Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
January 19, 2013
Secret shows piss me off. Other than seeing Goat Punishment (Weezer) back when they played in Fullerton and Costa Mesa, California, if you told me Band X was playing a secret show and the only way to find the location was to bring an egg to a certain convenience store, wink at the cashier, and call him Mister Fluffles…I wouldn’t talk to you anymore because obviously you are tripping balls. The simple concept of secret shows being a way for bands to connect with fans in a more intimate setting has been completely overshadowed by the unfortunate circumstance of people “in-the-know” ruining the surprise (thank you social media), telling everyone well in advance, and thus limiting the true fan’s access to sed show by saturating the internet with announcements, rumors, and general nonsense. Oh, Team Sleep’s playing at secret show in Coachella at the Urb Magazine tent? Awesome… oh wait… a corporate-sponsored secret show means that it’s a clever epithet for an “industry party.” No, thank you.
Thank Jeebus that a company like Mini [Cooper] didn’t follow suit and ruin an opportunity with their “Mini Normal Crashing” series. Instead of the drab same old bullshit we’re used to, they are setting up shows with very well-chosen bands, in secret locations (labeled as “Normal” locations that they will be “crashing”), with fans (unfortunately) utilizing social media outlets to discover clues to lead them to the location. While I’m not excited about the method to receive the clues, I have neither a Facebook nor Twitter account, I do applaud them switching up the concept. Top that with the band arriving in a Mini, instead of a van and whatnot, and you have a pint-sized party…or a large one, I don’t know how big the venue’s gonna be or what they’re expecting for a turnout.
This Saturday will find Detroit band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. wheeling their way through Los Angeles in Mini-style (hopefully adorned in trademark NASCAR garb) along a pre-designated route before landing at the secret “Normal” location where, according to the band, there will be fruits and veggies a-plenty (along with the smooth sounds that have helped spawn a generation of “Hipster Youth”). Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s music is very suiting for this promotion: Simple, yet big sounds, in a compact package.
Scion has been successful with their Metal-driven Scion Rock Fest (amazing bands on last year’s bill), but I have been hard-pressed to see a larger automaker step up and really try to get in touch with their market without sounding fake or pretentious (look up Campbell Soup’s poopfest “Go” soup marketing campaign). Mini, if they continue to maintain their ahead-of-the-curve band selections, should have a relatively successful run, and probably sell some cars in the process. Well played car I’m too tall to fit in… well played.