Oh, Apple. Wasn’t it enough that you subjected us to John Mayer and Coldplay for years? I mean, yeah sure, I guess both of those artists were kind of cool for about 15 minutes, but they weren’t “cool” or “hip” when they played at an Apple keynote, and now instead of making progress with keynote live performances you give us the Foo Fighters?
Don’t get me wrong, I love Dave Grohl. The feisty Nirvana Dave Grohl, who talked shit to Axl Rose and had a wild and unruly nature about him. He was awesome back then. Apple-esque even, in that rebellious sort of way that, even though they’re the biggest tech company in the world, Apple still likes to cast themselves as the rebel going against the mainstream. But having the Foo Fighters play at an Apple event now seems contradictory to Apple’s entire hip and cool image that makes people lust after iPhones and iPads.
This is something we would have completely expected Microsoft to do – play it safe to the point of disgust by banking on an entertainer with mainstream appeal that bores people, like Ryan Seacrest. The Foo Fighters have had some really good jams that I blasted on repeat a few times back in high school, but bringing them on stage at an Apple keynote is like letting your dad DJ your college dance party.
Bringing the Foo Fighters on stage at an Apple keynote is like letting your dad DJ your college dance party.
We know that Apple loves music, and they’ve proved that not just with the invention of the iPod and iTunes, but by discovering great indie artists who were made famous by their inclusion in Apple commercials. Would your mom know who Feist is if she hadn’t been in that iPod commercial that infected everyone’s brains like the virus in Contagion? Hell no.
Apple’s musical tastes are arguably better than most companies. I’ve discovered so many neat new artists through Apple or iTunes, so it seems unfitting for them to use a band whose spark died a decade ago as the finale for their beautiful iPhone 5 event. There’s nothing new and exciting about The Foo Fighters.
Maybe I’m just trolling a bit here with pretentious musical affinities, but I just want Apple to blow my mind away at keynotes, even though they can’t anymore. At least give me a band that’s new and unique at the end of keynote that was filled with no surprises. Even if you wanted to play it safe you could have picked someone else with a bit an edge. Was Arcade Fire not available?
It’s not that the Foo Fighters suck. They’re talented. They’re solid. But what does that does choice say about Apple? Are they no longer the young rebellious company living on the fringes of mainstream, willing to do something wacky, rebellious, and totally incredible? Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but when your new iPhone is amazing and boring at the same time, shouldn’t the entertainment act be fucking cool?
I want a band that reflects the image of Apple that was cemented in my brain over the last decade, so I don’t have to be reminded of the company Apple has become. Tim Cook can’t charm us the way Steve did. Keynotes don’t wow us anymore because we’ve seen the products weeks in advance. And the loud distortion of the Foo Fighters is beautiful and consistent, but they no longer slam my nervous system with a severe dosage of “oh holy shit that is amazing!” In that sense, maybe the Foo Fighters were the perfect band.