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Take A Step Back: Artists Have Always Stopped Shows For Crushes

This is how an artist should handle a crush
The hippy masters of caring for their fans

The Travis Scott concert disaster has weighed heavy on my mind today, and I thought long and hard before saying anything at all. My heart is breaking for those that died at this show, and those who are injured, as well as everybody there that had to witness and survive the horror. My sincere condolences and outrage goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy.

I could write something about the intense Satanic imagery of the stage and set at his Astroworld performance – it is absolutely undeniable, I considered detailing the many eyewitness statements that say before the crush and panic someone was stabbing people with needles, but to be frank, that is so much speculation, and even if I do believe it, so what…I can’t prove it. I am more than concerned to read that eyewitnesses seem to suggest many more died than eight, and yet the news is still saying there are only eight dead.

What we do know for sure is that many were injured, and eight people lost their lives likely due to the fact that Travis didn’t stop the damn show, and that it was an orgy of people being encouraged to rage in an overpacked venue. Damaging panic frequencies, the “see Ya on the other side” neon light message (Ya- WEH? – the name of God? Suspicious to say the least, when the tee shirts spelt it YOU instead….), the inverted cross stage and the hell mouth appearance of the set design aside, there has always been problems with crushes at shows.

Patti Smith went out of her way to deal with a crush, telling people to “get cool, stay cool” and “stop pushing” during a performance of Dancing Barefoot. The Grateful Dead had a regular number called Step Back, where they calmly directed those at the back to take a step back, and then those at the front to loosen up, asking if people could ‘breathe yet’. Adele handled a fainting fan with kindness and aplomb, stopping the show and making sure someone cared.

If only someone cared enough at the Travis Scott show who could have done something about it, and stopped the show, got the lights up and got help for those people who were being crushed to death and trampled on. There are a great many stories of heroism on the part of other concert goers, who seem to have been treated like bit players in Travis’s egotistical charade. One of his most famous songs is called Sicko Mode. He sings about ‘going crazy’ whipping the crowd up into a frenzy. No one should be ‘playing for keeps’ or having to ‘pay the price’ for the privilege of going to a show. If you listen to the first part of the show, the bass tone is extremely ‘off’ and disorientating, one of those ‘harmful frequencies’ that Lou Reed talked about in Metal Machine Music. The entire vibe is incredibly dark, and the ending with demonic holographic. At 4.20 on the Travis Scott show you can clearly hear people scream ‘Help! We are trapped’….how could Travis not have heard them?

I hope everyone gets some real answers soon, not the usual brush off and echo chamber of ‘fact checking’ but the real honest to goodness truth. The families of those that lost loved ones deserves at least that.

Compare this with people screaming for help at around the 4 minute mark.

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