Our Stage is Your Stage

I remember Biohazard saying something about how they were willing to share the stage with the kids in the pit. This was in the early 1990s when they were opening for Fishbone. Before I talk about the main topic at hand i.e, my point in posting, I’m going to tell you a story about Fishbone and drummers, which has nothing to do with anything, except that drummers kick ass.

My friend Pat is a dope drummer. If only he were, as Clem Snide suggest, half-Jewish… Anyway, Pat goes backstage, pre-show to mingle with Fishbone when they were together and touring and before all the crazy kidnapping and whatnot. Pat approaches the drummer for Fishbone and asks him if he uses any computer aid or drum machine aid for the insane kick drumgasm at the end of “Servitude” off of Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll…. The dude from Fisbone told him hell no. I arrive at the show and ask Pat if he got to talk to the band. He says yes and that he had indeed asked the drummer about the craziness with the feet and the drums and that he, Pat was referred to in a vernacular that might be less than vaguely Oedipal in nature. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the show. After Fishbone finished “Servitude” in their set, the drummer leapt off his seat, ran to the lead mic and said, “That was for the motherfucker who accused me of using a drum machine.” I looked at Pat. He looked at me. I gave him the thumbs up and did the “I’m laughing knowingly at the band’s hijinks” head nod. Let it be known that the drummer indeed did not use a drum machine and pulled off 128th notes with his feet.

Now we discuss the topic at hand, e.g, Biohazard, anarchy and post-modernism. Or just how weird people are when they are offered the stage. Or an open comment form.

In reading popular personal sites, especially those with hundreds of commenters, there is a kind of comment hijack that occurs. It’s less about trolls or whatever, but very similar to stage diving. At some shows the people waiting to stage dive outnumbered the band by double and the band could barely function, because they were dodging fans. As a person who wants to see the band, but doesn’t feel a need to stage dive, it sucks because the band I came to see is in danger of being trod upon by the stage divers. It’s awfully dadaist when the audience takes over (but not in a sing-along kind of way) and destroys the performance of the artist, so maybe it’s a dadaist hijacking of comments that I’m referring to. And you only see it once the comments hit a hundred or more. At some point, it becomes impossible to track the comments, and by god, you have to comment, and pretty soon, you’re in line to stage dive, knocking the bass player over and forcing the band to cover for her.

At any rate, there are stage divers/commentors, dadaists and kick ass drummers all converging and submitting and essentially drowning out the original voice of the artist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, as a student of both post-modernism and post-post-modernism, at what point does the artist even matter, except for providing the event from which the audience may take over?

I’m not saying that it’s evil or anything like that. It’s just a thing that happens that’s nutty. And all I’m saying is that the comments area is kind of the equivalent to Biohazard saying, “Our stage is your stage, man.”