Global Dance was a mindblowing good time. The sound. The stars. The rocks. The glowsticks. The dialated pupils. It really has to be the best amphetheatre in the world (not that I’ve traveled anywhere), or at least this half of the hemisphere.
For 7 hours straight, Jiji, Chivman and I danced, our bodies possessed by the freakish, thundering heartbeat of the monstruous bass drum. Our chests were pounding. Our ribs shook with the tempo of a thousand other steaming dancers.
The sound coming from Redrocks seemed to be emitting into space. How the residents of downtown Denver were unable to hear the beat is beyond me. I swear alien planets could detect us.
Call me blasphemous, but to me, the cathartic bliss of pure sound, light and movement is the closest definition of God I can think of. Some people find spirituality in a cathedral. Some people find transcendence in the high country, gasping for breath above treeline. For some, its in the books they read, or the people they meet.
For me, its dancing. And I’m not that good of a dancer.
My parents think that techno/club music is boring and repetitive, completely unlike the religious experience they had dancing to music in the 60’s. According to them, they were dancing for a reason, to make a point. My generation doesn’t make any points. We don’t anything with purpose. We are a meaningless, superficial, self-serving generation who doesn’t stand for anything.
When I look at this clip of the Woodstock documentary, I see the same orgasmic look in my parents’ eyes. I see the same undeniable urge to move to music, to clap hands, to sit back and simply bask in the awe of sound. All of that was present at Redrocks; The way the crowd moved in a single wave of motion, how joy seemed to radiate from this mass of individuals.
Santana was able to get this reaction from his audience. The DJs at Global Dance did the same, toying with people’s emotions, pulling the energy further and further, trying to top what people though their biggest climax could possibly be.
Benny Benassi tweaked our gut instinct to move the same way Santana’s fingers manipulated his guitar strings. In both instances, we were powerless to the effect music had on us.
My mom still turns up her nose at the shallow over-stimulation that she considers “dance music.” But I think its about as close to Woodstock as my generation gets. Maybe we don’t have a political purpose behind all the glowsticks. Maybe we are a bunch of self-indulgent spoiled brats.
Or maybe the power of dance can unify generations of people in their own individual ways. Maybe that’s good enough in itself.
Or maybe I have no clue what I’m talking about.