Home Tech Somehow, concerts are the biggest memes of the summer

Somehow, concerts are the biggest memes of the summer

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Somehow, concerts are the biggest memes of the summer

On Wednesday, June 16, Kendrick Lamar hosted a party. Dubbed “The Pop Out: Ken and Friends,” the concert, held at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles, served as a celebration of West Coast hip-hop and a “victory lap” for Lamar after he seemingly won his feud with Drake following the release of “Not Like Us.” Or, as a user“Kendrick Lamar Presents: I Hate Drake The Musical”.

The Pop Out, which was broadcast live on Amazon Prime Video, was trending on Wednesday and Thursday, and while much of the talk revolved around the performances of Tyler, the Creator, Steve Lacy and Dr. Dre, even more seemed to focus on Lamar using the show as an opportunity to get another hit on your rival. “Kendrick really released his own Hatechella lol,” one X user wrote, “this is the hate and shouting that Mary J. Blige was talking about.” The X account for the Public Enemies Podcast wrote “This level of hate will never be doubled.”

Ultimately, it wasn’t about hate; Lamar expressed several times that the show should be a moment of unity, adding that “It had nothing to do with any songs right now, it has nothing to do with any records back and forth.” However, she performed “Not Like Us” more than four times, something that in turn further fueled the online furor over her beef with Drake.

Lamar’s show was just the latest in a series of concerts this summer that took viral moments from Internet culture and brought them to the stage, or used the stage to create their own viral moments.

Two weeks ago, when pop femininity du jour Chappell Roan took the stage at New York’s Gov Ball dressed as the Statue of Liberty, she created an almost instant meme fueled by her declaration that she had turned down an invitation to play a show at the Pride in the White House. “We want freedom, justice and liberty for all,” she said. “When you do that, then I will come.”

Roan’s popularity, largely driven by his online fandom and his inability to put up a single bad song. The Rise and Fall of a Midwestern Princessconvinced Bonnaroo Music Festival organizers to give it a bigger stage at last weekend’s event. Her performance and the thousands of people who came to her created Another viral moment. (Search “Chappell Roan Bonnaroo” on tiktok to try.)

Do you want me to close the circle? Here is this tweet from user X @JoseRMejia: “Imagine (if) Kendrick brought out Chappell Roan.”

Of course, this is not the first time that concerts have caused a stir on the Internet. When Beyonce headlined by Coachella in 2018, it nearly melted YouTube, which streamed the performance. It also turned on the service formerly known as Twitter. Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is like a living meme, receiving new iterations every time she goes to a new city or continent, gaining soul, vampiric style, from the hyper-connected Swiftie fandom as she goes.

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