Foo Fighters Fans Cause Earthquake During New Zealand Concert

foo fighters new zealand earthquake 2011
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Yes, I’ve felt the ground move underneath my feet and my heart rumble and shake in my chest at many concerts before. And when I heard the news about this seismic Foo Fighters concert I knew we had to explore this strange and amazing geological event with you.

According to a Foo Fighters press release and this blog post from GeoNet:

“…the capacity crowd of 50,000 at the Foos’ December 13 gig at Auckland, New Zealand’s Western Springs Stadium generated actual detectable geological tremors.

New Zealand media reported that nearby monitoring stations in Herne Bay and Eden Park picked up tremors consistent with those generated by a volcanic event–except that the shaking coincided precisely with the Foo Fighters performance, even including “lulls in the signal between the songs and peaks in signal intensity during the songs.

Reading further on the GeoNet blog I discovered that it wasn’t the music that caused the seismic shifting but it was primarily the fans dancing that did it:

The cause of the shaking is most likely the weight of the 50,000 fans dancing, as 50,000 fans is equal to around 5,000 tonnes of mass moving(or moshing)on the ground for the duration of the concert. This set up a nice harmonic vibration in the ground which was recorded in our nearby borehole seismometers.

This is really a fasinating story that fits perfectly in to our ongoing celebration and exploration of the Foo Fighters fan’s concert experiences.

What’s Your Seismic Story?

If you were at the show or have witnessed a similar seismic experience during one of your favorite band’s concerts, share your story in the comments below.

We’ll also take a deeper dive into this topic and see what other concerts have produced tremorous activity. We’ll also look to connect with the folks at GeoNet on future episode of Live Fix Radio, so stay tuned for more.

Special thanks to DRlurch for the rad concert video.

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Watch Winning Fans Rock with Foo Fighters During Garage Tour

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Remember that Foo Fighters contest that gave fans the chance to have the band play in your garage? Well, here’s a 40 minute documentary that chronicles the fans who won. It’s a pretty awesome and emotional doc to watch, and we congratulate the fans who won. And in case you’re wondering, this ain’t the kind of show where Dave Grohl had to kick fans out for fighting.

What About Your Garage?

Enjoy the movie and let us know what band would like to have play live in your garage? Were you in the Foo Fighters Garage Tour movie? Have you seen them live before? Tell us all about your experiences and we’ll share your story during a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Dave Grohl Stops Fight, Kicks Out Fans at iTunes Festival Concert

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Props goes out to Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters for calling out and kicking out two fans who were fighting during their set at the iTunes Festival.

As the Huffington post reports this is what Grohl had to say when the two unruly fans were called out and then eventually escorted out of the venue.

“Hey mothaf*cka! No No No No! You don’t f*cking fight at my show, you as*hole,” Grohl yelled, stopping the entire band in its tracks. After identifying the man — he was wearing a striped shirt — Grohl let out a bunch more expletives before kicking him out. And then let out some more expletives.

Concert Fan Hall of Shame and Wonder Experiment

This moment is really funny to watch unfold, and we’ll be sure to add these two fans to our ever-expanding concert fan hall of shame and wonder experiments.

Will iTunes Edit Grohl’s Classic Moment?

What’s also interesting about this Dave Grohl moment is that it happened during the  iTunes festival which as we reported before is taking place in London and is available via  iTunes’ Festival mobile app.

That said, I’ve started watching the Foo Fighters concert download to see if this incident was included in the download or removed, and so far I haven’t see it yet.

Sure, the profanity might not work, but I’m hoping that iTunes didn’t completely edit the moment out because it’s really a classic concert moment.

And we’re sure those two fans won’t be hosting the Foo Fighters in their garage anytime soon.

Were You There?

Were you at the iTunes festival to witness the fan lashing? We invite you to share your concert experiences in the comments below, so they can be included in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Concert Preview: iTunes Festival 2011

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itunes festival 2011

Continuing our exploration of virtual live music experiences, here’s news about the iTunes Festival 2011, one of the most interactive and mobile events of 2011.

For 31 days, 61 artists will perform live in London and fans can buy tickets to the event or watch the action live on their iPad, iPhone or iTouch.

The lineup includes a wide range of pop, rock, hip hop and other artist like Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, Adele, My Chemical Romance, Mogwai, Coldplay and more, all to perform live at the Roundhouse in North London.

According to the iTunes Festival Website “Tickets for the iTunes Festival are free. You can apply for as many gigs as you like…” on the lineup page.

And when you sign up you are entered for a chance to win the tickets to shows at the Roundhouse. All the performances will be streamed live and recorded for download via the iTunes mobile apps.

I know I’ll be tuning in on my iTouch to see how the shows go, and we invite you to share your iTunes Festival  2011 stories and virtual experiences in the comments below, so we can feature them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Crowd Surfing Through the Mind of Dave Grohl

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NoAirDavidGroehl

 

 Welcome to Part Two as we continue to revisit my original conversation with No Air Guitar Allowed  author Steve Weinberger. In Part One, we began to explore the sweaty crunch and release of mosh pits.  And in Part Two we’re going to explore the mind of artists during performance by quickly crowd surfing through the mind of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. I’m going to jump right into this post, so if you’re just joining us, I suggest taking a quick trip through Part One to get an idea of the purpose for these short exploratory interview snippets.

What is it like inside the mind of the performing artist?

It happens all the time. I’ve done it several times, too.  And when Steve brought up the topic of wondering what goes through the mind of an artist as they look out on to the crowd during a show, he used Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl as an example.

LF: You don’t talk about this idea directly your book. But do you ever wonder if artists think about all the types of crowd behavior going on in front of them while they’re playing?   

Steve: Oh, yes. I’ve wondered about that, too.

Can you give an example of how you’ve wondered what’s going on in the artist’s mind during a concert?

I was at a Foo Fighters concert once and I starting wondering  ‘does David Grohl think about the crowd surfing and other things going on in the crowd while he’s singing? Does it influence how he plays? And does he think it takes away from the music, or is he pleased to see all the types of crowd reactions no matter what they are because it means that the crowd is enjoying the show? That particular Foo Fighters show I was at had both young and ‘older’ fans in the crowd, so I also wondered what Grohl thought of the younger crowd enjoying the music by crowd surfing and doing a bit a moshing, too.

 

 Do Artists Really Think About Crowd Behavior?

It’s true. Besides playing their instruments and performing well.  Steve was right in his wondering. Because most artists do think about the crowd and all the behavior going on in front of them.  I’ve asked this question to various artists when I’ve interviewed them. And I always get different responses.  But each response always confirms, in some way, that there’s definitely some kind of thinking  going on in the mind of the artist about the crowd’s behavior and reaction to the music.

Each artist has their own varied degree of interest and responses to crowd behavior. Some artists think about how the crowd is behaving and it has a direct influence on the performance. Some see it as an asset and other see it as an obstacle. I’ve even seen some artists get nervous if there’s no response, or the crowd responds in a way they didn’t expect them to.  

That being said, even though the artist are usually the ones amplified and elevated during the concert, the fans still possess the power to influence the artist and the show’s emotional trajectory. Knowing that, it ‘s really amazing to think about how much control  and power fans have over the artist’s mind and performance during the show.

Emotional Ebb and Flow

Some artists will admit this truth and use the crowd’s emotional  inertia to their advantage. I’ve experienced this several times where an artist will deftly recycle the crowd’s projected emotion and re-inject it back into the performance on the fly. Sometimes this happens directly or indirectly. But it only happens when an artist is flexible, vulnerable and open to the emotional ebb and flow of the show.  And that openness it usually what transforms an average show in to a transcending show that the fan never forgets. A few artists that I’ve recently reviewed come to mind such as Saul Williams, Daniel Johnston, Lady Sovereign, M.Ward, Kanye West and Radio Head.

All of those artists connect with the crowd in their own way and on different levels using their own unique method. But usually it’s only those types of artists who have the talent to be open to, aware of and tap into the crowd’s emotional barometer.  What it usually comes down to is whether or not an artist is willing to give up part of the control over the performance.  If they do then the fan will likely be lifted off their feet for two hours and beyond.

Artists who have a strong emotional connection with fans during a live show also have a deft ability to wisely acknowledge the fan’s control over the live performance. When those artists  give up the control they end up realizing how great their show can be.  In the end, artists who understand how important it is to respect the emotional relationship between them and the crowd are the ones who make their show stand out from the rest.

Have you ever wanted to walk through the mind of your favorite artist during their performance?

What have you wondered about lately at a live concert?

If you’re an artist, I’d like to get your perspective on this, too.

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Exploring The Sweaty Crunch and Release of Mosh Pits

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NOAIRMoshpit

When I spoke with No Air Guitar Allowed author Steve Weinberger about his new book back in April, we talked about many aspects of live concert culture. But I wasn’t able to fit everything we talked about into the original interview post. So in this three part series I’ll be sharing with you three topics that were not included in the originally posted interview. 

Part One: What’s the Purpose of Mosh Pits?  

Part Two: Crowd Surfing Through the Mind of Dave Grohl

Part Three: Can Rock Concerts Reshape the Family System?

And like always, my conversation with Steve was just the beginning to the larger conversation with you.  So as you read this short series of reflective snippets from the original interview, please feel free to join in the conversation by adding your own comments below.

What’s the Purpose of Mosh Pits?

Mosh pits are one of the most interesting and fascinating phenomenons of live concert culture.  They’re such a major part of concert culture that some have even taken the liberty to right down actual mosh pit rules and guidelines to follow.

Having been in several mosh pits myself over the course of my concertgoing career, I know that mosh pits can be euphoric, exhilarating and dangerous places to enjoy music and express yourself.  Every time I see a mosh pit begin to twist and snarl at the foot of the stage, I wonder who created mosh pits and what purpose they serve for concert fans who love to create them.

Here’s what Steve had to say when I asked him about mosh pits.

LF: Do you have any ideas on why mosh pits exist? Do you think fans who love mosh pits get an endorphin release that makes them want to be in a mosh pit?  

Steve: From a physiological perspective, I don’t fully understand the whole concept of mosh pits. But I do have some theories and ideas about why they exist. I think hat there are many ways fans connect with each other at at concert. And when fans take part in somethng like a mosh pit, I believe the mosh pit allows the individual fan to make the ultimate connection to the larger group of fans. I figure it’s also a powerful connection that they might not experience anywhere else in their life so they do it a concert. I would also say that mosh pits are one of the ways that fans celebrate the feeling of the music with each other. 

At some level, though, I do think that people who enjoy mosh pits are receiving some kind of emotional or chemical release that’s pleasurable. It’s their way of connecting with the show and other concertgoers all at once.

 

Are Mosh Pits Extreme Self-Expression or More Like Sweating to the Oldies? 

Steve’s responses really got me thinking differently about mosh pits.  I’ ve started to wonder if fans who enjoy mosh pits use it as a form of self-expression, or even exercise.  It’s easy to dismiss mosh pits as places of pain, negative emotion and juvenile displays of aggression. But I think there are other ways to look at mosh pits that might show us more about those who enjoy mosh pits and those who don’t. And I wonder, would a closer study of mosh pits show us how we’ve evolved as a culture when it comes to expressing ourselves in a large group setting?

We’ll definitely explore the origins of the mosh pit more on Live Fix. And I’d like to start by getting your take on mosh pits.

Are mosh pits…good? Bad? Helpful? Important? Worthless?

Have you ever been in a mosh pit, or watched one from a distance?

All photos and images in this series are provided courtesy of Steve Weinberger from No Air Guitar Allowed.

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Rothbury Festival 2009 Lives On

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If you haven’t heard yet Rothbury 2009 will (likely, supposedly, hopefully) happen. Though it doesn’t necessarily show on the festival’s website, it’s been a long road for Rothbury festival promoters Madison House, but together with AEG they struck a deal that was approved by a federal Bankruptcy Court Judge on January 6th as reported in the Muskegon Chronicle.

I’m still curious because of what I read in the above stories.

And I wonder how these types of leasing arrangements will affect the local real estate market and other festivals affected by the nationwide real estate meltdown.

“AEG would pay $285,000 to lease nine parcels of land in the 2,000-acre resort in Oceana County’s Grant Township through Aug. 30. The only buildings the festival would use would be the Art Barn and the Rodeo Arena, according to the proposed lease.”

“The proposed 2009 lease does not include a $50,000 bonus and a payment based on 10 percent of all food and nonalcoholic beverage sales during the event, provisions that were in the 2008 contract signed by resort owners Bob and Joan Lipsitz.”

But in the meantime let the rumor mill start turning for possible headliners: Phish, AC/DC and Foo Fighters.

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The Grammys: Fifty Years of What Exactly

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I had to settle down a bit and let some of the steam off so I apologize for un-blogger like nature of this unprompt post. I have a good reason, though. It’s taken nearly a week to let what I saw happen (or didn’t in this case) during the Grammys settle in my head so I could make at least some sense of what I watched for yet another mostly insignificant, boring and bloated three and a half hours.

Let’s start outside the Staple Center with what took place on the My Grammy Moment stage. Having three young musicians compete for the chance to play the string part of the Foo Fighters “The Pretender” was absolutely terrible. If this is the Academy’s way of “looking forward” into music’s future then the Academy needs to get to the nearest pop music eye doctor (hopefully one that treats sonic myopia) because their eyes are so dry, crusty and degenerate that they’ve gone so far as to cast yet another fabricated image of a legend (Frank Sinatra with Alicia Keys here in 2008) in hopes of cleverly celebrating music’s past, present and future. If it was 1992 and Dave Grohl was drumming behind Kurt Cobain then maybe the Grammys might be cutting edge. But then it wouldn’t be the Grammys who in 1992 didn’t recognize Nevermind when it was released.

Music’s present? The Foo Fighters? They’ve made the same record over and over again and there are a dozen other bands that could better fill the role and shine on the Grammy center stage as music’s present and future. And since were talking about the Foo Fighters I have to say it was a complete travesty that Wilco had to lose to Dave Grohl. Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky album and front man Jeff Tweedy’s songwriting is as cutting edge and generation defining as you can get. If the Academy was so concerned about looking to the future maybe they should’ve given best Rock Album to Wilco had them play and not to Dave Grohl.

Even if he does suffer from a mega-bloated ego, I do have to credit rapper/producer Kanye West and robot-housers Daft Punk for the giving both hip hop and French-house a supreme showing via “Stronger.” But it was West’s fashionable (with “MAMA” shaved into his hair) and gritty performance of a lyrically remixed “Hey Mama” in light of his mother’s death that brought much needed raw and anxious emotion to the Grammys. Graduation was the next logical step in West’s career but not the best of 2007. But, at least, the Grammys are somewhat hip to understanding current hip hop with giving nomination to Common’s last two albums and deft at displaying their enabling skills and desire to avoid any potential meltdowns by giving Best Rap Album to one of pop music’s biggest stars. And of course it wouldn’t be the Grammys or a true West acceptance speech without the usual dose of narcissism and ego as West stopped the band from cutting him off, “ it’d be in good taste to stop the music….” And we can all thank Vince Gill for saying what we all wanted to say who after he was handed his Best Country Album by Ringo Star and saidm looking at a seated West, “Wow…I just had my award handed to me by a Beatle….have you had that happen to you Kanye?”

For three whole minutes I actually enjoyed the Grammys and developed a knew appreciation for Tina Turner as she upstaged Beyonce and every last inched of her over-hyped booty. I hope Beyone was taking notes on how to sign and perform with true soul and not just hollow flashy bling and sex appeal. And a few days later Beyonce received much understood flack from the real “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin for putting soul’s crown on the wrong head.

Tabloid exploits sell records. And according to the Academy also aide in getting the most votes for Album of the Year, too. It was Amy Winehouse via sataliite (because of visa restrictions) from London nightclub who with her sassy grins and insinuating inflections during both songs, especially “Rehab,” made the Grammys somewhat entertaining. After Best Album was announced she hugged her band, thanked her parents and gave a shout out to her Blake in prison and seemed so shocked to have won. I guess she doesn’t read her own tabloids and leaves the reading (and the voting) up to the Academy.

For some reason I remember the Grammy’s being more fun to watch, more cutting edge. As a fan looking for inspiration from the Grammys I tend to relate with DJ Shadow and Mix Master Mike who in the Turntablist documentary Scratch site the genesis of their inspiration to seeing the scratching Herbie Hancock’s 1984 Grammy performance of “Rocket.” Maybe some youngster was inspired by West and Daft Punk and I know my disdain is not because I’ve gotten older but mainly because the Grammy have shown for several years how they hold an unnessary and unworthy amount of weight in determining what current music is important and where music is headed. This truth is that the Grammys are getting less and less significant in determining what music is important and why and here in the 21st century music is made and distributed and consumed by more fans than ever in the history of music so it should be no surprise that an event like the Grammy’s wouldn’t hold as much weight as it once did. For the last few years the independent Plug Awards have been celebrating independent music, and its many subgenres, and more accurately points to where music is and where it’s heading. When the Grammys started out back in 1958 nobody thought or intended it to grow to what it is today. And it appears the pull that the Grammys have had over the last fifty years, like the major labels, has started to lessen and their grip on the future of the industry is more fragmented than the Academy might like to admit. Time will certainly tell if this is true but all I know is that, aside from a West’s and Turner’s performance, I spent most of the time squinting towards the bottom of the screen to see the scrolling list of artists (Chemical Brothers, Lupe Fiasco, among others…) who won awards but weren’t invited to play or appear during the big show. That’s the award show I would’ve like to watch but they don’t televise those awards.

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