Pink Microphone Stand.
I think my rugged friend who accompanied me to the Avril Lavigne concert (called the Best Damn Tour!) would be quite embarrassed to reveal his identity. So Akshay, I'll keep your blog and orkut links a secret!
Since this was not a conventional 'rock' performance, we both had expected a slightly different audience for the show. We found our seats in an organized row of chairs, numbered and tagged. Hmmm...The audience milled around us for a long while before the show started. Average age of fans - 10-14 years. Profile: Little girls in pink outfits, squealing and moving in hoards unapologetically excited about everything around them. They say music knows no boundaries. But I am sure its an exception when you are a decade older and over two feet taller than your neighour. Its not the same you know.
Pink Streaked Hair.
When did Avril turn into this powerpuff caricature ? An overdosage of what young americans succinctly describe as Cooties. The overwhelming pink rekindled a fundamental doubt - Is the blatant association of pink with chirpy girls (or females in general) genetic or a conditioned fact like the Red Santa Claus?
If I haven't established it yet, we were misfits in the stadium. The music was good. For a few like Sk8er Boi and Complicated, we even sang along subtly. But we ruled out other public displays of zestfulness. Because headbanging is a lot like fooling with your girlfriend. Its comfortable doing it in privacy. You feel awkward if others are watching and judging you. And some swigs of alcohol can drive away all those apprehensions, crashing your social discomfort. But there was no daaru and consequently no headbanging. I am sure the little girls wouldn't have judged us negatively had we squealed and grooved with them. But we chose not to do so.
I liked the earlier albums of Avril Lavigne and frankly the new image wasn't palatable for me. But I guess the American music industry has perfected the art of slicing the audience into groups and moulding artists to suit them. Especially within the female pop artists category, if you peel off that layer of raunchy videos - its clear they are meant to span a spectrum and hopefully stay within their own zones.
Squeaky Clean, not sexy -- Hillary Duff
Slight Rebellion, not sexy -- Avril Lavigne (now changed to occupy squeaky clean spot)
Sexy and Latin Roots -- Jennifer Lopez
Sexy, not rebellious, relationship stuff - Britney Spears (started from a slightly sexy, teen idol image)
Extreme Rebellion, anti relationship stuff - Pink
I feel Christina Aguilera is way better than these singers. But the industry didn't have space beyond Britney Spears for a blonde. So she tried to combine sexy and white blonde with black artists and fell through the crack. Quite a similar fate for Jessica Simpson.
For proof of this insight, here's a recent hit song from Pussycat Dolls called "When I Grow Up".
When I grow up
I wanna be famous
I wanna be a star
I wanna be in movies
When I grow up
I wanna see the world
Drive nice cars
I wanna have boobies
Yes, I am not kidding! You can expect aspiring pre-teens and teenagers copying the booty dance sequences and dreaming about a similar lifestyle.
It took me a while to decide whether to bury this pink incident or be proud of it. I finally documented it here. I also hung a bright Avril flag in my room with a pink skull on it. The next step was the purchase of a pink formal shirt yesterday. You know where its all headed now...
p.s: The orgainzers had provided a 6 inch long tube to each attendee which when triggered would glow in the dark - meant to induce us to wave it rhythmically and feel involved in the slow songs. After observing it for a while Akshay asked, "Chalaana hai kya?" I considered that option and said, "Nahi. Lets take it home. Kaam aaega." So we saved phosphorescent sticks which would glow mildy for possible future usage. It feels good to behave like a Desi in foreign land!
Some Pictures picked from here
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