Tonight i was on that familiar mission–flyering. For those that are unaware, there are people who go to events, people who perform at events, and people who promote events–I just happen to wear all those hats sometimes. So tonight, with my promoter hat on, I left my house promptly at 12:45am, which should indicate my excitement level for flyering tonight, on a mission to pass out flyers.
I got to the spot and from across the street i hear people arguing; fuck this, fuck that, etc. The usual bullshit when you go to this kinda show. People yelling but nobody getting manhandled, and no cops, so i was cool. I roll up to more arguing and wait for my dude who works the door to come back so i can creep in on the low and get my flyers off (the club is nice enough to let me pass out flyers for events i have there without charging me cover, i just gotta go to the right doorman.)
But i digress. As I’m outside one of the cats working there tells me that an opening act got boo’ed. opening from the out-of-town band. And not only that, he says they got shit thrown at them. Now, I’ve seen a lotta shit in my day in the Columbus music scene/hip-hop scene, but getting bottles thrown at you, is some OTHER shit. So much so that i didn’t even believe it and went on in and ordered a pitcher of that hipster shit, pabst.
In the next 30 minutes i get word that there were two fights before i got there, and confirmation that yes, bottles had been thrown at cats.
Now, I didn’t start writing this to defend or accost those that threw bottles tonight, because that’s neither here nor there, and since i wasn’t there i have no idea what really went down. But i was taken aback by the mere mention of shit getting thrown at the stage…ahhh the sweet memories…ain’t nothin like gettin heckled or having some shit tossed at you from the back of a dark ass room from somebody that you can’t even see. Gotta love it, right?
Anyways, what came to mind was this question: how bad does the opener have to piss you off before you do some shit like that? See for me, i consider it almost a mathematical equation that goes like this: my willingness to boo or throw shit at the openers is equal to my desire to see the headliner divided by the number of quality opening acts on the bill. Obviously, I’m failing to take into account the time factor (i.e. headlining acts going on stage at 1:45a.m type shit), but you feel me. My point is just how bad does a muthafucka have to be before you decide to air him out?
This fall i opened for Atmosphere on a 10-week tour. One night i will never forget was in Burlington, Vermont. There was this group of girls that i met at the end of the night who had never seen me before and said something like this when we met, “We never heard of you before but you killed it tonight. Usually we can smell the fear in opening acts, and we usually get ready to boo them immediately but you had no fear and that really impressed us“. So i said “thanks”. Yeah i appreciate the props but i also appreciate that fact that they saw me seeing them not seeing me being scared, feel me? That shit is important. Because if a group of three harmless-looking chicks can see the fear in an openers eyes, it makes me really assume that everybody in the room might be able to, you know?
So as i lay it down this fine tuesday night/wednesday morning i will think on these things, and wonder what my personal breaking point is with an opening act, and just how much (or how little) i can take before i act-a-fool, because obviously a few people reached that breaking point tonight, nahmeen? I’m not sayin‘ it’s right, I’m just sayin.
Word is blog.