Today I saw my favorite artist, milo, perform live in Minneapolis and it was a trip from start to finish. So it was in a little festival kind of setting, 7 artists played over about 6 and a half hours with milo going second to last. The crowd was a little fatigued by the time he got up but I and his other fans woke right the fuck back up when he got on stage. He played a few songs I new and a few I didn’t (I think from his new album that comes out soonish??) and it was fantastic.
Then he started deliberately getting feedback on his mic. Maybe he was just being silly, but because of what I know about milo and of what happened after I think this had more to do with a ‘what is music?’ experimentation. After all, those are the sounds that he, the musician, is choosing to make so doesn’t that make feedback, usually considered a mistake to be avoided, his music? Kinda John Cage, very much milo’s style.
Then they muted him. Not just the mic that was feeding back but his beats and the mics of the others performing with him, and they refused to turn them on because he was playing with feedback. So milo gives this killer speech to the sound guy, and I only caught some of it on video so I’m working from memory here, saying something like ‘the sound guy is the arbiter of music. This is my show, why did you invite me then censor me?’ I am not even coming close to giving it justice though, it was kinda jaw dropping, and that’s why I think the feedback had more meaning than just being silly. Hell, if I am right about that then the sound guy basically proved the artistic statement for him. Then, after they still wouldn’t give him any sound, he packed up and walked off stage.
Some of the crowd was a little mad that they didn’t get a full show, but most of them were on milo’s side. He was standing by his car packing up and selling merch, so I walked over to talk to him. I shook his hand, rambled about artistic integrity, and gushed about being a huge fan. Dude then apologized to me for not getting a full show. He was so cool and humble about the whole thing, he just wasn’t willing to compromise his art. And ya know what? I think he did the right thing. If he didn’t do those weird experimental things then he wouldn’t really be milo anymore. He took a picture with me and I bought a tape, both to support him as an artist and because there was no way in hell I would walk away from that without some kind of souvenir.
So yeah, part of me is the slightest bit bummed that I didn’t get to see a full milo show, but most of me finds great value in seeing that speech, and having that conversation with him. That show was truly one of a kind as a result (for real that speech was amazing) and I’ll just have to make sure to catch a full show next time he’s in town. As if I wasn’t going to do that anyways.
And @brucewavy if you’re reading this, never compromise. You absolutely did the right thing and it was inspirational as fuck. Your art is worth the clashes with those who oppose it.
TLDR: milo is a badass and I’m even more in love with him and his art than I already was. Unforgettable