Just as concerts return, a new film reveals the cynicism and cultural rot that led to one of the most notorious shows ever.
We’re halfway through the first summer of full-capacity crowds at American arenas and nightclubs after pandemic-induced hibernation. Have you attended a glorious, mythmaking concert to mark the occasion? Perhaps Foo Fighters reopening Madison Square Garden gave you chills, or maybe you air-tromboned to the band Chicago at New Jersey’s first big comeback show (NJ.com’s review: “Enjoyment came in many forms Thursday night”).
Or perhaps you’ve had a less lovely live-music experience. One recent viral news story described impalement and alleged strangulation at a rave in Kentucky. Another, from this past weekend, featured someone throwing a shoe at DaBaby. When I went to see a DJ set in my neighborhood, a disturbingly intoxicated guy danced up to me, grabbed my water bottle, guzzled everything in it, and, like some sort of anti-hydration dragon, immediately and theatrically spit it out. Then there’s the COVID of it all: more than 1,000 infections traced to a Dutch music festival, a Foo Fighters’ team member testing positive, talk of possible new shutdowns and cancellations in response to the Delta variant.