So this past weekend I had the privilege of finally attending one of my favorite rappers’ concerts here in Houston. He’s been given a plethora of nicknames over the years such as Futureveli, Super Future, Future Hendrix, the Astronaut Kid, and Future Vandross, but he’s more widely known just as Future. If you haven’t been living under rock for the past couple of years and even remotely follow rap, you should know that my mans had made quite the run, putting out back to back widely acclaimed projects. Now I was a fan of his well before this recent run, but after the “56 Nights” mixtape dropped, I became a die-hard fan. With that in mind, as soon as the Purple Reign Tour was announced and Houston was a stop, I knew I would be there. The show was probably one of the best experiences of my life and one that will for sure go down in the books; most likely I’ll even end up telling my unborn grandchildren about it. I mean the optics couldn’t have been any better: it was in Houston, home of dirty Sprite, during the month of March, while March Madness is going on, and he performed one of the top 10 songs ever, “March Madness.”
During all the fan-girling that was going on, I couldn’t help but notice the tons of phones being held in the air to take pictures or record videos for Snapchat throughout the whole show.
But let’s rewind a little bit first.
I’d consider myself a pretty avid concert goer compared to most people. When someone I like to listen to comes into town, if I don’t end up seeing them the first time around, I will most likely be there the second time they perform here. Yes, I know it’s 2016 and no, I didn’t arrive here in a time machine. I know what has been going on for the past several years at concerts and performances, mainly because I’ve seen it first-hand. People get off on the idea of showing and telling people that weren’t in attendance, more than actually living in the moment and enjoying it themselves.
Now usually concert-goers acting as if their phones are candle lights doesn’t bother me, but this was Future. We all came there to rock out to one of the greatest phenoms of our generation and everyone was taking pictures. Or recording. Or playing on snapchat. Even DJ Esco came out recording himself on stage for a good couple of minutes. Now I have to admit that I am a little guilty of this too, since my phone is currently full of some pretty good shots of the show. However, there’s a difference between taking some snaps here and there for later use and only lowering your phone during the concert to rest your arms. There were times throughout the show when some of Future’s stronger songs in his discography were being played and I was turning up more than everyone around me. I could hear my own voice at times rapping along to the lyrics, something that should NEVER EVER happen.
I’m not sure when we made this shift from the general populous being somewhere and living and breathing it for themselves to making every single action for the eyes of people that are not there, but here we are and it looks like we’re here to stay. Maybe the only way to stop all this is to confiscate phones upon entrance, or just ban cellphone use outright like Prince does. But as you know, only Prince is Prince. Until artists get to Prince level (a place where they will probably never be), this is something we just have to deal with. I’m not sure where we’re headed but at least I was still able to cross a Future concert off my bucket list.
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