Editor’s note: This review of David Guetta on the Great Wall comes from a Radar pal who chooses to remain anonymous. He was part of the expat exodus to Juyongguan Great Wall this past weekend to see the tech-house ‘legend.’
When I was younger and more into music than I am today, I swore to myself that that I wouldn’t be one of those people who thought that “their” music is better than what the “kids” listened to. This is the lesson that one draws from hating baby boomers. My own preferences ran to 70′s stadium rock, which is not the paragon of sophistication, but my adolescence coincided with Blink-182 and the Backstreet Boys. So I had to perform every acrobatic maneuver of logic afforded by a liberal arts education to convince myself that music by those guys were the latter-day cultural equivalents of Led Zeppelin and the Beatles, even though, well, they were not.
Which is why I am bewildered by how David Guetta was able to draw what seemed like many thousands of young expats to the Great Wall. First of all, did BLCU build like ten campuses without telling any of us? Did WAB (Western Academy of Beijing) and ISB (International School of Beijing) become much less selective? These are things that I don’t notice.
Second, I actually like electronica music. I went to Underworld concerts when I was in college, and I thought they were awesome. I also like French House, and was able to convince myself whenever Dimitri from Paris sampled 60′s lounge music it was somehow, like, influenced by Roland Barthes or something. Even nowadays when I hear Avicii sampling Etta James, I’m like nodding and smiling in the way that stupid people do in public lectures when they understand something.
However, every song I heard at the David Guetta concert seemed to have been engineered for dumb people to feel good. I don’t think David Guetta ever played a song all the way through. Maybe for copyright reasons he can only play the part he produced or something, but then the entire concert became a mash up of various choruses from pop songs, which when played over and over again, appear to be truncated mantras for simpletons. People got really excited every time the phrase “when love takes over” was played, but we never find out what happens when love takes over. Actually we do, we find out that when love takes over the concert ends, for David Guetta only played for like 45 minutes (inshallah). This caused great confusion for people who were used to encores, but nobody really cared. We realized that we were all at the Great Wall, it was dark and very far away from Spark (Ed.: nightclub of choice for fuerdai in Beijing).