"In 1967 Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees. In 1969 Alice Cooper opened for Ike and Tina Turner. In 2006 Bloc Party will open for Panic! At The Disco. Okay, maybe I'm being a little too dramatic. The first two pairings I mentioned were completely insane and I'm fairly certain were only brought about by the rampant drug use of the late 60's. The Bloc Party / P!ATD pairing is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt at exposing Bloc Party to a wider, American audience. It is no secret that it is often difficult for British bands to break America. Most bands enjoy small mentions in the Rolling Stone, Spin and Blender magazines as "Bands to Watch". They do a small club tour, and then fade into oblivion. Bloc Party is trying to rage against that machine. I'm left asking myself, can we really blame them?
I must admit, when I first heard of the pairing, I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I am not a P!ATD fan. Yes, I have listened to their album and found them to be like all the other manufactured one-album-wonders that seem to be most popular with 12-15 year old kids. Most P!ATD fans are asking "Who the hell is Bloc Party?" and most Bloc Party fans are asking "Why God, why?". But consider this. Almost every band that has ever existed has aspired to reach millions of people, play live before thousands, and reach legendary status. Bloc Party is no different.
When I first heard 'Silent Alarm', I took it everywhere with me, playing it to almost everyone I came in contact with. A loyal disciple trying to spread the word. I exposed maybe 30-40 people to Bloc Party, whereas this upcoming tour has the potential to reach thousands. We should want other people to like the music we personally like. They as a band and we as fans do not get to pick who becomes a fan. We all know that there is a culture of "hipsters" out there who immediately discredit a band the minute they appear on MTV's TRL, but those hipsters aren't real fans in the first place. They are the people who try to "discover" bands before anyone else so they can say they knew about them first. So what?
Let's remember why we became Bloc Party fans in the first place. Something in the music touched us. Spoke to us. Made us understand or be understood. Who are we to deny anyone else that experience? Besides, maybe, just maybe, one of those 11 or 12 year olds will go to the concert and come out of it saying "Yeah, I went for P!ATD but Bloc Party was better". Let's pray."
"On November 7th, the boys of Bloc will return to America at the behest of Panic! At The Disco. As an avid Bloc-head, and a fan of rock music, I was duly shocked and worried when I heard this news. The last two years have seen Panic! rise meteorically to the top, adding makeup and cabaret dancers to the necessary props for rock music.
How can people truly believe that these people are the future of music? This question was returned by a scowl. And as my friends explained their undying love for Panic!, I began to fear for the state of rock and roll. I cried as My Chemical Romance applied their eyeliner, I wept as Fall Out Boy threw their guitars around their necks and, in the end, my blubbering made no difference. Bloc Party have agreed to follow them, and I believe I know why they would tour with such a different band.
P!ATD have done something that very few bands have ever been able to do. They have taken an extremely broad music genre and infused it with a signature sound and style (ballroom dancing anyone?). Bloc Party has done the same thing with their music; they've have taken the conventions of rock music and spun them around, adding angular guitars and danceable drums. For God’s sake, the new album has a song based around the bolero. While Bloc Party surely won’t be abandoning vintage tees for frilly blouses, they do share that distinction with Panic!.
In the UK, the boys of Bloc Party have broken through from the underground, and have done so with a distinct flair - they can’t be pigeonholed, remember! So when Bloc head into foreign territory, we shall follow with open minds, and don’t worry, they will excite and please our musical wishes."