An all-campus email today reveals that hired security personnel, pat-down procedure, strict reentry ban, and, um—oh yeah—the gender binary we all hate will all be involved in keeping you safe at tomorrow night’s already controversialMatisyahu/Chiddy Bang show. “That’s So Wesleyan” Moment of the Day: at least they’re apologizing for getting all heteronormative on our asses:
Pat down lines will be implemented as a security precaution. These lines will be executed in the gender binary. We understand that some students may not feel that one of the two most common gender pronouns may apply to them, but we ask that those students choose to enter whichever line they feel most comfortable in.
[Translation: suck it up, genderqueer folk?]
Unprecedented? Not quite. The last time administrative security of this scale was involved in a non-Spring Fling concert was in December 2008, when Girl Talk played the Bacon Field House to decidedly mixed reactions. Upperclassmen have already noted the parallels Matisyahu/Girl Talk beg, at least in terms of venue (how will the ice rink compare to the Field House?), security, and general logistics. The gender-segregated security pat-down was also an issue in ’08 (scroll for details/bitching). Is it an accurate comparison? Click here for Sheek‘s overview of that concert and its ensuing shitshow:
Reactions to last night’s show were decidedly mixed. Many had the raucous, sweat-drenched Girl Talk experience they expected to, while a lot were underwhelmed for various reasons.
The night started innocuously enough, with entrants separated by sex and thoroughly patted down on the way in. The buzz of anticipation grew as people filtered filtered towards the Bacon Field House and waited for Greg Gillis to come on. At midnight the lights dimmed and stragglers sprinted in. A short surrealist video of sorts starring the Wesleyan Cardinal played on the projectors, and then Gillis ran on stage.
The first song was a shitshow – the front of the crowd rushed the stage as soon as the music started. A violent mosh pit formed on the platform, with everyone trying to either shove their way past each other to grab pieces of Gillis, maintain their balance, or avoid being trampled. This threatened the sound equipment (not to mention the people onstage), and the music stopped while everyone was kicked off stage by security. The ensuing delay was what most people complained about afterwards. Whoever had the mic berated the disgruntled crowd for a few minutes, and the music eventually came back on once the confusion settled down, this time with a row of large volunteers (football players?) standing along the front of the stage.This was effective and probably necessary in keeping people from climbing back on, but it was awkward to watch large unmoving guys chatting with each other on stage and obscuring the view of the artist while everyone below was flailing around, and some seemed to enjoy the role of throwing people off stage a little too much even after things had calmed down. Otherwise, the rest of the hour ran smoothly enough. People danced, Gillis melded all the songs you get drunk to on weekends into a thumping stream of nostalgia, everyone got sweaty. The Bacon Field House looked surprisingly empty towards the back of the crowd – with better security resources and logistical planning, 1,000 more people could easily have fit in the venue (…though fire safety codes might say otherwise). It ended too soon, and it would’ve been nice to have the kind of swarming integration of audience and stage you’d expect at a Girl Talk show, but I felt like I got $5 worth of a live event.
[Photos courtesy of Katherine Yagle ’12 and Alison Klion ’11]
To help you get pumped for billowing waves of sweaty nostalgia on Saturday night (assuming you’re among the half of the student body which should ostensibly have scored a ticket by now), here’s how recent Girl Talk shows went down at other schools:
Brown students were drenched in Greg Gillis’ sweat as he swam over the swelling crowd while opening for M.I.A. at Brown’s Spring Weekend this year.
Yale devolved into a writhing mass of disinhibition in response to Gillis’ “laptop antics and mind-blowing abs”, with double the venue’s maximum capacity crammed into the Dining Hall.
Harvard’s Police Department had to cut the outdoor pre-game pep rally show last month short after multiple failed attempts at crowd control, because hundreds of overeager concertgoers were swarming the stage and compromised its structural integrity.
This is more likely how it’ll be at the Bacon Field House, from a September show at Bates:
The Douglas Cannon has seen fit to grace Wesleying with another e-mail regarding the upcoming Girl Talk concert: Where: Bacon Field House, Freeman Athletic Center When: This Saturday, December 6th at 11:30pm Key Info:
Be there on time! The show will start without you and won’t last long.
“Wesleyan ONLY” really does mean Wesleyan Students ONLY. There will be an I.D. check at door. So, stop hoarding tickets for friends. Instead, please sell them to Wesleyan students that do not have one.
This is a fundraiser for Financial Aid Scholarships. Thus, Scalping for profit = really messed up.