When French producer Madeon sold out his show at Webster Hall, the venue did what venues often do: they capitalized on the opportunity and added a second show.
A typical Friday night EDM show at Webster goes from around 12:30 to 4:00am, with the headliner playing somewhere between 1:30 and 3:00. Madeon’s second show was added as an early show, taking place during the “normal” time slot usually reserved for rock or other non-electronic shows.
I was fortunate to get a free ticket to Madeon’s early show last night, and when I arrived at Webster at around 8:30pm to catch the end of The M Machine’s opening set, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Webster Hall is one of my most frequented venues, yet I almost never arrive before midnight and I certainly don’t think I’ve ever gone there in my work clothes (about as fun and “casual Friday” as my work attire can get, but work clothes nonetheless).
When I walked into the ballroom I was pleasantly surprised to see…a lot of other normally dressed people. There were men in sweaters. There were people who kept their coats on (you will almost never see this at EDM shows because everyone gets hot and sweaty so they check their coats or ditch them in a corner). There were people who looked like they should have been at an indie rock show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. This was not the standard Webster house music crowd. A lot of people had drinks in their hands but everyone seemed relatively sober. Not a single pair of raver gloves could be seen.
As the show went on, people jumped and danced and waved their hands around, and while I have no doubt that it was probably pretty rowdy right up in front of the stage, most of the crowd was on the tamer side. I did not get elbowed once. I had the feeling that when the show was over (pre-11pm), a lot of these people were going to be doing the same thing as I was – going home, climbing into bed, and watching some Netflix before passing out. These were not the party-until-4am-in-the-East-Village people. At least not tonight.
I realized that, as a concept, I LOVE the idea of the “early show” and I wish I always had the option to go to one. Because sometimes you want to stay out all night and wear a fun outfit (one of my favorites is a black tanktop with a giant gold sequin owl on it) and get sweaty, but sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you want to be in the company of other old people (“old,” in a raver context, is over 25, so at 31 I’m basically ancient in this scene) and just hear some good music without having to expend quite so much energy and patience.
The creation of an early show option for all electronic shows might even increase the amount of old (again, “old”) people who get into EDM, because one of the main things stopping them is the fact that people under 21 are largely unbearable (sorry, but it’s true).
Someone, make this happen. Early shows. Raves for old people. This is the next big thing.