Concert Reviews

Was It a Fetty Wap Show or a Commercial for Snapchat?

The Internet is life, and life is the Internet. It's no longer about "being online"; it's about blurring that line between being and not being — online. And apparently, no one is ever not online anymore. At last night's Fetty Wap show at the Fillmore, there was not a single moment too boring for the audience to not Snap it. In fact, Snapchat — and Instagram and Twitter and even Vine (that's still a thing, right?) — were a more interesting place to be than the show itself. 

In a move reminiscent of a classic Young Money-style performance medley, Fetty's RGF Productions roster took turns doing a half a song or two as openers to the opener, Post Malone. The scrollable list of @yournamehere rappers, singers and dancers sort of performed and barely lip-synced to their own tracks. On the giant screen behind the DJ, @inasx, @biousha and @dotbwoii's handles flashed in an unreadable font, and when it wasn't a commercial for the half-dozen bland acts from the RGF label, it was an awkward Monster Energy commercial. The only thing that wasn't very Young Money-like was that it was clear that this label doesn't have a Nicki Minaj or Drake waiting in the wings. 

As a woman next to me repeatedly filmed herself singing along to the tracks blaring from the Fillmore's excellent sound system, she sent off Snap after Snap into oblivion. I wondered: Why pay 65 bucks to do this in public when you can wear that Fetty Wap shirt at home and Snap for free? I turned around, only to see that another woman had dropped her $12 cocktail on the ground and was shooting away at her own mess with her phone. Another moment of clarity: This show wasn't even captivating enough to get a drunk person's attention.

There is something very meta/scary about a crowd filming itself at a show as the group of hype-people on the stage around a performer are also filming themselves at the same show. If there was ever a case for how technology is disconnecting us, it's the current concert experience. Which should be very disturbing, but at the same time...who cares? I tweeted the entire show, so the only difference between me and the Snapchatters was, well, age. 
Finally, the circus of opening openers packed up and Post Malone appeared. Relying on his ability to stand in front of people and flash his dopey eyes and snarl-smile, the rapper rapped. There wasn't much to see or experience — he was sort of just there. It was as if he himself understood that he didn't have much to offer the audience, because he leaned on the popularity of "White Iverson," the out-of-nowhere hit that got him this slot. His set included about four songs, and he performed "White Iverson" twice.

After much baiting from the DJ — for real, how many times can you ask "Are you ready for Fetty Wap?" before it starts to feel like an un-fun game for the crowd — Fetty Wap appeared right around 10 p.m. He seemed to move in slow motion, letting the tracks and his adoring audience do most of the singing work, which was very disappointing. Still, Fetty flipped through his Billboard chart successes with a sleepy ease, throwing down tracks like "679," "My Way" and "Trap Queen."  Fellow Remy Boy Monty wandered out onto the stage midway through Fetty's performance, but didn't add much to the unremarkable and short set. 

At some point toward the end of his uneventful 45-minute-ish performance, Fetty disappeared from the stage altogether. Still, the DJ kept going — utilizing his hype man (the only person who really moved much at all during the show) to create some point of interest in the crowd, the raucous gentleman stepping out into the now half-full sea of people. At that point, it felt like a house party when the only people left are the super-wasted ones, wandering around like zombies while a finicky drunk manning Spotify keeps changing the song every fifteen seconds until a commercial interrupts. Like the rest of the night, the stunt was clearly Snapchat-worthy.

Radio rap is dead. Long live Snapchat. 

Be my voyeur (or better yet, let me stalk you) on Twitter: @cocodavies
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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies