With Sydney Samson and Far East Movement
American Airlines Arena
Friday, June 22, 2012
Better Than: The awkward ride home when mom has to explain the "fellatio ratio."
LMFAO do not make music for children. But apparently, that's who's listening to them.
When Redfoo and Sky Blu first hit the streets around 2007, they were funny because they parodied a scene full of consensual adults on loads of drugs, having sex with each other. It was a well-timed, fun inside joke for ragers.
But that gag isn't funny anymore. It's become too big and moved too far from the source. Anyone who's been to a real party just finds them cheap and tacky. However, kids under 12 are eating every last wiggle up. And that's just uncomfortable.
When we arrived at the American Airlines Arena, Far East Movement was finishing their set, and we were stunned to find how similar the vibe was to a Justin Bieber concert. Synchronized dancing, bubblegum-pop gurgle on the sound system, lots of shiny glittery things.
Everywhere you looked, there were children and their party moms with their party boyfriends. Knowing what to expect lyrically, the wait between bands was surreal. But nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to see.
At 9:17 p.m., LMFAO began. The Party Rock crew of dancers came out, dressed like zebra-skinned Disney cartoons and lit up like Christmas trees. Cheesy dubstep blared, and the uncle-nephew duo shot up through smoke from beneath the stage.
We laughed as they yelled, "Put your motherfucking hands up," expecting the parents to flee with all these babies. But no one ever left. Not when they went into "Sorry For Party Rockin'" and sang about whiskey dick and getting head in public. Not when they yelled about how ten girls to one guy is what they call a "fellatio ratio." The parents and the children just threw their hands up and cheered.
It's kind of like RedFoo is Krusty the Clown. He puts on a suit and entertains children. But you know he goes backstage, takes off his make-up, gets way trashed, and motorboats his favorite groupie. Except this real-life version does it all with his younger nephew, for added absurdity.
Astounding inappropriateness aside, LMFAO put on a big, stellar production. They run around actually singing well, which is more than can be said for a lot of pop performers. Their guitar player is sick. And their dancers are incredibly talented.
The visual element is everything, and there was a ton of eye candy, including confetti, choreographed cuteness, big colorful props, and constant costume changes. And of course, there was a robot guy.
But then we looked down two rows in front of us, and we saw it. We watched with our own eyes as an innocent, six-year-old girl sang, "I am not a whore," and we felt superskeezy as we laughed. But oh, did we laugh. We LMFAO-ed, in fact.
The group worked through their hits. It was an extended WTF moment. Kids cheered as dancers mimed the act of shotgunning beers. And you could see everyone telling themselves, "This isn't weird," as the guys tore their clothes off, revealing speedos with elephant trunks.
And as strange as all this was, there's no doubt LMFAO is aware of their demographic. They're presenting a pre-packaged college party to kids, complete with giant, pink bear costumes and songs about living out your dreams.
They don't often use four-letter language between songs, but they don't clean anything up either. And why should they? You're the parent that brought your kid and their friends. It was your money, but it is LMFAO's now.
So what's the lesson to take away from this strange, surreal situation? What does it mean when young girls sing-along to how-to-whore songs? Is America broken? Are LMFAO terrible people, ruining everything? No, they're not. It's not that big of a deal, really. Because sex is natural and stuff.
But honestly, if we've decided as a culture that kids can watch a concert full of blatant sexual innuendo, foul language, and mock drug and alcohol abuse, we must accept that moral debates are a moot point as long as LMFAO are playing an arena tour to little, little kids.
And if you've got a problem with that, all we can say, "This is 2012. Sorry for party rockin'."
Personal Bias: Watching a 40-something man say "The ladies love us, when we pour shots. They need an excuse, to suck our cocks" in front of tweens is a next-level cultural experience. But in the end, I prefer Das Racist.
The Crowd: Mostly cool moms and their tweenyboppers, far more under-ten year olds than could have been imagined, and the rare 20-something or middle-aged party group.
-"Rock the Beat"
-"Sorry For Party Rockin"
-"Take It to the Hole"
-"Put That Ass to Work"
-"I'm In Miami Bitch"
-"Getting Over You"
-"Boom Boom Pow"
-"Reminds Me of You"
-"I Am Not a Whore"
-"La La La"
-"Party Rock Anthem"
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-"I'm Sexy And I Know It"