The classic rock era was passive. Today’s music scene is participatory.
People have become stars in their own lives, utilizing their mobiles to post to Instagram, everybody believing he’s famous. Is it any wonder today’s music reflects this?
We used to adulate the acts, now we adulate ourselves. And this is very hard for the oldsters to understand.
Pitbull came from nothing, like many of today’s concertgoers. What else to do but dance while you’re plotting your ascension up the economic ladder.
The show began with a scroll of text akin to “Star Wars,” detailing Pitbull’s rise from the depths. And then the man elevated from the floor, and from there on, the energy sustained, the audience was happy, it was everything yesterday was not.
Pitbull flashed pictures of a private jet on the big screen as if your goal in life was to have a NetJets account. He was the ringmaster, and you can sit at home and judge it, but it was so much fun!
Usually it takes five or seven minutes, and then I’m bored. I’ve seen it. They’re playing music I’m barely familiar with over lyrics I can’t comprehend, and I stand there wondering how long it’s gonna be to the end. But in this case, the show was a pleasure.
It didn’t look like a classic rock crowd. Everyone said it was 60% female, but when I took my own break between acts, I encountered nothing but women, dressed in their finery. You didn’t come to this show in your duds, you put on your look.
Pitbull had six dancers, constantly changing outfits, resembling a rap video of the ’90s. Only in this case, Pitbull was being inclusive: It wasn’t about drawing a line between performer and audience, but keeping them connected.
Naturally, he played his hits. Duetting with Kesha on “Timber,” who appeared on the big screen. And interspersed were famous rock songs, like Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine”: This wasn’t a concert as much as an event. Ne-Yo showed up to sing with Pit on “Give Me Everything,” the worldwide hit produced by Afrojack.
And there you have it. While you’ve been home practicing your guitar, writing dreary songs about love lost, the genres have merged. They rap in country, and this huge hit would play just great at Electric Daisy.
And in Coachella’s Sahara Tent. Instead of a deejay, there could be a live performer at these shows, and then everything you thought you knew would be history.
It’s a brand new world out there, one only the young people have known.
Sitting in the audience passively watching longhairs strum away is now passe. Sure, it still exists — who knows, it could come back — but our entire scene has flipped upside down. It’s about having fun in our brutal culture, one that venerates winners and excludes losers, and today’s young people know this, and have decided they’re going to climb the ladder, because being at the bottom is anathema.
Pitbull’s just the cheerleader, with worldwide hits and worldwide sounds.
Wake up to the new reality; it’s not a fad. Everybody — white, Latino or black — knows these hits, and sings and dances along to them. Society has moved on.
So join the festivities, have fun, dance while you’re plotting your ascension — to get your mind off reality, to escape the punishing life fostered by baby boomers who claimed to love one another, but turned out to be the greediest souls on the planet.
Their children know this. And have decided to party like it’s 1999.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.