Daily Archives: May 26, 2017

'Pirates of the Caribbean' Directors Talk Paul McCartney Cameo

The directors of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales have opened about the film’s top-secret Paul McCartney cameo.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg revealed that the scene with McCartney, in full swashbuckling regalia, was originally intended for the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, who portrays Johnny Depp’s father in the Disney franchise.

“We had even written a scene for Keith,” Rønning said. “And then because of some scheduling issues, he couldn’t come to Australia to shoot, so we sat down with Johnny and kind of brainstormed, like, ‘Okay, who could fill his shoes?’ Because we felt like we should have something. We should honor the tradition of showing a Jack Sparrow family member. And we made a very short list, and of course, at the very top of that list was Sir Paul McCartney.”

The actor then picked up his cellphone and texted McCartney – “I don’t know what kind of club these people are a member of, but he had the phone number,” Rønning said – and, after exchanging some pirate lingo via text, the cameo was all lined up.

As audiences seeing Dead Men Tell No Tales in theaters this weekend will attest, McCartney plays “Uncle Jack” to Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, which means in the Pirates universe, Richards and McCartney are brothers. Depp and McCartney’s scene together takes place in a Caribbean jail cell where both Sparrows await execution.

In the scene, McCartney also sings a sea shanty. “The scene starts with him singing a song, and at the very end of the day, we needed to do a wild take to just record him singing,” Rønning said. “Nobody else is working on the set so on the soundstage, it’s completely quiet, and we’re only rolling sound. So I’m sitting there behind the monitors, listening in with earphones and basically recording Paul McCartney. That was a big, big moment.”

Despite less-than-stellar reviews, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is expected to gross $80 million at the box office over Memorial Day weekend.

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Chris Cornell Laid to Rest at Private Los Angeles Funeral

Chris Cornell was laid to rest Friday at a private ceremony at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Forever Cemetery, with Cornell’s band mates, celebrity friends, family and grunge peers among those who paid their respects to the Soundgarden singer.

Metallica’s James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Pat Smear and Taylor Hawkins, Pharrell Williams, Krist Novoselic, Nile Rodgers, Courtney Love, Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro and Joe Walsh were among the rockers who attended the funeral, with actors like James Franco, Christian Bale and Brad Pitt also in attendance.

Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at the memorial while actor James Brolin, Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament and Cornell’s band mates Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Audioslave’s Tom Morello delivered eulogies, the Associated Press reports.

The private ceremony began with the cemetery’s speakers playing Audioslave’s “Like a Stone” as well as Cornell’s recent solo song “The Promise.” At the conclusion of the funeral, Temple of the Dog’s “All Night Thing” accompanied mourners as they exited.

The program handed out to attendees featured a Cornell quote, “We are neighbors in a modern world where proximity is relative and the threshold to our hearts moves outside time and space.”

Cornell’s ashes were reportedly placed next to his friend Johnny Ramone’s remains, TMZ reported.

Following the private ceremony, a public memorial service was opened to the fans that congregated outside the cemetery.

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Review: Lil Yachty's 'Teenage Emotions' Might Change the Way People Rap

Nineteen-year-old “bubblegum trap” sensation Lil Yachty is rap’s most polarizing figure. He joyfully hopscotches past hip-hop tradition in a way that’s not only antagonizing to old heads (he famously told Billboard that he “honestly couldn’t name five songs” by Biggie and Tupac), but actively unmoors rap from familiar ideas of rhythm and melody. On his debut album, Teenage Emotions, he brags that he has “never took a sip of beer” but has an intoxicated flow, crooning notes he can’t hit and enthusiastically rapping beyond the beat. Love him or hate him, he is probably going to change the world.

There’s no real musical cohesion on this collection of 21 tracks by 23 producers, but the presence of the Instagram star is unmistakable, gleefully rapping about looking at the stars, going back to high school to stunt on his teachers and – on two different songs – having sex with people’s moms. He cuts a presence that’s one part Chance the Rapper at his most cheerful, one part Beat Happening’s Calvin Johnston at his most pajama-party friendly and one part Beavis at his most sophomoric.

Teenage Emotions may just be a landmark moment for rap, opening the genre to the giddy, childlike, organic, occasionally broken feel of Eighties twee-centric bands like Beat Happening, Television Personalities and Half Japanese. None of these bands had hit records but paved a road that led to Nirvana, Beck, Pavement, Belle and Sebastian, Bright Eyes and Deerhoof. An entire generation of current indie rock bands give their bands childlike names like Soccer Mommy, Loose Tooth, Scary Little Friends, Cuddle Magic and Diarrhea Planet. And it’s right on time too: Beat Happening’s 1988 LP Jamboree was even closer to Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline” than Yachty’s Teenage Emotions is to Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” So here he comes with a combination of naïve-sounding melodies, kid-like lyrics and pop smarts – a history that reaches back into some of our greatest songwriters (think Talking Heads’ “Stay Up Late” and Nirvana’s “Sliver”), but is practically unheard of in rap.

In short, he’s no naïf, but a pop songwriter who deals with the feel-good, free-wheeling vibe of childhood. If he releases the Diplo-assisted “Forever Young” as a single, he might have a hit bigger than Alphaville and Jay Z’s combined. Name-checked on this album are Kid Cuisine frozen dinners, N’Sync, the X-Men, Kirby and Othello (and here, you’re only about 70% sure he means the board game, not the Shakespeare character). The break-up song “Runnin With a Ghost” features a cameo from his Metallica Ride the Lightning T-shirt. There’s even a shout out to classic kawaii signifier Hello Kitty, even if it’s the icky come-on “Play with that kitty like Hello” on “Peek-a-Boo.”

He’s a K Records natural when he’s at his sweetest. “I been missin’ the way your stories tell” (“Bring It Back”) reads like a Composition notebook scribble turned into perfect pop valentine. A stickier milkshake is the Super Nintendo reggae of “Better”: “Let’s grow old, rocking chairs and play checkers … Without you I feel so blue/I’d probably lose my train of to-dos.” And as pick-up lines go, you can’t get get more innocent than “Hello/Would you like to push petals through the meadow with me?” even though he follows it with the brasher “Wassup? I just got a question, baby, can I fuck?” The reunited Violent Femmes would do good to add friendzone anthem “Made of Glass” to their setlist: “Am I made up of glass? Do you see straight through me?”

Even his most nauseating sex rhymes – and, boy, are there is no $hortage of nauseating sex rhymes on here ­– have the feeling of a playground gross-out session. If you were never the type of kid to tell dead baby jokes or sneak John Waters movies, then no worries if you can’t stomach barf-bag couplets like, “Lil shorty get wet from the Lil Yachty poster/Before we fuck I gotta lay down a coaster/’Cause she get wet, and she suck me like an insect/She my step-sister so I guess that’s incest.”

Yachty’s melodic structure is equally raw and unconcerned with expectations. He’s no amateur since he’s surely capable of dropping deft, funky, traditional old-school bars when teamed with Tee Grizzley (“The D to the A”) or appearing in a Target commercial (“It Takes Two”) or even an XXL Freestyle. But still, Yachty’s album willfully lands on cracked notes and internal-logic rhythms. He’s a craftsman with a unique vision like Captain Beefheart or Harry Partch or the Residents, just with a pop streak he can’t kick. He understands the appeal of the fragile, the different, the bent and the drifting.

The closest thing to a traditional rap, “DN Freestyle,” has him careening across the beat like it’s accompaniment instead of the rhythmic base an MC is supposed to sync up with. His voice is elastic and he’s never afraid to go into a back of the throat yowl. Watch how he emotionally but excitedly wails on “Say My Name”: “My brother used to sleep in a Hyundai/Now he spent about a hundred G’s on a fun day, wow” The brash tunelessness of love songs like “Lady in the Yellow” and “Bring it Back” – moving from his regular voice to a falsetto in the former, completely skating off the beat and making mouth percussion in the latter – sound like your drunk co-worker doing Billy Ocean at karaoke.

Yachty’s organic, warts-and-all delivery – when being a perv, when pining for a girl, even singing a song for his mom – makes his music feel simply more naked and human, even with that layer of Auto-Tune. And the generation that has vaulted him to SoundCloud fame certainly agrees. Whether affected or genuine, he’s got a fractured delivery and a free approach to rhythm that seems like a new way of approaching a genre that’s been rooted in “the one” and “the pocket” for more than 40 years. Rap music has its twee icon – and this time, the revolution is not just for record geeks.

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Ariana Grande Pens Letter to Fans: 'I Am Sorry For the Pain and the Fear'

Ariana Grande expressed deep grief in a typed-out statement that she posted via Twitter on Friday afternoon. This is the pop singer’s first public address since she tweeted on Monday night after a suicide bomber detonated a bomb outside of her Manchester Arena concert. The explosion killed 22 people and injured 59 others.

“I have been thinking of my fans and of you all non stop over the past week. The way you have handled all of this has been more inspiring and made me more proud than you’ll ever know,” the singer wrote. “The compassion, kindness, love, strength and oneness that you’ve shown one another this past week is the exact opposite of the heinous intentions it must take to pull off something as evil as what happened Monday. YOU are the opposite. I am sorry for the pain and fear that you must be feeling and for the trauma that you, too, must be experiencing.” 

Grande also announced that she will perform a Manchester benefit concert in honor of the victims and their families, but did not mention a specific date. Grande encouraged people to donate to a fund to help support the families of those harmed in the attack.

Grande was scheduled to perform two concerts at London’s O2 Arena during the same week as the attack. Those shows are canceled. Five more shows – May 28th in Antwerp, May 31st and June 1st in Lodz, Poland, June 3rd in Frankfurt and June 5th in Zurich – are also canceled.

As of press time, Grande’s next date is June 7th at Paris’ AccorHotels Arena, one of six concerts remaining on her European itinerary. From there, Grande is scheduled for a nine-date trek through South America and Mexico on June 29th, followed by tours of Southeast Asia and Australia.

Following the tragedy in Manchester, the singer tweeted, “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.” Grande reportedly returned to her home in Boca Raton, Florida in the aftermath of the attack.

Read Ariana Grande’s full statement on the Manchester attacks

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Strawberry Park announces Entertainment Lineup for Summer 2017 Festivals

PRESTON, Conn., May 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Strawberry Park located in Preston Connecticut is proud to announce a spectacular line up for: 
40th Annual Strawberry Park Bluegrass Festival 2017 June 1-4, 2017
With performances and featuring, Rhonda Vincent, The Gibson Brothers, Th…


Early-2000s NYC Rock History 'Meet Me in the Bathroom': 10 Things We Learned

Seizing a cultural moment is equal parts hard work, dumb luck and a whole lot of partying – at least, that’s what Meet Me in the Bathroom, Lizzy Goodman’s new oral history of New York City’s early-2000s musical rebirth, suggests. The whopping, near 600-page account documents the unlikely takeover of bands like the Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at a time when rap-rock and post-grunge were at their peak. While the book features dozens of artists telling their stories, from Jonathan Fire*Eater to Conor Oberst, LCD Soundsystem and beyond, it’s not entirely about sex, drugs and rock & roll (though there is plenty of all that).

Through hundreds of firsthand testimonials, Goodman also gets at the heart of a world on the brink of change following 9/11. Meet Me in the Bathroom touches on policy shifts within the city that resulted in rezoning and contributed to gentrification, the transition from old-school magazine criticism to the tastemaking blogosphere, the democratization of music discovery thanks to Napster and the doom that trend signaled for the industry at large. From Britney Spears recording with the DFA gang to TV on the Radio coming together at a salacious saloon residency, here are 10 surprising things we learned from this extraordinary, expansive work.

1. Karen O practiced her stage persona at Bar 13’s Shout! party.
Few NYC gatherings of the era proved to be more influential than Shout!, the weekly mod dance party at Greenwich Village’s Bar 13 that catered to crate-diggers and counterculture heads looking to bust moves and look good while doing it. As journalist Gideon Yago put it, “The Shout! parties totally, totally, totally set the groundwork for all 2000s bands. It was where you would go on Sunday nights to dance and drink and listen.” One of those people was Karen O, who used the party to bring her microphone-eating onstage persona to life: “Just prior to getting onstage with Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Mercury Lounge, where I kind of unleashed Karen O for the first time or whatever, I was going to Shout!” she says. “My best friend and I would get there early, have like seven cosmopolitans, and be doing knee slides on the dance floor. The dance floor at Bar 13 became where I practiced this persona.”

2. The Strokes devised some aggressive self-promo tactics early on.
Long before they signed with a major label, the Strokes struggled with a task every young, hungry band must take on: getting the word out. So together they set out to win over their native NYC with homemade flyers in hand. The “together” part, it turns out, was key. “That was something we actually really thought about,” Albert Hammond Jr. explains. “I remember being like, ‘No, we have to all go together.’ When we walk down the street and they see five guys, people would yell out ‘The Beatles!’ The idea is, if they’re yelling that out and they don’t even know who we are, they’ll come to the show. … it’s a starting point for a conversation. We made really, really cool flyers.” They also had a penchant for handing them out at interesting places. “I first met them at a Weezer show at Irving Plaza,” says journalist Joe Levy. “Albert and Fab followed me into the bathroom to give me a gig flyer while I was at the urinal.” Meet me in the bathroom, indeed.

3. Kimya Dawson unwittingly laid the groundwork for the Moldy Peaches by singing “Little Bunny Foo Foo.”
In the Nineties, Kimya Dawson and Adam Green, of the Moldy Peaches, serendipitously met while working at the upstate New York record store Exile on Mainstream. Back then, Dawson also chaperoned Green, who was barely a teenager, at shows. Once, Green invited Dawson over to a jam session he’d had with some friends. “They recorded all this stuff on a 4-track and then they said I should sing something. ‘Just make something up!'” Dawson says. “I was a camp counselor for ten years, and so I just belted out ‘Little Bunny Foo Foo.’ Next thing I knew, Adam put it on a seven-inch.” Later, when Dawson was in New York and home from college, she’d get together with Green and record. Those sessions eventually became the first Moldy Peaches album.

4. Paul Banks’ signature baritone was brought to you by Scotch.
Interpol made a point of getting out of the city to record their debut album, decamping to Tarquin Studios in Connecticut. That venture resulted in the magnificent Turn On the Bright Lights, which includes off-kilter anthems like “NYC” and gives some truth to the adage that you can sometimes see a place more clearly when you view it from far away. But vocalist Paul Banks says that during those sessions, he didn’t consider his voice to be totally on point. But a bit of warm Scotch, and some good studio equipment, helped ease his nerves. “I was a big fan of the music we were doing, felt like that couldn’t be fucked with, but I had my issues with my vocals,” he says. “I don’t identify my voice as being that bass-y. That baritone that I’m known for? It was ‘Where the fuck did that come from?’ I was not a fucking singer at all when the band started. I wanted to emulate how we sounded in the rehearsal spaces, but when you get into a good studio and it’s like a fucking spit guard and a five-thousand-dollar microphone, it’s pristinely clear. So when we did that record, I was just drunk a lot. I was on Scotch, because it was wintertime.”

5. Britney Spears once recorded with the DFA team.
One of the uglier fallouts that Meet Me in the Bathroom describes in detail is the one between the Rapture and the then-burgeoning Manhattan label DFA. The label had preened the Rapture, and released a 12-inch of their dance-punk standard “House of Jealous Lovers,” but the band later ended up signing with Universal, much to the chagrin of DFA’s James Murphy. “When the Rapture left, I was so angry and so hurt,” he says. “Tim [Goldsworthy, DFA cofounder] and I felt broken.” So what did they do? “We took a meeting with Britney Spears to do a song,” Murphy says. That’s right: According to DFA cofounder and label manager Jonathan Galkin, Spears came in and sang on a song that “sounds somewhere between, like, Liquid Liquid and ‘I Feel Love’ by Donna Summer,” and is, by his account, “awesome.” Goldsworthy remembers it a bit differently: “She had the icing off of two Magnolia cupcakes and four cans of Red Bull, did some really strange ad-lib vocal takes, and then just disappeared and was never heard from again.”

6. The street outside of Matt Berninger’s place in Gowanus ran with rotting milk.
In the early 2000s, a more drastic separation existed between Manhattan – where bands like the Strokes and Interpol roamed – and Brooklyn, where Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars and TV on the Radio lived and created. Matt Berninger, frontman of Ohio’s the National, eventually moved to Gowanus, Brooklyn, renting a space next to the infamously polluted canal that gives the neighborhood its name. One other particular quirk of his street became inspiration for a song: rotting milk. “In addition to all the burning cars, I think somebody was buying close-to-overdue milk and rebottling it in this warehouse across the street because once a week, in the middle of the night, they would just pour all the stuff they couldn’t use into the street,” Berninger says. “I’d come out my door and quite literally the streets would be filled with milk, which turned into a lyric.” Something else Berninger says he found on his street once – a box filled with “a headless chicken and a double-ended dildo inside” – would have made for quite the song too.

7. A debaucherous saloon residency helped bring TV on the Radio together.
At first, TV on the Radio’s live show consisted of Tunde Adebimpe and Dave Sitek improvising with a loop pedal and a sampler. The two released an EP, Young Liars, and soon recruited Kyp Malone to take over guitars and vocals. But it wasn’t until the post-punk experimentalists did some truly bizarre-sounding shows at a Grand Street spot named the Stinger Club that they found their drummer, Jaleel Bunton. “He’d seen a couple of the shows at Stinger,” Adebimpe says. “That’s where we played, every Wednesday and Saturday. It was just a saloon. But there was a sign behind the bar that said, ‘Get naked, you get a free shot. Oral sex, you get three free shots. Fuck on the bar, you get an open tab.’ And all those things happened.” Shortly after one of the shows, Adebimpe and Sitek ran into Bunton, who said, as Adebimpe recalls, “‘Yeah, I saw you guys, and you need me.’ The balls on this dude!”

8. The U.K. might have done more for New York bands than New York did.
The influence of the British press, including papers like Melody Maker and NME, on the careers of bands like the Strokes can’t be overstated. That’s not to discredit the work of the savvy American press, but the media exposure many bands experienced in England often led to stateside success immediately afterwards. The Strokes caused a frenzy when they went over, so much so that NME published a cover reading “We Heart New York.” Adam Green remembers that when he and Kimya Dawson went to England, “people were stopping us on the street and inviting us into their houses. We basically went from New York to England and just never worked another job again.”

The list goes on: The Yeah Yeahs were dumbfounded when they arrived at South by Southwest in 2002 and found themselves on a big showcase that Nick Zinner remembers as brimming with fans from across the pond. “That lone English guy from our first show at the Mercury Lounge, the guy who told us we should go play in England [and] we laughed? He’d turned into like three hundred English people,” Zinner says. Even the Killers’ Brandon Flowers took a page from the Strokes and the White Stripes’ book. “We knew the story of the White Stripes and the Strokes and how it started in England,” he says. “So we thought maybe we were lucky that we had that chance. In September of 2003 they flew us over and we played four gigs. We got great write-ups in NME, and that was it. Everything changed.”

9. DJs combatted the “no dancing” Cabaret Law with Radiohead.
In 1926, New York City unveiled the bizarre Cabaret Law, which was legislation passed with explicitly racist overtones, aiming to break up black jazz clubs in Harlem. Now there’s a strong movement to repeal the law, but back in the 2000s, at the height of Giuliani-era task-force raids intent on breaking up parties and clubs, the rule was strongly enforced. Dominique Keegan, co-founder of Plant Records, the bygone Plant Bar and a DJ, says that in light of the crackdowns, DJs initially started enforcing the no-dancing rule, but businesses suffered as a result. So DJs came up with a clever tactic that allowed them to keep the music going under the radar: When things got too hectic, they would play a Radiohead record that was impossible to dance to. “We had a little blue light switch at the front of the bar and all the DJs were instructed to put on a Radiohead record if that light went on,” Keegan says. “The idea was that because of the bottleneck, by the time anyone got from the front to the back of the bar, you could stop the dancing by playing Kid A.

10. Vampire Weekend’s first practice ended early so Chris Baio could go home and watch 24.
Many new bands need some time to find their signature aesthetic, but that wasn’t the case for Vampire Weekend. “By the time we started Vampire Weekend, it’s not like we were just picking up instruments, like, ‘Let’s start a band,'” frontman Ezra Koenig says of the band’s beginnings at Columbia University. “It was like, ‘Let’s start a preppy band and make the guitars have this Johnny Marr African tone.’ We already had some pretty strong ideas going.” Koenig and the other members, Chris Tomson, Rostam Batmanglij and Chris Baio, set their own projects aside, and in early 2006, they came together for the very first Vampire Weekend practice. But as Tomson remembers, the band had to promptly stop playing at 8:45 because “Baio wanted to get back to his dorm to watch 24” – proof that not even the excitement of starting a new band can curb the urge to see what happens next on network TV.

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Big Star Ready Greatest Hits Comp With Rare Single Edits

Beloved power pop group Big Star will release a new greatest hits collection featuring rare single versions of six of the band’s tracks.

The Best of Big Star culls its 16 songs from the late Alex Chilton and company’s three studio LPs – 1972’s #1 Record, 1973’s Radio City and 1978’s Third/Sister Lovers – along with the single versions of tracks like “In the Street,” “September Gurls” and “O My Soul.”

The compilation includes liner notes penned by Robert Gorden, who previously won a Grammy for his liner notes in the 2009 Big Star box set Keep an Eye on the Sky, plus an introduction from drummer Jody Stephens, the band’s lone surviving member.

The Best of Big Star is due out June 16th on CD and vinyl. Check out the single mix for “In the Street” and the compilation’s track list below.

The Best of Big Star Track List

1. “In the Street (single mix)”
2. “Don’t Lie to Me (single version)”
3. “September Gurls (single version)”
4. “Thirteen”
5. “Jesus Christ (single edit)”
6. “I’m in Love With a Girl”
7. “O My Soul (single edit)”
8. “Feel”
9. “When My Baby’s Beside Me”
10. “Take Care”
11. “Life Is White”
12. “Watch the Sunrise (single version)”
13. “The Ballad of El Goodo”
14. “Nightime”
15. “Back of a Car”
16. “Thank You Friends”  

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Fans to the Front: How Ariana Grande's Online Family Is Coping After Manchester

In her Fans to the Front column, Brittany Spanos dives into what’s happening in fan culture on the Internet.

Tragedy often has a bittersweet way of connecting communities who are bound by the shared experience, but members of one of the groups impacted by this week’s Manchester bombing already saw each other as a family, spread far and wide across the world.

“We were devastated,” 17-year-old Ariana Grande fan Ryan Dizon tells Rolling Stone. The Toronto teen runs a well-followed fan account called Ariana Grande Today and several of his friends from Twitter were in attendance at the show and survived the traumatic incident. “Most importantly, we were thinking of Ariana and her team. They’re the reason we’re a family. It’s really important that we all stick together.”

Dizon recalls the confusion that followed the first tweets and news posts on an incident at the arena following Grande’s concert. At first, fans were relieved to know the pop star was safe, assuming all was well and the bomb was contained. Then, news of the fatalities spread. “We didn’t know who it was,” he says. “It could be one of our friends on the Internet. It could’ve been anyone.”

For members of Internet-based fan communities, concerts and artist events are sometimes the only way for long-distance friendships to manifest themselves in real life. Survey any show with a mostly teen- or young-adult audience, and many pairs and groups of friends will cite Twitter, Tumblr and various other social media platforms as the place where they met the people they’re attending with.

In the same way these sorts of platforms have created a virtual home for Grande’s young supporters, they also served as a saving grace in the day following the bombing, when lost fans were still being located. Dizon’s account was one of many that used their large follower counts to the advantage of those looking for their loved ones by reposting photos and pleas by parents and friend. “I would see a bunch of replies that they’re at the Holiday Inn or some hotel,” he explains. “I heard that a bunch of hotels and other centers were bringing in kids who were lost to make sure they were safe.”

The Arianator fandom found other ways to rally and give support to the victims, their families and the traumatized survivors. In Manchester the following the day, pink balloons were released into the air as a show of solidarity. That same day, Dizon helped promote a digital moment of silence where fans and supporters went quiet on Twitter for 25 minutes.

Before Grande’s team announced that her next seven shows would be canceled, fans were preemptively supportive and understanding of her decision to take some time away. Many of those who were in attendance at the Manchester show have also taken their own breaks from running fan accounts and engaging with social media to recover from the experience. As their own show of support for one another, some fans have organized meet-ups in the cities where the tour dates would’ve happened. “We need to stick together and be there for each other,” reads the graphic announcing a meet-up in London where participating fans are encouraged to bring speakers, blankets, green balloons and a parent or guardian if they’re under the age of 14. The location is private and only available if the host is messaged directly, showing a heightened awareness of security.

“I think it’s time for us to open our eyes and be more aware and cautious of what’s happening,” Dizon adds. He recalls the incident where Voice contestant Christina Grimmie was shot by a man during a post-concert meet-and-greet after he had become obsessed with her social-media presence.

“That was terrifying, especially for her fans,” Dizon explains. Even after the incident at Grimmie’s Orlando show, many venues began increasing security measures since the shooter had been able to enter the venue with two handguns. “I definitely felt what they felt when that happened last year.”

For artists like Grande with fans who are often under the age of 18, the Manchester bombing may lead to a heightened sense of fear from parents who may have previously let their kids attend large arena concerts with only their friends and little to no adult supervision. As safe as venues can be, the bomb in Manchester was detonated from outside, demonstrating how difficult incidents such as these can be to track and prevent. “This can happen at any time,” Dizon adds. “Kids should make sure they’re safe because other than the experience at the shows, that’s more important.”

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Cannonball Statman is a Freak of the Folk

Cannonball Statman has been described as the music freak folk by observers. But he is so much more than that, he is tall for one thing, with hair that has a life of it’s own. …Read More