On May 23rd 2014 artist Borgore took the stage at Higher Ground. Now 4 or 5 years ago, I would of been incredibly excited to announce this, I wouldn’t of even wanted to be backstage, I would of probably preferred to be in the crowd soaking up the sound, but this wasn’t really the case.
I don’t often write negative reviews, but I just cannot bite my tongue on this one. I don’t really have anything negative to say about Borgore himself, he is what he is. If you follow his Twitter account or any social media outlets, or listen to any of his songs, I can go over a few titles with you *clears throat* “Nympho”, “Glory Hole”, “Booty Monsta”, “Fame” amongst others, you can get a solid image of the classy motif that he has constructed.
When I first started going to electronic music shows in Burlington, it was mostly college aged kids, my peers and a lot of old timers looking sullenly down at us as we crashed their party, but I can’t imagine they had to witness anything like this. Standing in the press pit I should of worn sunglasses to deflect the ion beams of strobe bouncing off of the gleaming railroad tracks of braces. Like a prepubescent transcontinental railroad of shame, I felt the echoes of my parents “kids these days” crushing through emotional boundaries I wasn’t prepared to cross for another 10 years. I really had a tough time accepting it, the smell of permanent marker permeated the B.O. from the barely clothed adolescents attempting to perform “light shows” with LED gloves they surely spent hours on YouTube mastering, but one must persevere, after all, the show must go on!
Now that you have a solid idea that the show consisted of barely legal tweens, which by the way made me feel incredibly awkward as I snapped photos, I’d like to talk a little about the music. First the direct support, the W4rriors were a great duo from Montreal, a long standing presence of the once mighty Dubmachine that ruled the bass underworld of our Canadian brothers to the North. I admired their resilience, they openly were shocked at the…youthfulness of the audience, and even tried to introduce them to some more complex music, which I noticed caused a long line at the drinking fountain. After the slow reaction from the crowd, The W4rriors changed tracks, kicked the subs in the ass, and gave the tweenkers what they wanted, trap music and big booty bass. The W4rriors preformed with energy and bravado, they used the microphone to interact with the crowd, danced and really got into what they were playing, they were able to understand their crowd and appreciated all the love they got back in return, I wish I had something similar to say about the main act.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know life on the road can be tiresome, new cities, strange faces, free booze and thousands of girls throwing themselves at you, real tough. But I have never seen an artist look as absolutely MISERABLE as Borgore did that night. I’ve honestly had statistic teachers with more enthusiasm, I really did (Keith Burt, I’m lookin’ at you). It was easy to see, even from the dance floor, there was absolutely no love, no passion, nothing but a rehearsed set of tracks played lackadaisically to a crowd, in all actuality, that had probably waited all month just for this one show. Even the parts where he sung/rapped along to the tune sounded utterly hopeless. Everyone knows that Vermont is not a raging metropolis laden with beaches and a swollen club scene but I have watched DJs, respectable accomplished performing artists, pour their heart and soul out on that stage with an audience half the size. What frustrated me the most was that the artist is being paid to perform, if you are being paid to come play music, any kind of music for a crowd, that absolutely adores you no matter where you are, you have the responsibility as a performer, a fucking entertainer to be passionate, engaging, memorable, something other than looking like a kid being forced to eat his vegetables. For once I really can say that the headlining artist should of really taken a few pointers from their opening act.
Dubstep died to me on that night, and Borgore put one right between the eyes, just to make sure. To the W4rriors and the Big Tooth family, I hope to see you all soon. To the many crowd goers that enjoyed the show please check out some of the photos I grabbed in the link below. And just remember, be a good citizen.