Highlights of Das Energi Festival 2019
August 26, 2019
August 26, 2019
In the technologically-based world we live in, it was sincerely difficult to imagine a time when we didn’t rely on the invention of the cell-phone so devilishly. The moment I realized that technology had surpassed my expectations and whatever it would become, is when I witnessed the revelation that many children born after the year 2000, like my younger fifteen-year-old brother, never realized what it was like to NOT live in a world governed by the “helper” that is our cell-phone. How can you blame him? If I didn’t have my phone on me at all times, I could find everything I have built in my life so far crumble before me: I wouldn’t get messages from my lovely editor at RB, I would miss engagements with friends, and I would even miss happy hour if my phone didn’t let me know when my local bar would offer discounts on well-liquor.
Possessing our cell-phone has become so much of a “Smeagol-esque” topic, and when we lose our phone or even feel our pocket and not come in contact with that square, flat brick, panic sets into our senses and we make it our mission to find it, or accept the fate of the loss we experienced. Lane 8 took this theory to the extreme when he not only announced, but conducted an experiment of 21st-century: June 3rd, 2016 marked the first installment of the conceptual set entitled, “This Never Happened.” What made this planned show special was that cell phones of any kind were banned from the show, including recording audio or sound. This may seem odd in an increasingly technological world where even artists are having a hard time putting the “no photography, no video” rule on venues because of the versatility of the cell phone and photography.
According to attendee and journalist Luc Hancock, “Throughout the set, phones were non-existent, not even a balloon drop mid-set could entice the crowd to whip out their devices. There was a genuine and engaging energy reverberating throughout the club, and Lane 8 fed off of it.” You would think, just like when the large security guard tells you to stop taking photos at a large event, people would disobey this rule and go bananas that ANYONE would dare tell them what to do with that important electronic device other than keep it out.
As you can tell from the quote above, Hancock witnessed a transformation of the crowd: as cell phones were almost not even in place, Lane 8 devoured the crowds energy as if people came there to, this is just me putting the idea out there, but actually watch the show? As condescending as that last quip may come off, we are sometimes trapped through the lense of our cameras and Snapchat stories because we are in constant battle to prove to everyone that we were there. Showing that we attended the event gets us all the likes on Facebook, retweets on twitter, and the biggest factor, “Wows” from our friends. As a concert-going culture that almost forces us to retweet a hashtag or post a picture stating it as proof, concerts and events have sometimes transferred the “proving grounds” of who is the bigger fan, or how close you are to the stage, than actually enjoying the show.
So, from Hancock’s short summary, what can we say “happened” at “This Never Happened?” Well, to be quite honest, nothing. Nothing happened at This Never Happened because there is no digital proof that it even happened. What are we to do when all we are left with are the memories of the show? We start to resemble our parents, who, if they attended concerts, will most likely view it with rose-colored glasses and even get setlists wrong because they are thinking of what they wanted it to be instead of what it was. Isn’t that what we all want, anyway? Phones keep us tied to that alternate reality of the cyberuniverse that takes away the “magic” of the show. When someone like me says “nothing happened,” I am really trying to drill through our heads that everything happened. Yeah, the show was business as usual, but what made Lane 8’s set revolutionary was the raw energy of the days when you couldn’t bootleg a show off your cell-phone, and Lane 8 went ballistic with that energy, sharing it with the crowd as much as molding it himself.
Take it from me: I am going to get cocky for a few seconds and let you know that I have spent thousands upon thousands of my own income supplementing an addiction to attending gigs, letting people know “I was there,” and taking more than 50 albums worth of photos on my old FujiFilm: when you take the camera, cell-phone, or electronic device that binds you to the real world, you feel the release of that energy I spoke of above, and you realize what you have been missing the entire time. Next time you want to get krunk at an event, lay off the snapchat a little bit and come for what you actually paid for: the raw musical experience.