Morgantown’s Electronic Shift

When you walk down High St. there’s no telling what kind of music will fill the air. With an eclectic mix of intimate venues, listening options span the length of the musical spectrum, making it hard to settle on just one genre.

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Lately, Morgantown has been dancing to a new beat, trading in it’s traditional Appalachian roots for a more techno-friendly sound. EDM music is quickly becoming one of the most sought after genres for young people, and judging by the growing local lineups – EDM is the top choice in a college town.

“I think EDM is music made for partying,” said WVU student and house music enthusiast, Chelsea Walker. “The fast pace and all the crazy beats – it’s just fun-loving dancing music. When you put that in a college town, we are obviously going to eat that up because we are living that kind of lifestyle.”

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EDM is not just a genre – it’s a culture. For most fans, attending an EDM show is about the experience as a whole and not just the performer on stage. The lights, the crowd and the venue all play a role in creating an ideal rave-style atmosphere.

“I think Morgantown is a place that has a lot of students and young people which is very popular with the house music scene, so I think just being a college town here – it’s kind of the perfect hub for EDM acts,” Walker said. “Overall, it’s just a very popular genre amongst students here.”

With die hard fans eager to rave and mingle, EDM’s fan base continues to grow in both size and power. And thanks to the viral response from listeners, EDM has climbed the charts and moved to the top of festival lineups worldwide.

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Although many students are loving the surge in house music, putting a genre of global proportions into a small city like Morgantown can be challenging and a bit unorthodox.

One of the biggest challenges students notice, is keeping the genre presence balanced. While EDM shows have become the hot ticket in town, non-techno fans are feeling a bit forgotten. A rising number of EDM shows means other genres begin to get drowned out and students are noticing.

“I think Morgantown could do a better job at keeping things diverse,” said Jen Brown, a WVU student and frequent concert-goer. “I think we get a lot of EDM and I don’t think we get as much hip-hop acts as I would like. Looking back, you can recall a ton of EDM acts but not many hip-hop acts outside of Fall Fest.”

Another challenge for Motown EDM fans is undoubtedly the city’s small size. Keeping the beat alive in a tiny town is difficult, especially in an area as rural as Morgantown. Often times, Morgantown misses out on bigger name acts to the Pittsburgh metro area, which offers a more diverse venue selection. While the town offers quaint venues such as 123 Pleasant St. or Mainstage Morgantown, neither place can support thousands of ticket holders. However, the demand for big-name acts remains high among students and young listeners.

“Having bigger acts like Big Gigantic or Borgore definitely makes you want to be more involved in the music scene in Morgantown because people are familiar with the people performing,” said Brown of Morgantown’s growing EDM presence. “I also think there is something special in Morgantown about the small underground scene, not only of EDM music, but of jam bands as well.”

 

Although Morgantown’s EDM scene has it’s quirks, the arts culture overall is truly one of a kind.

“Morgantown has the ability to host big and small acts and have the shows be just as exciting,” Walker said of the music scene’s unique charm. “I think Morgantown is a really cool place where we can have big name acts like Kendrick Lamar or more local acts like Giant Panda Guerilla Dubsquad and draw equally large crowds.”

The Who in Pittsburgh

The Who was one of the most iconic band to come out of the British Rock phenomena of the 60’s. It was comprised of Roger Daltrey the vocalist, Pete Townshend on the guitar, Keith Moon on  the drums, and John Entwistle on the bass. They became so famous due to their incredible live performances, which included being one of the first bands ever to smash their guitar on stage during a show. Another legendary moment for The Who was when they preformed at Woodstock, when Townshend hit a political activities for trying to interrupt their performance. This was not the only reason thy were so famous, they had had several songs that reached the top ten charts in the U.K. such as “I Can’t Explain” which reached number eight in the charts. They also had another single that did very well before they created an album with that song title “My Generation”which also made it to the top charts. After it was turned into their first album which reached number five in the U.K. charts. The band had a long and prosperous career although it had to overcome many obstacles like the overdose of their drummer Keith Moon, and the heart attack of Pete Townshend. Despite these tragic events the band still tours today and puts on a great show playing all of the classics that a Who fan would want to hear. For more on the history of The Who watch this video on WatchMojo.com, or check out the bands official cite for a very in depth version and future tour dates.

The Who recently came to Pittsburgh on Wednesday March 16th 2016, and preformed at the Consol Energy Center. The band played every song that a fan would love to hear. Opening up with “The Seeker”and playing songs such as “Pinball Wizard”, “My Generation”, “Behind Blue Eyes”, and then closing out the set with the infamous song “Baba O’Riley”. We talked to several people who attended the show two college students Jordan Brack, William Scriptunis and two long term adult fans Rene and Dany Norman. While they said that the band played and sounded incredible the atmosphere was not what they would have expected. The show took place in the Pittsburgh Penguins arena. The stage was set up where one of the goals would have been and the crowd stretched out the rest of the arena. These four fans thought that the venue setup was great, and the sound system phenomenal, but that was not what was disappointing about this show. Sadly it was the other fans.

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Rene Norman said “the show was incredible and exactly what I wanted to see, the only thing is I wish they would have let me stand”. You can expect for the crowd at a show like this to be a little older, but this band is known for crazy live performances. You would figure the crowd would be into it. Sadly that was not the case. She and her husband Dany were asked one time to remain seated and not stand back up. After staying seated for a while they figured it would be alright to stand back up and dance. They were incorrect, and were actually asked to leave their section and move farther back. Just for dancing at a concert. After being moved back the couple asked why they would get kicked out of their section for dancing? The response was the people in your section complained they couldn’t see while sitting. You would imagine that this was just that section, if you thought that you would be incorrect. The two college students who were also at the show experienced something very similar, but they were not given a warning. They were simply told that they had to leave their section and move much farther back. Their struggles did not end their either. After being moved to one of the “dancing sections” they were almost kicked out all together for what the usher called “seeking into another section”. Luckily the usher that moved them there was walking by during the argument, and said “no they did not seek in I put them here”. This was not all bad for these kids though, after this they got to move back to their normal section and didn’t get bothered again.

Thankfully these people were in good spirits because they were finally getting to see one of their all time favorite bands. Although they were hassled several times they still had a great time at the show. The only thing that they had to say really was that they wished more people would have danced and had a good time. They said that almost everybody even the people in the floor seats were seated a large majority of the show. Jordan said “I imagined the crowd would be older, but I expected them to dance at least”. Even though the experience they had, they commented The Who  was exactly what they wanted them to be and the show was fantastic.