Poppy came to Lawrence, Kansas on her first tour to perform at the Granada Theatre on February 11th, 2018.
Poppy is a character, created by Titanic Sinclair, who began online at youtube.com and straight away began to intrigue hundreds, thousands of people. The videos poppy posts are, from my perception, bridging the gap between American pop culture and more of a cynically truthful and intelligent point of view about our culture. Poppy has many videos on youtube.com, all a bit eerie in feeling. In one video, Poppy talks to a plant, named Plant, about how similar plants and humans are, another video playfully and blatantly advertises ‘Doritos’ and ‘Monster Energy Drink’, in the video all Poppy does is say the product names over and over while consuming them, she has another video in which she repeats “I’m Poppy” with different inflictions for ten minutes straight. These are all comically bringing questions to light within pop culture that many people within pop culture do not consider, and the reason this works, is that Poppy’s videos have a simplistic style to them, are shot on high tech equipment, and Poppy is a bleach blonde and skinny 16 year old girl who speaks in a high, soft pitched voice. Almost everything of current pop culture aesthetic. The character of Poppy easily disperses thoughts of skepticism and pretention because the entire character is literally criticizing and poking at her own faults, thus is the power and possibility of a character. Poppy’s videos contain undeniably addictive content and appeal visually to many, but if not, are just as well bound to make you think, not too extremely long or hard, but they will nonetheless cross your brain over interesting thought terrain as they speak of originality, technology, beauty standards, time, nature, objectification and MORE. This paradoxical and multi-dimensional way of approaching art is what allows various kinds of people to enjoy it in different aspects.
Poppy in concert at the Granada theatre on February 11th was insane. Titanic and Poppy were already toying with the audiences brains before the show even began. The song ‘Africa’ by Toto was playing over the loud speakers of the Granada on repeat from the time the doors opened at 7pm unto the 8pm showtime reached our clocks. To begin the show, Charlotte, A mannequin featured in many of Poppy’s online videos, was
placed in a chair on stage, behind a DJ table, with a setup of two screens on either side of the table Charlotte was seated at. Someone came on stage, dressed and completely covered in an omniscient white robe, whispered something of the unknown into charlottes ear, left the stage, and thus Charlotte the Mannequin began her DJ set of about an hour. The two screens on either side of her were amassed with an edited video which switched between charlottes mannequin hands Djing a turntable and graphics, which were meant to entrance and captivate the audience. I remember a reoccurring happening on the screen, which was a cult-like triangle flashing and instantly after this triangle flashed, every time without fail, the words POPPY.COMPUTER would come onto the screen as they attempted to hypnotize and brainwash us. The music which Charlotte was DJing was an interesting array of music, but out of the entire hour, not one song played fully through.The music kept everyone just entertained enough, possibly playing off our modern-day attention span.
Charlotte finished and stayed on stage. Titanic Sinclair came out first to begin Poppy’s set. He had a clear, plastic pitcher full of a brownish liquid, with the word ‘GRANADA’ written on the side of it. Titanic ran across the width of the stage with this pitcher as though he wanted us to view the pitcher as a higher being, get us excited about the liquid. He then proceeded to pour the liquid into cups as Poppy came out onto the stage, escorted by two men dressed with white blonde wigs and white bodysuits. Poppy then walked straight to the DJ table, Titanic was now at, and Titanic offered her a glass of the liquid. She drank it and the audience watched, quietly, as if we were all witnessing the Priest drink the blood of christ at a Catholic mass. Poppy then began her performance with a skit, much like her Youtube videos, asking everyone in the audience in her very high pitched and soft voice, “Do you trust me?, Do you trust me with your life?, (Everyone screams joyous yes’s), Will you drink the Poppy beverage?”, Poppy then handed out about ten more glasses of the liquid to people in the audience who took the unknown liquid without a second thought. After this, the music began, with Poppy acting a remarkable performance of a programmed girl who is perfect, pure and poppy all around. She performed the POPPY.COMPUTER album in it’s entirety and nothing else. Her music is pop music, one hundred percent, but the words make complete fun of pop culture and are blatantly truthful about the entire ordeal, in many different forms. With Poppy singing and dancing perfectly in front, center stage, Titanic Sinclair remained mostly in the back at the DJ table either Djing, singing along with the music or doing some sort of comical/acting scene of his own behind Poppy.
Throughout the radical show, the performers spent an entire song searching all around the stage for Poppy’s microphone, which was in her hand the entire time. Poppy also discussed the one she is in love with, who is a computer that she calls Computer boy. The audience beheaded Charlotte’s mannequin head by following Poppy’s instruction for us to yell “Bye bye Charlotte”. Poppy had us do this because Charlotte tried to take over Poppy’s show, and considering Poppy is playing off the idea of a Cult, shown earlier by the religious ceremony with the liquid, any cult needs an enemy, and the enemy of Poppy’s cult is evil Charlotte. The audience later on, was instructed by Poppy to scream as loud as we could in order to fill up the ‘Love meter’ as she repeated the words, “Do you love me?,They do love me!”. Before or during each song, one of Poppy’s youtube.com videos was played.
Titanic and Poppy played the ‘Doritos monster energy drink’ youtube.com video during the beginning of the show before one of the first songs, then they cleverly brought it into relative nature again after Poppy “finished” her set and had left the stage. Titanic came out and told us, the audience, that the Granda doesn’t want us to keep going, he used the ‘them’ versus ‘us’ tactic to form the Poppy cult even stronger. “The Granda told us we have to leave. It’s Sunday night and they want us all out of here”, he said. Everyone BOO’s. “But I said to them ‘Screw You’. Were not gonna listen to them are we?”Everyone screams no. “All we have to do to get Poppy back on stage is to say three very magical words. We’re all going to say them together, and those words are “Monster energy drink”. Everybody together, 1..2..3..”, Everyone yells, “MONSTER ENERGY DRINK!!”… I do not think there is one person in that whole venue who could possibly resist the urge to unconsciously promote a name brand in order to get Poppy back on stage. My best friend who I went with ended up cursing after it happened as she realized what she, and everyone around us had done. It was legendary. It is rare and such a fantastical happening for artists to put such meticulous artistic detail and philosophy into a show and it may hit some people harder than others, but it has the possibility to alter perspective concerning many realms of our society and mess with anyone and everyone who is paying attention in the most child-like and thought-stimulating way. I have never been to a show quite like this Poppy performance. I suggest the interesting, thought provoking world of Poppy to you, theres good and bad both in it, but either way, it is a happening, constantly changing piece of art in our world and it is somethin’ else.
Set List of POPPY.COMPUTER: I’m Poppy, Let’s Make A Video, Bleach Blonde Baby, My Microphone, Moshi Moshi, Computer Boy, My Style (feat. Charlotte), Fuzzy, Interweb, Software Upgrade, Pop Music
Videos Played during the Performance: ‘Doritos Monster Energy Drink’, ‘Oh No!’ and ‘3:36’ (both references to Mars Argo), ‘Poppy-Computer Boy (Official Video)’, ‘I’m Poppy – Official Lyric Video’, ‘Poppy – Interweb (Official Video), other lyric/music videos to the songs on POPPY.COMPUTER and MORE.