But for those who want to know…let me recount to you my experience from last night (spoilers will be clearly marked, don’t worry).
So at the beginning of the semester, I purchased a ticket and a hotel reservation for the show in Minneapolis on a lark, knowing full well I’d miss class and would have to make the 6-hour drive twice (because…one way and then the other way lol). Because I was depressed and tired of feeling like I wasn’t living life.
I did the whole tedious driving thing (that was a fucking ordeal - thanks Google Maps!) and arrived roughly an hour before the doors opened. The early-birds seemed like cool people - I just had to butt into a conversation about Vocaloid (they were wondering which one Porter used - it’s Avanna, he explicitly stated as such before Sea of Voices was even revealed - and they were throwing out guesses like IA, who doesn’t have an English bank, and Miku ENG, whose voice is too high and accented). Too bad they weren’t the majority, but we’ll get to that later.
Some weirdness happened regarding my ticket. After giving me the ticket, the dude told me to "check in at the merch booth". Dude at merch booth had no idea what I was talking about, and nor did anyone else. Chuckling was had and I promised I’d come back after the show to buy a shirt (which I did and am wearing proudly while I’m typing this - and the guy remembered my name and seemed to like me :D).
Opening for Porter was Lemaitre and Giraffage. Lemaitre actually had a three-piece band setup, with an awesome drummer, a young-looking dude all the ladies liked who played guitar and synth, and the lead singer, who would play on a moog and also occasionally sing (obviously). I think the mixing was off - I couldn’t really hear him or the guitarist very well, while the drums and bass were very LOUD (so basically, club mixing for a band setup). I was wearing earplugs to protect my hearing though, so keep that in mind. The mixing’s on the venue, not them. They were pretty good, and everyone seemed to be relatively into them, despite being (sigh)…let’s get to that later.
Up next was Giraffage, who played a mainly atmospheric trap and R&B set with stage visuals rivalling Dillon Francis’ Bootleg Fireworks music video in terms of surrealness (lots of kittens, puppies, and….Sailor Moon sprites?). This is where it became really apparent that this crowd was fucking stupid, but again, we’ll get to that later.
After a long wait, Porter walked on stage, and that’s when it began.
I’m a straight-edge. I’m so straight-edge that the only drug I do is caffeine (and even then, sparingly, because my meds really make it punch me out). I was so fucking enraptured by this performance. Outsiders of the scene who look at the stereotypical raver fucknut on Molly think that people go to shows on drugs to get that surreal, entranced experience. And that’s fucking true if you go see Martin Garrix drop Animals for ninety-minutes, because that’s the only way you can enjoy that shit.
Porter just…fucking did it. It was like magic. I was not myself anymore…well, more like…my true self. I felt stripped down to my bare core - truly, a machine, an alien entity, but it was alright, he was speaking my language. I felt a connection to him and the music and the stage and the lights so strong that even thinking about it makes me cry.
You have to understand, I don’t feel connections with people most of the time. One of the biggest problems plaguing my life right now is the constant feeling of being a stranger on a planet I was born on, and the isolation and loneliness it gives me.
I was up there, up front against the barricade, right in the middle, Porter was like nine feet away, and I was crying through a massive smile and singing through my tears like I had known every word my entire life. Singing to him, because it felt like my true self had been drawn out from under all the shit buried underneath and I wanted him to know that, that he summoned me forth from the dark ether I had been trapped in for years. My true self, there.
I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was such a raw wave of energy and emotion on such a massive scale. I’m not sure if I could ever feel that way again. Not unless I were to become a producer myself and take a similar path, giving myself a method to forge a similar connection with others using music. How I wish I could do that! But…still stuck here. I vented to one of my new internet friends about how the next day (aka today) was going to suck because be I’d driving back, getting closer and closer to a life I fucking hate.
Like with going to the psych ward, I’m now expected to continue life like before…and I can’t. I just can’t. I can play along with this for now, but I need that connection in my life again. I want to do that, what Porter is doing, for a living. I want that to be my life. I want my profession to be fostering connections with people through music so I - and they - feel less alone. I want to make people happy. Especially those who feel like they don’t belong here, and just can’t seem to gel with the vast majority of the people they meet.
[HERE COME THE SPOILERS]
I can’t even really remember the order of the songs properly.
Sea of Voices was invoked first, "I’ll see creation come undone" ringing out through the walls, then Sad Machine appeared in its entirety before Easy - yes, "Loving you is easy" - came in with Evander floating around on the screen and snippets of the music video. Then Divinity, with inexplicably Taokaka from Blazblue (literally, it’s her in-game sprites) punching to the beat in between surreal and gorgeous imagery. All of them, gorgeously blended.
And then Flicker. Holy shit, Flicker. You think that song hits hard by itself, try hearing it on a proper show setup. Followed by Years of War, using old-school JRPG-esque graphics.
Fresh Static Snow made me cry, I felt like I was singing so hard to express that he’ll never know my name, but I’ll cry for him. Different from the lyrics, but the sentiment was so strong…
AND THEN UNISON. I can’t even fucking remix that song now, because Porter already wrote the remix I wanted to do. He used the melodic extension that Knife Party put in their remix, and the production, and just…FUCK. It was so gorgeous.
AND THEN FELLOW FEELING. Suddenly assaulted by ugliness and scary imagery of a man with the head of a dear skull carrying a torch alternating with a green figure doing the same thing. This was mixed in with one of his older songs whose name escapes me (SAY MY NAME WITH HONORRRR), before the strings kicked in and holy shit. The skull leaves the figure as the strings play and the proper drop with them kicks in.
AND SEA OF VOICES. THOSE CHORDS. DO YOU EVEN KNOW
LIONHEARTED, Porter playing the drum hits himself using electronic pads! Singing the vocals! EVERYONE SINGING THE VOCALS, THE DROP
And then Goodbye to a World, which made me cry really hard. Porter was having so much fun fucking with the vocals at the end for about three minutes without a care in the world. And then walked off stage.
AND THEN CAME BACK AND PLAYED LANGUAGE AND EVERYONE LOST THEIR SHIT.
Conspicuously absent in hindsight were Polygon Dust (which is weird because…it features Lemaitre. The vocalist is physically around) and Hear the Bells. I suppose they couldn’t be fit into the narrative, because as surreal as everything was, there seemed to be two or three stories going on during the show. It was so AMAZING.
[UBER DOWNER ADDENDUM BECAUSE FUCK THIS CROWD]
Now for the downer part…the fucknuts who made up most of the crowd. I don’t know what the fuck it is with Minneapolis people, but they make the worst fans of anything, I swear. Every time I played at the Final Five, the goddamn hockey fans in Minneapolis were always so fucking rude and obnoxious. We’d have to guard the cheerleaders with our instruments and superior numbers to keep them from being harassed and assaulted.
Evidently, this carries over to their fucking rave scene, because the people in this crowd were just so fucking stupid.
As the drunkenness of like 90% of the attendees set in during Giraffage’s set, the environment started getting more annoying and violent the longer the set went, which was unfortunate because I was really into it for the first ten minutes - this guy was good.
First I kept being bumped repeatedly by this fucknut couple who wouldn’t stop grinding on each other (seriously, fuck these two, I’ll explain later). That’s where the "favoring my right arm" tweet came from, because I was running periodic pocket checks to make sure no one had attempted to take my things with how tightly we were packed, and they were juuuuust at the right fucking height to keep bumping into my right elbow, which still has all its hardware in it AND HURTS.
Second, I had a major autistic moment (and I mean this with the utmost sincerety - my social algorithm just crashed) when I was accosted by a girl on…something who clearly didn’t get the memo that this wasn’t a rave. She came up to me, most of her face covered with a cloth with sequins sewn in and kandi everywhere, and offered a flashing ball to me. Just came up to me and held it out to me. "W-what…do you want me to keep it or…?" I guess she just wanted me to play with it or something. I handed it back to her after she did this bizarro dance around me and then proceeded to writhe on the floor, seizure-like (but not instinctively unnerving enough to actually be a seizure). I did another pocket check to make sure my cash wasn’t missing or something.
Look, I don’t want to judge…but come on, it’s even in the confirmation e-mail that this isn’t a goddamn rave. This isn’t EDC, a smooth trap set isn’t a good fucking time to just bustle your way in between people and play up how "ravey" you are. She luckily wasn’t anywhere near me during Porter’s set.
But the biggest fucking thing happened during Porter’s set. At one point early on, I managed to finally secure a spot up in front, where I could actually see stuff because I’m tiny and everyone towers over me. About twenty minutes after this, the bitch in the fucknut couple pretty much bodychecks me out of my spot and drenches me in vodka in the process (‘cause she’s holding her drink whooooo paaaaarty FUCK OFF). This actually pissed off the girls around me more than it pissed me off, mainly because I was just in plain shock from the sudden new stimulus and being ripped out of my connection. One girl, who was shorter than me, had her spot up front and was pretty pissed, while one of the girls behind me, who also got drenched in vodka and had to deal with the prick in the fucknut couple, actually forced her way up front for the sole purpose of allowing me to get back where I was. "I think it’s because you look like a nice person", she told me, referring to why the bitch bodychecked me. Man, I need tattoos.
So while I’m back in my trance up front, the shorter girl on my right help keeping me in place (I think everyone in the closest vicinity who wasn’t drunk knew how into it I was, which was why they were so sympathetic), I have to hold onto the barricade for dear life because the fucknuts are next to me, grinding and shit and bumping me repeatedly again. At one point the prick elbows me in the back of the head, because it’s not a fucking drop if you don’t have your arms up and out to the beat of the music. Fuck you.
I and the already-incredibly-pissed girl also got hit with alcohol two more times (she got a third time on top of that), because fucking assholes can’t go to Porter’s show, WHICH SERIOUSLY IS NOT A RAVE TO RAGE TO, without fucking drinks in hand, red solo cups and everything and with glowy hats that say "bass" on it. Fuck you.
Like, seriously, I was at Dada Life in Winnipeg a couple of years ago. 12th Planet opened for them. That’s a show you rage to. And people raged to it. I got hit with water once because a guy next to me dumped it on himself (to be fair, that venue was VERY hot). That’s all that happened to me at that show. That’s how you fucking rave.
Not that this was a rave. How these pricks didn’t get the memo was beyond me. I was kinda hoping that Porter would stop the show and call out the assholes in the crowd, but he already did that a few nights ago. That’d get old fast, I’d imagine.
Fucking frat boys and obnoxious couples. Is it like this everywhere?
I am a computer programmer who resides in the slightly-less-Frozen-North.
I love coding, electronic music, video games, Pendulum, anime, eating, a good night's sleep, Starbucks Frappuccinos, Vocaloid, and cats.
Huge fan of Caligula's Horse, Knife Party, Madeon, Pendulum, Porter Robinson, Spor. Listens primarily to video game music, OverClocked Remix tracks, electro house, and drum & bass.
Important Programming Stuff
Languages that I work in for homework all the time: C/C++
Languages I'm well-acquainted with: C/C++, Java
Languages I'm somewhat-acquainted with: Perl, Python 2
Languages I'm learning for fun: Python 3
I am very well-acquainted with Linux - my favorite distro is Arch Linux, with Lubuntu being in second. I know how to install and run Linux-based server software and how to code on them remotely.
If you would like my resume, LinkedIn, and/or portfolio, please contact me at SystemsOnlineAndReady AT gmail.com.