|This is Disclosure "performing" at a UK Festival.|
in the Hotel Lobby of the W San Diego
Disclosure, in town for a couple days before their sold-out gig at the House of Blues San Diego on Wednesday, took the stage at the W San Diego with all the swagger and majesty of a rock band. The one who isn't wearing sunglasses in the photograph above was actually wearing a guitar. They had microphones for singing/talking, and stood before an array of impressive looking keyboard/synth type apparatus. Watching from the hotel lobby downstairs (which itself requires a wrist band or room key, Disclosure appeared to be performing in a style that they believed would appeal to "rock" Audiences in the United States. A guitar, ok?
And then, two songs in, disaster- a sudden flash of LED lights and poof, the entire set vanished into thin air, all at the same time. Darkness. A five minute pause, and then again: The LED lights, a syncopated 4x4 beat and the beginnings of vocals and keyboard licks. But not, another flash, and Disclosure as a "live" band was done for the night.
So what did they do? They DJed the W Hotel San Diego lobby from the DJ sconce situated above the "Library" bar. And it sounded exactly the same. Exactly the same. I can only guess about what was live and what was Memorex in their initial set up but the answer has to be "a whole lot of it." Not that this bothers me in any way. Sitting in the lobby of the W Hotel San Diego lobby last night watching Disclosure "perform" I was struck by the idea that in some way, the Audience actually is the Artist, in the same way that he people who like something on Facebook are that something.
Using that type of analysis, the performance is essentially meaningless is the Artist-Audience brings a good time without needing any kind of stagey performance type bullshit from the Artist. This kind of Artist-Audience is at the heart of the concurrent rise of EDM, where the "Artist" is essentially a conductor, urging the Artist-Audience onward in paroxysms of Dionysian delight. If you look at this Artist-Audience from a rhetorical standpoint, the Artist-conductor is doing a superb job of communication with the Audience-symphony because of the emotional response they elicit.
I have a simply philosophy when it comes to deciding how much bullshit I am willing to put up with to see new music. "Is it something young women like?" Excluding most top 40 and "screamo" style bands. Young women have been important taste makers since the dawning of what Jon Savage called "the teen age" half a century ago. As young people move away from male dominated critical hierarchies (print publications) as sources for developing their personal aesthetics, the power of young women increases because men are at as great a disadvantage using newer micro medias as women were at using older mass media.
So ultimately if these young women love Disclosure, and they do, who gives a fuck about what some Male critic thinks about their "authenticity" as live performers. And why the fuck does Disclosure think they have to do something like that to gain an Audience? Their Audience doesn't care at all.