk about Bumbershoot and acts that (for the most part) aren’t native to Seattle.
Wiz Khalifa ::: photo by Morgan Keuler for Bumbershoot
Nobody beats The Wiz, right? My fingers must have typed out that hash tag on twitter a half dozen times because Wiz’s set reminded me of an ill-fated record store back on the east coast my hands were holding on to nothing else but my cell phone. My hands were on technology. My mind was somewhere else. My eyes were watching others live their youth as reckless as it’s supposed to be lived.
Why in god’s name would you rush the stage for a b-grade mainstream hip-hop artist like Wiz Khalifa? Why not? You’re young and that’s what young people do. RAGE. Nevermind that the music had not even started yet, you wanted to get close enough to count all of his tattoos. You wanted to show-up Bumbershoot security personnel, who were probably hating their life and everyone else at that juncture in the evening. If you get dragged down by your pony tail or your over-sized DC Shoes t-shirt and banned from the festival for the rest of the weekend, so be it. You’re a minor, a minor threat.
Oddly enough, that’s precisely how I’d describe Wiz Khalifa’s performance. Perhaps I’m being a bit critical but there was nothing “major” about it. At worst, the occasional mob of teenage girls screaming at Wiz whenever he slightly lifted up his wife beater to reveal *gasp* scales, he’s a fucking lizard skin reminded you that this might be your first teenage heart-throb concert. You know what they say, it’s better late than never. At best, Khalifa’s music was the perfect soundtrack for smoking herb and have an exuberant time.
I hope Mr. Khalifa does not feel that I am “outing” him and his love of marijuana. If anything ever happens to his ability to smoke more than copious amounts of cheeba, I fear that his mental state, record sales and concert attendance will simultaneously plummet like our domestic stock market on the infamous “Black Friday.” Can you imagine?
“What up NYC?!? It’s your boy, Wiz Khalifa (Taylor Gang bitch!) and I’m here to talk to you about smoking that good salvia and practicing abstinence going to the library.”
[Everyone in the audience leaves with the exception of a few people who happen to be smoking salvia and reading Thoreau.]
While I might be able to poke fun at this particular performance by Wiz Khalifa in an anything-but-intimate venue, one thing is for certain, the man appreciates his fans and he stays true to himself. On more than a few occasions he took time from his set to thank the fans and all those who appreciated his music. Sometimes it’s hard to hear genuine appreciation over the banshee work of adolescents and a sound-system that can be heard from aliens making their way through our atmosphere. Khalifa’s appreciation of his audience is important because mutual admiration can be taken for granted in a society that is often at one throat of one another. It goes without saying that the proletariat are always putting the emphasis on seeing musicians as affable, highly evolved versions of apes:
“So and so is such a nice person. That’s what brings me out tonight, I came to show my support…”
As soon as that complete thought parts your lips it becomes a lie. That’s not a valid reason why anyone should ever go to a concert. If that’s why you go to shows these days, you might want to get someone else to guide you through “Logic Reconfiguration 101″ at a local Big University. You won’t get credit for passing the course, but everyday life will begin to make more sense.
As expected, Wiz Khalifa made sure I had a good time before I left Bumbershoot for the day. After all, that is the only reason why I leave my bedroom (no good times are happening there these days, although it is the headquarters to a few promising fantasy football teams) to go anywhere. During “In the Cut” I imagined the 15-year-old version of me smoking weed amongst all my fictional peers on the floor close to the stage. It was at that moment, in both fiction and reality, that all was right with the world.
Read the rest of Phil’s Bumbershoot highlights (more…)