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What's Up With People Throwing Stuff at Their Favorite Musicians?!
As if concert-going wasn't hellish enough already.
A troubling trend is afoot: No, not that one or that one, this one: People throwing things at their supposed favorite musical performers while they’re on stage, performing their music for a live audience.
By my estimation, this started back in June with the artist formerly known as P!nk (she’s just Pink now), when a concertgoer (and presumably a fan) tossed his mother’s ashes on stage. “This is your mom?” the singer asked, adding, “I don't know how to feel about this.” Who would!! (Days later, a fan handed her a wheel of cheese onstage, which at least isn’t, you know, human remains.)
Pink is far from the only one to have this happen, though. Interestingly enough, a lot of the projectiles tossed on stage are cell phones: a phone hit Drake while he was opening his tour in Chicago; a 27-year-old was charged after beaming singer Bebe Rexha in the eye with a phone (he reportedly said of the incident: “I was trying to see if I could hit her with the phone at the end of the show because it would be funny.”); an unidentified flying object hit Harry Styles in the eye at a show in Vienna; the singers Kelsea Ballerini and Ava Max (Gen Z stuff if they don’t ring a bell, but don’t throw things at them anyway) were also targeted.
The madness reached such a fever pitch that Adele, during her Las Vegas residency, threatened anyone who would dare throw things at her with death.
“Have you noticed how people are like, forgetting fucking show etiquette at the moment? People just throwing shit on stage, have you seen them?” she said, while apparently holding a t-shirt gun. “I fucking dare you. Dare you to throw something at me and I’ll fucking kill you.” So far, she hasn’t had to make good on her threats.
Throwing things on stage is hardly new—perhaps the most storied (but ostensibly harmless) example being women throwing their bras at hair metal bands—but this new spate of projectiles, especially with iPhones, which are probably the most valuable thing most people own and we’re totally reliant upon, feels like a darker turn.
It’s easy to read this behavior as symptomatic of crazed stan culture, which reaches levels of derangement rarely seen online before entering the real world at concerts. But I think it’s also a response, albeit a not totally rational one, to the crucible people now go through to see their favorite artists: being one of the lucky ones privileged enough to even have the chance to pay an arm and a leg for tickets. Nothing can match those sky-high expectations, and there’s a thin line between total love and wanting to take your fave down just a notch by letting your id run wild. After all, you can put a price on an iPhone, but having your personal demi-god notice your existence even for a second is priceless.