Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer concert fun and fashion trends that need to die.

So it looks like I’m actually going to see Dir en grey twice. A friend of mine lives in Santa Cruz and she’s moving soon, and I’d kind of like to see her before she goes, so what better way to send her off than spending a whole day wandering around in the sunshine, then seeing a show?
I’m still not looking forward to the Deftones. I’m thinking of heading for the bar when they come on. Hey, at least the bar area will be entirely fangirl-free since none of them are old enough to drink.

Ah, the fangirls. I do love DEG but damn are most of their American fans annoying. Between the whiny little emo kids and the gofflings who talk about cutting as if it was something to be proud of and the completely deranged Japanophile babes who will no doubt spend the entire day stalking the band and generally behaving as if they’re at an N’Synch concert. And then there are the Gothic Lolitas. How did a perfectly respectable rock band end up with such idiotic fans?

Oh yeah. The Internet. Most of those kids fell in love with the band through pictures from ten years ago, when they were still Visual Kei and wore dresses and make-up. I really don’t get VK fans – it seems as if all that it takes to get their attention is a dude in a skirt and lipstick. Any dude will do, really, as long as he’s Japanese – they don’t seem to be able to distinguish between individuals at all. Everyone’s “beautiful” as long as he has enough make-up on and sufficiently overexposed photos (it really is amazing what you can do with lighting). Either beautiful or, God forbid, “kawaii”. I’m really starting to dislike that word.

Dir en grey haven’t been VK for years They pretty much look like a normal rock band now, with some added gore and extra bonus tattoos. So why do the little VK girls cling on, like badly dressed leeches, turning up at every damn show and whining about how the band don’t look girly or play their oldest songs any more? The first time I saw DEG there were a group of teenagers behind me who spent the entire show whining about the bass player’s shoes. Apparently motorcycle boots are unacceptable footwear for a rock musician. Who knew? They seriously expected him to get up there in a miniskirt and heels, as part of a summer metal tour headlined by Korn, in America…even though nary a skirt has been seen for years and years. Why? Why the insistence on clinging to the past? There are tons of current VK bands out there who still wear all the sparkly crap. Wouldn’t those kids be happier at an An Café show? Please? So that I wouldn’t have to listen to them bitching all the damn time?

Seriously, how does a band that looks like this…

And sounds like this…

Clever Sleazoid.

(Remember, kids, “someday I will fuck your parents”!)

Continue to attract fans like this?

(And yes, people really do show up for concerts dressed like this. Sad to say but the first pic is far more typical of what they end up looking like. The second one is much too pretty - they never look like that in real life.)

(Well, OK, there is this to explain why the little girls stick around...

But still!)

Seriously, I don't get it. I would provide photographic evidence of this bizarre incongruity but I couldn’t actually bring myself to take pictures of the fans at any of the shows. I was worried that the fugliness might break my camera. It was like a Hot Topic exploded. And that was before they started talking. Some of them were even threatening to parapara. At a METAL show. Are they trying to get their asses kicked?

Much as I try to be non-judgemental it’s really challenging to do so with the Gothic Lolitas. I had a friend from Osaka when I was in college who took a trip home right as the whole movement was exploding. He was so horrified by all the girls traipsing around in ribbons and bonnets that he called me to complain, going off on a spiel culminating in the words “could they be any less sexy if they tried?”.
In fact I still think his summation of the look was about as good as it gets.

“They look like over-decorated cakes.”

And this was from a girly goth dude who wore eyeliner every day.

Why has this look migrated to the US? And can we make it go away?

I’m sure I’m going to take a malicious sort of pleasure in laughing at the goth lolis who will no doubt turn up in Santa Cruz (they always do). Watching them sweat like pigs in their horrible polyester dresses under the summer sun in hippy beach town should be amusing, not to mention what the Deftones fans are going to make of them. They’re even funnier in the pit. Who goes into a moshpit with ribbons in their hair? And then whines because their poufy little dress gets all mangled and they lose some of their 50 billion ribbons?
The temptation to garrote them with their own ribbons is ever-present. Hey, I never said I was a nice person. Whenever they start whining I’m always tempted to dump them in the pit at Slayer. Have fun, kids!

This is part of why I keep pushing Dir en grey. They really are a great band, and they deserve better fans. Actual metal fans, not the whiny emo kids who hate all the new stuff anyway.

And if one more person calls Kyo “kawaii” when he’s covered in his own blood I’m going to poke her eyes out with a fork. How exactly is this cute?

It’s like puppies and kittens and fluffy little bunnies! Except not at all.

Oh, and did I mention the stalking? It’s pretty creepy. No wonder the band seem to be going out of their way to avoid their fans here. Some of those kids freak me out, and I’m not the one who they’re trying to molest. They even stalk the roadies, which is just sad.

I’m sure the actual show will be great, but I really could do without the fangirls. Eh, at least San Francisco will have a better crowd. We don’t speak idiot here.

If any of you are planning to go see the Deftones I really can’t recommend highly enough that you get there early so that you can catch Dir en grey. They’re a killer live band, and they really do need some exposure among actual rock fans rather than just the Japanophile kids. The new album’s awesome, too. See, look, here’s another song!


And another one! This one's softer and he's actually singing rather than screaming. Don't say I'm not considerate.

Ryojoku no ame

Please, God, let some other adult metal fans in the US get exposed to this band so that I don't have to go to shows with insane teenagers any more. I'm begging here.


Thin Black Duke said...

"Please, God, let some other adult [insert any music genre] fans in the US get exposed to this band so that I don't have to go to shows with insane teenagers any more. I'm begging here."

And I thought I was the only one.

Zan said...

I don't know, Cassandra. I wouldn't call him cute when he's covered in blood, but something about it definately appeals to me.

But yeah, I avoid a lot of concerts for the same reason. Too many children! It makes me feel old and I tend to go into protector mode -- gotta grab the kiddies about to jump in the pit because they think it's a 'dancefloor'. Gah.

Cassandra Says said...

thin black duke - You too, huh? I thought this phenomenon was restricted to my chosen musical genre. Which other genres are afflicted with the annoying adolescents?

Cassandra Says said...

Zan - Oh, I can see why they would find him sexy, although I don't (he's REALLY not my type). There's definately an interesting sort of intensity there, and the man does have killer abs. It's the kawaii thing...the word definately implies cute in the fluffy puppies and kittens sense. I think it's a sort of racism, honestly...he's Japanese and he's kind of small, therefore "kawaii", which is not a word that would normally be applied to a man in his thirties.

Cassandra Says said...'s not so much that it makes me feel old (the age difference makes me sneery and arrogant more than paranoid, to be honest) as that I resent having to babysit. I do worry about people getting hurt, and when I'm at a concert that's not my job. I'm not security, nor am I their mother. I shouldn't HAVE to watch out for kids who're too dumb to realise that mosh pits are dangerous.

Renegade Evolution said...

I like the blood...

but no, you go to any goth/industrial/metal/rave show, you will see the babydolls...

I never got the lolita look...then again, I tend to look like an extra from bladerunner, so....

Cassandra Says said...

Ren - Oddly enough I've never seen the lolitas at any other show in the Bay Area. They weren't at Ministry (good thing, or I really would have shoved them in the pit).

Heh, I should have figured you'd like the blood...

Renegade Evolution said...

CS: That look is pretty big on the east coast too, at least in my neck of the woods...nah, I didn't see any at Ministry, but at NIN, Crux Shadows, and a few other shows I've been, yep. I actually posted once about how I just did not get the lolita look...but hey, to each their own I guess.

Victoria Marinelli said...

Late arriving to this post (as is my habit with all your posts, of course), but it gave me a laugh. Just got back from Ozzfest in Columbus, OH and the highlight was definitely hanging out in the autograph tent for Lamb of God and watching the parade of autograph-seekers go by. Such a wacky cross-section of humanity, that. Oh and also, on LoG's tour bus later, some woman showing up on the arm of a member from another band (I wasn't invested enough to find out which band) dressed in a manner I won't even attempt to describe, and also speaking loudly and in a bizarrely non-contextualized manner about how she did or did not want to shove various objects up her "vag." I just kind of stared at her, wanting to say something to the effect of, "Oh honey, I hope you're getting some kind of fulfillment out of being this dude's arm candy, 'cause you're really making an ass of yourself."

The funny thing was that when the pair stepped onto the bus, they were interrupting a passionate discussion about feminist literary theory and related matters which I was having with Cindy (LoG's singer's wife). (An odd setting for that type of conversation, to be sure.) The desperate fangirl shtick was just so sad to witness like that (of course I've seen it hundreds of times, as performed by myriad other desperate fangirls). I was torn between wanting to offer her a hug or something or just ignoring her. Went with ignoring her. The guerrilla sociologist in me would still love to know how she'd have reacted to the hug offer (with stupefaction? with violence? some combination therof?) but cest la vie.

Cassandra Says said...

Victoria - You live! I was starting to worry about you.

The fangirl thing is...special. I've gotten to the point where I actively avoid socialising with musicians, which is a shame as I'm sure SOME of them are perfectly decent human beings, mostly out of a desire to avoid the fangirls and avoid being mistaken for one.

I'm glad you had fun at Ozzfest, BTW. I'm probably not going since I left it too long to get tickets and the process looks a little complicated this year.

Random though RE fangirls and the dudes who love them...I've always wondered if the guys are actively selecting for stupidity or if it's just that women with brains don't tend to make themselves avaliable in an "I live to be your arm candy, oh master" way.

Cassandra Says said...

Also - I finally heard Otep. I like her.

Victoria Marinelli said...

Yeah, well, I was starting to worry about me, too. Glad you were able to catch OTEP! And too bad re: Ozzfest... I'd thought of emailing you to see if I could set you up w/ tix and whatnot, then of course learned they were free this year, so kind of spaced on any further action on that front. Another time, perhaps... dunno if '08 will be free, too. (Of course I have no pull whatsoever unless LoG is playing.)

Re: I've always wondered if the guys are actively selecting for stupidity or if it's just that women with brains don't tend to make themselves available in an "I live to be your arm candy, oh master" way. I suspect it's a bit of both, and also a matter of some women out of vast insecurity successfully aping the appearance of stupidity in order to snag that symbolic win of a Righteous Metal Dude/reverse arm-candy.

FWIW, I figured out who the dude was, if not his arm-candy-accompaniment: Mike Spreitzer of Devildriver. If the woman in question was someone other than a mere roadside attraction (like an actual girlfriend, wife, whatever), I might feel bad about the above characterization, but geez, that dialogue (really it was just a sort of staccato monologue) was just so sad to hear.

I'll get a post up eventually about the trip, once I can stop being so endlessly distracted by the latest crapfest issuing from dumbass hackativists and the feminists of all varieties they're all excited about attacking, bleah. (This has not been a good week for one with manic tendencies... I get way too sucked in by it all, and for what?)

Okay, tangent over. Take care o' yer bad self.