Best Concert Controversy (2014)

Low's "Drone Not Drones" Rock the Garden performance

There's nothing wrong with being opinionated at a concert, but there's no guarantee that the views of a performer and an audience will be in harmony. This friction was made abundantly clear as a rain-soaked Rock the Garden audience expecting to hear Duluth trio Low serenade them with "Plastic Cup" or another of the dozens of slow, penetrating rock songs from their 20-year career instead got one 27-minute song. To some ears, the extended version of "Do You Know How to Waltz?" had a slow, droning beauty about it, but a good many Twitter users responded like their ears were getting a root canal. Someone started the account @FU_low to express their discontent, and another user called @Grateful_Ted tweeted, "Pirating my next low album so I can recoup some $$ I just waisted [sic] paying to see the failed abortion of a political statement." The statement was frontman Alan Sparhawk's utterance, "Drone, not drones." Not only are these words now the name of an organization raising awareness for a more peaceful society, but they symbolize the discord unfolding on the Walker Art Center's lawn. It won't soon be forgotten.


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