His pyrotechnics caused panic at the Tennessee festival.
In a confusing chain of events, a handful of festival goers at Bonnaroo have expressed anger and shock over one aspect of headliner Eminem's stage set-up, when they mistook a pyrotechnic for a gunshot at the end of his performance of 'Kill You'. The thing is, this is nothing we haven't heard before.
Eminem at the Southpaw premiere
It's OK to jump at loud noises. It's OK to panic at the sound of a bang when you're not expecting it. In fact, the culture that we are living in where mass shootings are occurring on an almost daily basis in the United States alone, it's very likely that you would be a little on edge at such a packed concert as Bonnaroo 2018.
Security is so tight at any show these days that it's difficult not to expect some kind of horrific incident the likes of which happened at the Manchester Arena or the Bataclan. But that doesn't mean artists should start reining in their performances to keep their more nervous audience members happy. Or should they?
Most people who have seen Eminem live at a festival before will know that at the end of his performance of 'Kill You' from his 'Marshall Mathers LP', there's a pyrotechnic effect that sounds like gunfire in the spirit of the dark lyrics. He used it at his Reading Festival performance last year, at Coachella earlier this year and even Governor's Ball Music Festival last week.
But for some reason, it has just been this date at Bonnaroo in Tennessee that seems to have stirred up some controversy. Many people have branded him irresponsible in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland this February, as well as the Santa Fe High School shooting last month.
People have complained of having to leave the show in panic, in tears, and in anger that such a stage effect would be used so flippantly. But this is something that Eminem has used for years without any issues.
'The effect used by Eminem in his set at Bonnaroo was a pyrotechnic concussion which creates a loud boom', a spokesperson explained in a statement. 'He has used this effect - as have hundreds of other artists - in his live show for over 10 years, including previous US festival dates, without complaint.'
The idea of having to change the way we do things because of how terrorism has affected us as a species sounds unfair and insane, but many people believe it's only realistic to contemplate that artists should think about changing their approach to live performances. But there's a fine line between adapting to a situation and taking the fun out of something completely, which is what the world of live music would be in danger of if certain things like pyrotechnics were banned.
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