updated August 16, 2023

Hilde Spille writes:
Do concert-goers still admire the artists?
Lately I have read about several incidents where concert-goers acted like they own the artist. On July 16, country star Miranda Lambert interrupted her hit song to ask some concert-goers to listen and pay attention, instead of turning their back to her for taking selfies. This action divided her fans. Some supported her action, others condemned it. In June, singer Ava Max was slapped in the face by a fan. A week before, Bebe Rexha got a blue eye and needed stitches in her face, after a concert-goer threw a phone at her during the show. P!ink even got the ashes from the mother of a concert-goer thrown at her on stage, in the middle of her show.
Why to artists perform? Why to concert-goers go to concerts? What is the relationship between artist and fan?
In an article in Pollstar, Douglas Gentile blames a combination of factors. The circumstances at live concerts with excitement and loud music make aggressive behavior more likely, amplified by alcohol and other substances. Social media contribute too, with their competitiveness and missing contexts. In the end he concludes, that the things that are thrown to the artists are very personal. A mobile phone can be seen as a prolongation of the holder. Throwing this at the artist you are watching is an – immature – attempt to connect even more to the artist on stage. It’s thrown out of admiration for the artist.
All the examples I heard about, of artists having been hurt by concert-goers, have happened at huge concerts where the concert-goer disappears in the mass of other concert-goers. I guess if you as concert-goer want to have a connection with the artist, the best choice still is to visit shows in smaller venues, where you can see the artist after the show at arms length at the merch-booth. These are the shows I prefer anyway.

Pussy Riot had to postpone a couple of shows
Due to visa problems, Pussy Riot: Riot Days had to postpone a couple of their European shows in September, including the show at Ratrock Festival in Harelbeke/BEL. Fortunately some shows are still going on, like the one at Kempenerpop in Waalre/NLD on September 22. It’s a free festival, and the only show in the Netherlands for this year.

Jan James gets rave reviews on “Time Bomb”
Jan James is getting rave reviews all over Europe for her just-released brand-new album “Time Bomb“. She wrote and recorded the album together with her husband and guitarist Craig Calvert. On this album, she went from rocking blues to more soulful blues-songs with choirs, harmonica and sax. In May 2024 she will come to Europe to present her new songs, see below for the period.