I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Eddie Vedder.
First off, thank you, Eddie Vedder, for making flannel shirts an acceptable fashion trend among straight dudes with no sense of style. If it wasn’t for flannel shirts, I probably wouldn’t know what to wear in the winter and would just aimlessly wander about bare chested until I developed pneumonia and died. But instead, my closet is overflowing with a plethora of warm, variously colored flannel shirts. So thank you, Eddie Vedder, for helping me not die.
Secondly, Eddie Vedder, thank you for making women think unshaven, unkempt dudes are hot. With very little effort given to my physical appearance, I have been able to bed upwards of—and I’m not bragging—three women in my lifetime. So thank you, Eddie Vedder, for helping me do intercourse to upwards of three women.
And lastly, Eddie Vedder, thank you for the song, “Even Flow,” which has helped me, a tone deaf man with zero ability as a singer, to hilariously imperso-mumble my way through karaoke parties by grabbing the mic, shaking my head, and going, “Ohhhh eeeeeeeven sama sama an a pracha praaana a dayo...ohhyeah.” So thank you, Eddie Vedder, for helping me get through karaoke parties with the song “Even Flow.”
But notice, Eddie Vedder, that I said thank you for the song, “Even Flow,” not the video. The video has singlehandedly ruined live music for over 20 years now.
It’s not a bad video. It’s actually a great video and Eddie does one of the most badass rock moves of all time in it. You know what it is. He climbs up on top of a balcony, stands there for a minute like a Seattle caveman, and falls backwards about 10 feet all Christ-like onto a pile of sweaty grunge kids. “Yaay! Eddie is awesome! Rock’n’roll forever,” they all say. It was super cool when Eddie did it. But over the last two decades, it's become the lamest, most cliché rockstar move since the over-the-shoulder guitar swing.
This weekend, some dumbass named George Watsky was playing the Warped Tour and climbed 30 feet up a lighting structure. (Side note: the Warped Tour is still going on? It’s fucking November. Also, it’s fucking 2013.) So dumbass climbs up, looks out onto the crowd, and dives. Well, the audience members, who understandably weren’t keen on the idea of catching some plummeting white rapper dork, parted and the dude landed pretty hard. In addition to hurting himself, he broke a girl’s arm and left another guy hospitalized. All three had to be stretchered out and the show had to be halted. (Silver lining, I guess.)
If nothing else, Watsky at least apologized for it, noting on Facebook that, “The jump was not awesome, it was not badass, and it was not ballsy.” No, it was not, Watsky. It was lame and pretentious. But even if people had caught you and you had pulled it off, it still wouldn’t have been awesome and badass and ballsy. Everybody would’ve just thought you were doing a second-rate Eddie Vedder impression--even worse than the one I do at karaoke. So at worst, you’re hurting yourself and people who paid to see you and at best, you’re ripping off Eddie Vedder.
Put yourself in the mind of your audience when you’re climbing up the side of the stage. They’re already extremely crunched and hot and avoiding touching the sweaty shirtless fat dude running around screaming. Plus, there are already people regular stagediving and crowdsurfing. So in between catching stagedivers and taking boots to the head and trying not to get fat guy sweat on them, now everyone has to stop what they’re doing to look up at you and your ego and wait for you to drop like they’re all volunteer firefighters outside a burning building.
Do you think anyone is actually excited to catch a 170 lb idiot? Imagine what would happen if you took a 170 lb trash bag filled with warm ham, carried it up to a second floor window, and tossed it out onto pedestrians. People would be like, and I’m just guessing here, “Oh man, who was that fucking asshole throwing a 170 lb bag of ham on everyone? I’m calling the police.” The police would come and they’d probably charge you with one count of being a rockstar wannabe asshole and five counts of wasting perfectly good ham.
If you wanna do trust falls, get a job in an office and go on a corporate retreat. They do plenty of those at those things, plus there are usually sandwiches. But if you wanna see someone do it set to music, you’d better buy a ticket to a Pearl Jam concert and watch Eddie Vedder do it. He’s the only one who’s allowed to. Speaking of, let's watch the master...
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