It’s weird being at a gig where you just can’t connect. The music’s blaring, beats are flowing and bodies all around you are gyrating energetically to the performance. You, however, stand alone unmoving. I don’t know why it happens, but it’s one of the most isolating things I can think of. This disconnection feels jarring and you start to question what it is driving a wedge between you and the music. Is it a strange emotional or social variance causing this rift? Is it that the music just doesn’t resonate with your subconscious expectations? Did you just eat a shitty burrito that took you down a dark path? That couldn’t be it. I’ve never known burritos to be anything but delicious. A bad burrito is like bad pizza, there’s a certain benchmark that leaves even poor quality meals still acceptable at some level.
Mismatched gigs though, don’t work in the same way. If the music can’t reach you, what hope do you have of getting something out of it? With a “bad” burrito, you’ve still got the base ingredients that complement each other. Beans, cheese, salad, salsa and guacamole just harmonise. Regardless of the quality, they balance each other out, poor beans can be covered by a deliciously spicy salsa. If everything sucks, the cheese will carry it through. If the cheese is off, well spoiled cheese probably becomes just some other flavour of cheese. Blue, perhaps? A blue cheese burrito just sounds goddamn delicious. With a poor gig there can be one imperceptible factor that’s just not clicking and it can throw everything into turmoil. Yet again, the arrangement could be totally fine, but something in your internal make-up just means you’re gonna have a bad time.
I had The Glitch Mob tonight and by all affairs it was as I’ve said. I was keen going into the gig. I’d never listened to their recorded albums, but they’d done a tremendous The Weeknd glitch album. I do love my glitch music, crunchy little shattered remnants of songbites ground together. It’s like taking glass shards and honing them into a bottle, taking all those edges and finding ways to balance them out against each other, forming a new smooth shape from their seemingly haphazard former nature.
Tonight though, those shards just failed to take shape for me. Everyone else seemed to be having a great time. I found a lack of music glitch/breakbeat stuff, erring instead towards Pendulum style heavy electronic riffs and slower bass driven beats. I thought I was down with this whole “wait for the drop” thing, but there was an unknown element missing for me. A certain je ne sais quoi (man, I do feel wanky as shit getting to throw out that term, especially when I’m essentially just rephrasing the same sentence in a different language). It just didn’t hit me, I needed something harsher, more aggressive.
I feel that music, like art, seems to hit you with a sudden connection. I don’t know much about art, but I know that when something appeals to me there’s a massive jolt of recognition. I realise that I’m experiencing something I’ve missed in my life and didn’t know it existed till that moment. When music gives me that jolt it moves me both physically and emotionally. My body moves almost of its own accord. Hell, I love dance music but sometimes it just fails to make its mark. I’m not saying The Glitch Mob did anything wrong, but whatever it was, they failed to grip me and shake my shoulders, hips or arse.
At least a burrito would’ve put a little toot in my booty.