THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Pitbull At Staples

It was a party.


The classic rock era was passive. Today's music scene is participatory!


People have become stars in their own lives, utilizing their mobiles to post to Instagram, everybody believes he's famous, is it any wonder today's music reflects this?


We used to adulate the acts, now we adulate ourselves.


And this is very hard for the oldsters to understand.


Pitbull came from nothing. And so many of today's concertgoers don't have much. What else to do but dance? While you're plotting your ascension up the economic ladder.


You would have cracked up. The show began with a scroll of text akin to "Star Wars," detailing Pitbull's rise from the depths. And then the man elevated from the floor and from there on the energy sustained, the audience was happy, it was everything yesterday was not.


Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to music business honchos like Michael Rapino, Randy Phillips, Don Ienner, Cliff Burnstein, Irving Azoff and Tom Freston.

Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.


Pitbull flashed pictures of a private jet on the big screen. As if your goal in life was to have a NetJet account. He was the ringmaster, and you can sit at home and judge it, but it was so much fun!


Usually it takes five or seven minutes and then I'm bored. I've seen it. They're playing music I'm barely familiar with with lyrics I can't comprehend and I stand there wondering how long it's gonna be to the end. But in this case the show was a pleasure. I enjoyed it.


As did those in attendance.


It also didn't look like a classic rock crowd. Everyone said it was 60% female, but when I went out for a pee, in between acts, when the deejay kept most people entertained, I encountered nothing but women, dressed in their finery. You didn't come to this show in your duds, you put on your look. Was it a Latino thing? Christy Haubegger, my firsthand expert, told me that's what her people did. But not to snare a man, but to show how fine they were. Yes, there were endless lines of women with no guys in sight, prancing as if they were in one of those MTV videos.


And Pitbull had six dancers, constantly changing outfits, akin to those girls you hire at your wedding or bar mitzvah, but it did resemble a rap video of the nineties. Only in this case Pitbull wasn't being exclusive, but inclusive. It wasn't about drawing a line between performer and audience but keeping them connected.


And sure, he played his hits. Duetting with Kesha on "Timber," who appeared on the big screen, as did other famous personages.


And interspersed were famous rock songs, like "Sweet Child O' Mine," it cracked me up, this wasn't a concert as much as an event.


But Ne-Yo did show up in the flesh, to sing "Give Me Everything" with Pit. The worldwide hit produced by Afrojack.


And there you have it.


While you've been home practicing your guitar, writing dreary songs about love lost, the genres have merged. They rap in country, and this huge hit would play just great at Electric Daisy.


And in the Sahara Tent.


Yup, instead of a deejay, there could be a live performer at these shows, and then everything you thought you know would be history.


It's a brand new world out there. One the young people have only known.


Sitting in the audience passively watching longhairs strum their tales is now passe. Sure, it still exists, who knows, it could come back, but our entire scene has flipped upside down, it's about having fun in our brutal culture that venerates winners and excludes losers and today's young people know this and have decided they're going to climb the ladder, because being at the bottom is anathema.


Pitbull's just the cheerleader.


With worldwide hits with worldwide sounds.


Wake up to the new world, it's not going anywhere, it's not a fad. Everybody knows these hits and sings and dances along to them, whether they be white, Latino or black. Society has moved on. Warner Brothers might have been the icon of the seventies, but today it's not about your soul but your bank account, and to deny this is to exclude yourself.


So join the festivities, have fun, dance while you're plotting your ascension, to get your mind off reality, to escape the punishing life fostered by baby boomers who claimed to love one another, but turned out to be the greediest souls on the planet.


Their children know this. And have decided to party like it's 1999.


And there's nothing wrong with that.

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