“We all lined up to dance, but we never got the chance”

*Edit* If you already know the story, please head on over HERE and sign the petition if you agree with it.  Let’s make that list of names grow!

No doubt the words Schizophrenia 4 meant something slightly different to everyone who was there.  To my girlfriend and I, it was the one thing we looked forward to this past year.  We went the previous year and both agreed it was something amazing; not just a party or a concert or anything as simple as that.  For those few hours we KNEW we were alive.  No drugs required and none wanted.  Walking into the venue, you could instantly feel the energy and smell the sweat as the Midwest faithful exorcised their demons and let loose.  I’d been to parties 10 years before but had never seen or felt anything like it while my girlfriend, being a complete newbie to this kind of thing, was absolutely stunned that something so perfect could exist.  The feeling stayed for a long time after and we felt truly re-energized.

In the year since, it seemed like everything that could possibly go wrong for us did.  Summer of broken dreams, indeed.  But in the face of each blow life dealt, we knew we had something to look forward to.  This wasn’t just another party; it was therapy, salvation.  So we drove 9+ hours to Detroit, not knowing anybody in the city and not really caring.  The journey was part of the destination and it was as if the end result would be so much sweeter just because we had to work for it.

When we got to the venue, it was absolutely perfect.  Walking up the ramp into the main area, I could hear Stagediver pounding his demons into submission at about 300 beats per minute and a small but devoted crowd was lapping it up.  He finished his set and smashed his Amiga, making way for In Broken Key who was due up next.  His set was going great, much more raw than any of his studio recordings I’ve heard.  There was a VJ who was actually doing things that improved the setting.  Everybody was really getting into it and there was something in the air that said that the night was just going to get better and better.  It was surreal when we all watched somebody walk up to the stage and slap handcuffs on the man who was performing.

Now, if you tell me that the rave scene is a festering pit of depravity, shadiness and bad juju, I will not argue with you.  But the real kicker in all of this is that Schizophrenia 4 (and it’s previous incarnations) had almost NOTHING to do with the rave scene.  The last rave I went to ended up with me not even making it in the door because security had to try to grope my girlfriend and give us an unbelieveable amount of elitest attitude.  All the while, being egged on by a few scenesters behind us in line.  I tell ya, it rifted my heart to see a music centered movement reduced to this.  Needless to say, we left, drove 4 hours back home and vowed never to even attempt to attend another “rave”.

Schizophrenia 4.  We pull into the parking lot and encounter a guy showing people where to park.  Chatted a little bit and he was really cool.  Walk up to the door, get in with no problems and no attitude.  Walk up to the main area, talk to a few people, no attitude.  Go to the vendor stand and meet for the first time the guy I’ve been buying records from online for the better part of a decade.  And I realized right there exactly what the magic of all this is:  We are a group of people who have a passion and really don’t have a whole lot of people to share it with.  Get us together and there’s no time for bad attitudes, drugs or anything like that because, God damn it, we’re alive tonight and let’s not waste any time.  This is a movement centered on music and, really, is pretty much the opposite of the “candy rave” stereotype that these swine probably thought they were busting up.  Anyone remember t-shirts that said “Do yourself a favor, punch a raver”?  Seriously, this scene is not a bunch of E’d up, dayglo teenagers looking to get their rocks off and have a popularity contest.  And one look at the event itself would tell anyone that, even a Blind Pig.  Where there ANY drugs found on the premises?  No.  Did the swine even search the attendees?  No, because one look at the people there and they knew it would be a waste of time.

For the most part, these events are about people coming together to hear a type of music that is largely outcast and unappreciated.  With so much talent being brought together from, literally, all over the world, who has time to worry about scoring drugs or being so messed up that they can’t appreciate the awesomeness?  Not me and not a single person I saw there.  I drove more than 9 hours each way and guess what?  That’s not even close to what some people had to do to get there.  Dedication is what you call that.

In the end, I think we all know what this was about, in fact, we were warned years ago.  What we represent to them is freedom. The only question is, really, what are we going to do about it?  I don’t think the swine realize it, but they’ve brought this scene closer together than any all night party could have done and, personally, I can’t wait to see the creativity that gets unleashed because of their illegal and unethical actions.

Peace to everybody out there denying conventions and breaking boundaries.  I’ll see you at Schizophrenia 5.


For more information on the Schizophrenia series, Please vist http://schizophrenia.c8.com/

~ by fringebreaks on September 16, 2009.

4 Responses to ““We all lined up to dance, but we never got the chance””

  1. Thankyou for posting this. You are right on. I too can’t wait for 5chizophrenia… Until then, please help our friends: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Schizophrenia_4/

  2. Well said, Thank You.

  3. […] https://fringe3lement.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/we-all-lined-up-to-dance-but-we-never-got-the-chance/ […]

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