Like most people who saw the bill for Bamboozle Left when the new additions were announced last month, there was one name among the list of nonsensical sentence fragments (sorry, band names) that stuck out no matter who you came to see....50 Cent?WTF?! Yeah, you all thought it, don't lie. I did too.
But last night, as I positioned myself a healthy distance away from the stage to see the crowd react as the DJ blasted the night air with gunshot sound effects, I have to say part of me was confused by the reaction of the fans at Bamboozle Left. Here you are, after spending all day ingesting a flurry of everything from pop punk and bro metal to club beats and Kazoozles (one of the weirdest candies I've ever eaten, but good) and all the sudden 50 Cent hits the stage and you've had enough? I'm not sure I get that.
First of all, whether you saw the headliner or not, Fiddy still got your money just by virtue of you showing up. It was funny watching people filter out of the crowd with scouls as the last act took the Wonka Stage. By the way, you also spent money on a festival sponsored by a candy company where the MTV goliaths of Fall Out Boy had rocked the stage on Saturday. So help me understand, was it just the "corporate sell out" feel that turned you off? Or maybe you just don't like rap?
Before we go any further, I think I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that I'm not exactly 50 Cent's number one fan. But if I'm going to a festival where he's the headliner, I know that's where I'm going and that's what I'm going to see at some point. And I'll be damned if I don't party my ass off and make the best of it. Because when it comes down to it, the whole thing is one big commercial ploy that you've already paid for, you might as well get the most bang you can out of it.
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For any bloggers who have contributed to threads on this topic, which is obviously a dead horse by now, chances are you've heard, read or typed things like "Oh, he's only doing it for the money". Yes, you're right, Fiddy did it for the money. So did every band on the bill. The only difference is that you realize 50 was in it for the cash. You think that a band like (i dunno, pick your favorite) didn't sign up hoping for exposure and a some good merch sales? C'mon now. That's the only reason these festivals exist. That's why they call it the music BUSINESS. I think that despite my distaste for a lot of the stupid shit that today's ring tone rappers come up with, they are the most truthful when they just come out and say they're in it for the money and the girls.
However, I have to say that despite the people that left in droves after 9 p.m. I was surprised at how many people stayed. The crowd was packed as 50 and Lloyd Banks and some other dudes who I've never heard of criss-crossed the stage. And when the headliner told them to "put their motha fuckin hands up!" you better believe they did it with the same enthusiasm they showed for Taking Back Sunday or any other band you might describe as "totally different".
As a reluctant memeber of "Generation Text", I can say that one growing trend in this group of teens and twentysomethings is the acceptance of different styles of music with the understanding that it's all just consumerism. Whether you favor adventurous sonic forays into territories unknown or you just like to get on the floor and shake your ass, every style is accessible and always a click away. So why not take a little bit of everything?
So I thought it was rather funny when Taking Back Sunday front man Adam Lazzara was met with a barrage of boos while trying to hype up 50 Cent during his band's riotously well-received performance. Don't quote me but he capped his chastising of the crowd with something like "there's alot of different music out there and you are allowed to like all of them, no matter what your hair cut says." If he can realize that, can't we all?