I’m not gonna say “people keep asking me” because that implies that I actually talk to people, but the question of why I don’t really go to shows anymore has come up in conversation twice over the last several weeks, and I guess I just didn’t realize how much of my blog was dedicated to show recaps for awhile there! Thinking back, the last show I went to was in October which seems like forever ago. I still check my favorite venues regularly but there just really isn’t anything I want to see (except for those Balance & Composure farewell shows in Philly but Henry was like DO YOU WANT TO HAVE MONEY WHEN WE’RE IN KOREA OR DO YOU WANT TO KEEP TRYING TO DO ALL THESE DUMB ROAD TRIPS? and I was like, “Touché, motherfucker.”).
So here’s a – hopefully – quick explanation on why my show attendance has really waned over the last 6 months.
- The aforementioned “money” thing. I have been dead-set on saving money for Korea. Contrary to some people’s belief, Henry and I are not made of money. I might work at a law firm but I am definitely not bringing home a lawyers salary! And even though the shows I was going to were pretty cheap, not big venue concerts, that still adds up. Plus: merch. I had to slow my roll on the vinyl-buying front or else I’d never be leaving Pittsburgh.
- I was tired of spending so much time alone. It was still worth it to go alone if it was one of my favorite bands but oftentimes I was going to shows even if I only had a moderate interest in it, and the anxiety I had to work through to get there was wearing me down. It was a catch-22 because then of course the music would energize me. But still, it was getting to be too much on my nerves!
- My exercise addiction made me start saying no to more and more shows because I didn’t want to be standing around all night. I guess there are worse things to be addicted to?
- I’m just not connecting with that type of music anymore. I still like it! But I’m not connecting on an emotional level like I was before where it felt like it was repairing me. I have changed a lot over the last year. So, ITS NOT YOU ITS ME! I still love that scene but…more so as something that used to be a big part of me. I will always love it for the memories. I think it’s good to change things up, and looking back, I have loved so many different types of music and I really like that about myself. Staying stagnant is boring! Ya gotta open your heart and mind to new things every now and then.
- Liking music from another country means I can’t just pop on over to Mr. Small’s or Smiling Moose to catch some Korean indie act. I have to save my monies and pray that the groups I like will do a world tour and then fight to get tickets before it sells out. And then also plan to travel to Chicago or Toronto because Pittsburgh is like unknown to Korean music agencies. So yeah, my calendar isn’t exactly full of upcoming kpop shows!
But the biggest reason, if we’re being truthful, is that I just can’t keep supporting a scene that turns a blind eye to misogyny and abuse. More and more bands that I once loved are being exposed for ignoring accusations against a grimy, slimy bandmate, whether it’s someone who baits and takes advantage of underage girls or someone who is known for domestic violence and rape.
Even Mike Fuentes from Pierce the Veil was exposed for gross past behavior and was asked to step away from his position as drummer.
I love Pierce the Veil and this was a hard one, man. But still – good riddance Mike Fuentes and much respect to the girls who were brave enough to step forward.
But then there’s Jonny Craig who has not one but three exes who have spent years presenting evidence of his abuse – one of his exes alleges that he held her down on a bed and tried to shoot her up. What a motherfucker – if I ever see this pig again I will happily spit in his face for all the pain and suffering he’s caused multiple bright and beautiful women. Jonny Craig, constantly dodging that bullet, continuously finding miracles to keep him in the industry.
(Actually, his exes banded together and started a petition to have him removed from Sony. Please go sign it!)
I cannot keep supporting a music industry that lets monsters like him walk away without consequences. The fan bases are largely comprised of ignorant, uneducated bros and girls who try SO HARD to be “one of the guys” that they’re single-handedly perpetuating the “victim blaming” culture.
So, it was becoming exhausting to keep track of the bands I could no longer support and I was also tired of being let down and disappointed by these guys that I once had some level of respect for. I’m not a huge social justice warrior or whatever they’re calling us liberals these days, but I also have a conscience and morals and just as easy to stop supporting these trash bags, you know?
It seems poetic that this year will be the last Warped Tour. Yeah sure, I’m sad but also relieved because that place is a breeding ground of bro-type behavior, savage misogyny, and date rape waiting to happen in the parking lot or on a tour bus.
The line-up was just announced the other day and I admit, it is completely underwhelming. Even Chooch was like, “Eh.” It’s really disappointing that once again, Falling In Reverse has been invited back in spite of Ronnie Radke’s numerous (numerous!!!) domestic offenses. I been, he’s even served time for some of those offenses, but that’s cool Kevin Lyman — roll out that red carpet for him.
So, Warped Tour taking a bow is most definitely for the best because I for one have felt like a fucking hypocrite for still attending these last several years. Part of me wants to just not go, but I worry that I will regret it. I’ve attended every Warped Tour unfailingly since 2007. I feel like I need to see this through for nostalgia’s sake. Oh, conflict!
The Bledfest lineup was also released and I admit that I salivated a bit. If it didn’t require us to travel for it, I would gladly go to that one again.
That being said, I’m not just like NEVER GOING TO CONCERTS ever again. Citizen and Basement are going on tour later this spring and I am 100% going to that. But, this just isn’t something that I can fit into my current lifestyle as regularly as I did before, and that’s OK. I have new things taking up my time now. It’s a new season of Oh Honestly, Erin, I guess!