Dance Music Disaster Gigs: Part Three

Over the past five years, we’ve collected a veritable horde of anecdotes from artists about horrific gigs – enough to already fill two features. We’ve heard stories about Sam La More pissing off Paris Hilton and the Lebanese Army in Beirut, Mr Oizo firing champagne corks at punters in Adelaide, Claude VonStroke playing to an empty room in Sydney, and Carl Cox being shot at in Venezuela; and now it’s time for Dance Music Disaster Gigs: Part Three. Featuring contributions from Dillon Francis, Sasha, Chromeo, Duke Dumont, Alison Wonderland and more; here are their tales of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad gigs.

Chromeo (while supporting Bloc Party)

“Bloc Party are so cool because they took us on the road and totally got our music, and they even remixed Needy Girl, and they were just so nice and supportive, but their audience not-so-much. That was rough, that was before there was such a thing as indie dance. There were just really austere, shoe-gazing indie kids who had never heard of funk music before. They looked at us like we were freaks.

“I remember one of those shows in Edinburgh – it was so awkward between the songs, I didn’t know what to say and P [Thug] was wearing this crazy Zoot suit at the time and I was like, ‘Man, how about my boy P’s Zoot suit?!’, and then…silence. And then I go, ‘Hand made in Zaire’, and one person laughed, who was like our one friend who had come to the show.”

Dillon Francis

“One time Skrillex and I were saying that you can probably tell the crowd anything you want to when you’re playing a show and they’ll do it, or they’ll at least scream to it. So we made up this joke like ‘let’s ask the crowd to put their dicks in the sky’. We would yell it like ‘everybody put your fucking dicks in the sky!’ and they’d just be like ‘yeah oh my god!’

“I remember I did it at Webster Hall and I was like ‘everybody put your fucking dicks in the sky!’ and of course everybody screamed and yelled, but the next day I remember I posted something on Facebook – a picture – and a bunch of fans started getting into an argument with me and being like ‘why the fuck did you tell us to put our dicks in the sky last night? It’s so disrespectful, like what the fuck is wrong with you’. And some girl commented and said ‘he probably has a small dick, that’s why he’s asking us to put our dicks in the sky’.

“I remember I had to be like ‘you completely misunderstood the whole thing, it just went straight over your head’. It was an all-out massacre on my Facebook about penises being put in the air and not being put in the air.”

Alison Wonderland

“I played a show, and I don’t really want to say where it was, but it was on a national tour. This was a few years ago, and all the shows had gone really well, and I turn up to this one spot and there was the visuals guy there, and me, and the bouncer. For two hours. There was not one soul in the room. It was so rough, but kind of also good because before this tour I was used to people coming to my shows, so I was feeling quite confident about everything. When that happened it brought me back down to earth. I try to look at it in a good way. I just played for two hours to the visuals guy, who was doing visuals to nobody. It was really awkward.”

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