Is this what Plemo meant when he sang about „rock rave shit“? When Justice played at Uebel&Gefaehrlich in Hamburg for their first Germany live set ever the people in front of the stage were acting like they were at Hurricane Festival. Jumping up and down like it was Such A Surge playing, crowdsurfing, yelling, waving the light stick gimmicks they were given for free at the entrance, climbing on stage with a Hamburg flag and the crowd scream. Yeah, some people still dig local patriotism.
The problem is not that the crowd was acting like they were attending a rock show. The problem is that it was indeed a rock show. Many people would act exactly the same if Beatsteaks or The Killers were playing. Is this what they call new rave just without the fancy fashion style? Or is it just the total arbitrariness of today’s twentysomethings who have grown out of their subcultures and surrendered themselves to the office workers and students-soon-to-be-office-workers mainstream of vodka red bull, web 2.0 and private pension fund? Turn on, tune in, freak out, go to work.
All the sweat, the bodies rubbing on each other, the standardized gestures of having a good time, the Marshal cabinets that framed the stage. Becoming part of a bigger something. Together on a quest for happiness in the structures of late capitalism. The formula works. Free admission, some promotional gifts, the invocation of an event make the people feel like they were taking part in something very special, of belonging to the chosen few, the in-crowd, the hip, the cool. In fact they are just people who let a website and a record company tell them what to like.
In the back where I stood the crowd looked different. I saw shirts of Phoenix Bodies, Blood Brothers and Just Went Black. People are little more reserved. Not everyone wants to join the sweating mass in front of the stage. However they came here and I did so, too. We are all coming. Always. Looking for distraction and dispersion. Looking for community and identity. Justice did a good job. Solid beats and a good dramaturgy in their set. But is this culture or consumption? Or doesn’t that make a difference anymore?