Blood On The Dance Floor Nile Theater Thursday, April 5, 2012
It's "Holy Week," and this week I accepted a challenge not to criticize or gossip. I've been doing pretty well, reserving judgment on others, but I think it's okay to put all of that on pause for work. Besides, if Blood on the Dance Floor is used to anything, it's criticism, and they thrive on an air of gossip.
The group's combination of trancey beats, emo theatrics, and the presence of controversy magnets Dahvie Vanity and Jayy Von Monroe has earned the band plenty of attention. Critics, of course, aren't into it, but it's not critic's who flock to Blood on the Dance Floor shows, it's tweens, and man did they ever go nuts the moment the band took the stage.
I'm used to being one of the younger people at most shows I go to, but I recognized the older members of the crowd's perplexity, and felt a little of it myself. I went to Warped Tour and I go to raves, but Vanity's screams and the band's thrashing bore little resemblance to the screamo I loved in junior high.
You had to respect the parents of the kids who are open enough to take them to shows like this -- though maybe they saw a little of their youth on stage, too. Like KISS, those arena rock slayers of old, Blood on the Dance Floor came out in full attire, decked out in makeup and unnatural hair colors. And like that band, BOTDF recognizes that it's a pop band first and foremost. Their control over the crowd was unparallelled. Kids lost it, to the chagrin of their parents who had to be wondering, like me, "What the hell is going on?"
It's interesting to note the change-ups in the world of junior high screamo world, and the influence EDM and rave culture have had on it. I saw many kids wearing Kandi and glow sticks, and it made me wonder if the kids knew what Kandi truly is, if they had any idea about its roots in rave culture. The idea of 12 and 15 year-old kids hanging out a rave probably freaks people out, but in many ways that's exactly what a BOTDF show is.
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It was hot and musty in the Nile, and halfway through the set, I was more than ready to leave. This music isn't built for me, but that isn't to say that the band isn't doing their particular thing right. They had kiddos screaming for them and reaching out to touch the band's hands. I don't think that Blood on the Dance Floor's music will ever reach the mainstream, the way similarly theatrical artists like Ke$ha and Lady Gaga have, but in their subset of a subculture, they probably feel nearly as big.
Last Night: Blood On The Dance Floor
The Crowd: Young ducklings, with a few randoms and parentals watching nearby.
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Personal Bias: Yeah, I like bands like Underoath and Chiodos, but my brain couldn't accept these guys into my soon to download list.
Overheard: "There are some hot girls in Mesa!" [Yeah, if you're into the illegal 15-year-old kind of thing.]
Random t-shirts spotted: A Metallica shirt. Really!? I think Metallica would be concerned about last night. And a Tap Out shirt. I bet that guy kicked so many asses.