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About That Band Playing During the Las Vegas Shooting

There’s been more than a few things written about Jason Aldean, the pop-country artist that played during the recent Las Vegas shooting incident, that has passed in front of my eyes. Some of the more notable things written involve Aldean, his band, and/or the production crew being willing conspirators in the shooting, or at least acting incompetently. These sentiments is dumber than a truckload of broken pink hammers, and I’ll explain why.

Source: I have played in zillions of bands, played zillions of live shows, seen zillions of bands play, and have intermediate knowledge of how basic live production works.

1. Bands, playing live, have next to no knowledge of what’s going on off the stage. They may see people, people’s heads, and maybe a red exit sign or two in the back, but mostly they see bright lights in their face. Additionally, they have no mental energy to spare bothering to figure out what’s going on offstage, since they are concentrating on not screwing up. A vocalist might have more of a perspective, if he’s not tied down with an instrument or a mic stand, but only very little more. In Aldean’s case, he is high-profile enough to have a large live budget, so he and the band will only know something weird is going down through their ear monitors, and it will probably be a stage manager or, at the very least, the soundboard tech letting him know.

2. If there’s a possible security issue occurring, the first people to react are floor security, and they’re not going to be looking at nearby buildings for a shooter. Just like the Spanish Inquisition, no one is expecting a shooter at a live music event; the most dangerous “attacks” that happen at those events are the drunk guys passing out face down on the house floor. Security on the audience floor—those on the perimeter and the ones in the “pit” between the audience and the stage—are focused 100% on the audience members, and since they are “first responders,” they are the ones who walkie-talkie the crew, the lighting guy included, if something big enough to warrant a full stop to the show. In this case, security saw commotion in the audience and responded appropriately.

3. Given 1 and 2, it’s likely Aldean and the band were the last ones who knew what was going on. The band probably got a “cut” command in their monitors (you hear the music kinda peter out and stop), and the audience-facing stage lights went on because of the commotion in the audience, which is standard ops. The lighting guy wasn’t “lighting up” the audience so the shooter could see potential targets a little better, neither are production crews genius Navy Seal sharpshooter detectives, who are thinking or acting like Jason Statham when a crisis goes down.

Two Battle Songs

Ran across these two songs, and I found them enjoyable. They are both from the game NieR, which I am told is one of the better action RPGs from the previous gen of consoles (Playstation 3, Xbox 360). The game features a levitating, talking book that follows the PC around. That’s already a good premise.

Contrast the voices in the two videos: In “Song of the Ancients,” the women sing almost as mezzo-sopranos, while in “Emil Karma,” the boy is pretty much soprano. Emil in the game is voiced by Julie Ann Taylor, but I don’t know if she sings the song or if it’s an actual boy. To my knowledge, these songs play during battle scenes in the game.

At first I thought it odd to have a battle song sung by females, but then I remembered in an Old Testament class I took in college, that women would trail behind the Hebrew armies as they marched, to clap and sing encouraging songs*. They also did that after returning home from battle. There were probably similar phenomena in other pre-modern cultures.

Having some girls cheer you is a favored thing to guys, anyway, but maybe it was a bigger deal to them since there’s no telling what would happen on the battlefield. The nation of Israel could live on even after one of the sperm donors men got run through with a rusty Canaanite spear, but once the women are gone, that’s pretty much it. Imagine that—being praised for something you were supposed to do anyways, even when you failed at it (cue that Aaron Copland symphony). I can only speak for guys, but unless you’re a millionaire genius Navy Seal or there’s social media points involved, praise for performing a cultural mandate is hard to come by**.

* I remember this very specifically because the teacher mentioned a “sedan” was involved, and I (first) thought it was weird that they had Honda Civics back then.
** Sorry, MGTOW losers: men were always expected to perform proactively, way before feminism was an itch in Mary Wollstonecraft’s crumpety crotch.
*** Bonus unreferenced footnote: this post is not me complaining about “society” cheating me out of anything. No one owes me a damn thing.

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