Every social set has its pecking order. Among club-going music fans, your status partly depends on whether you can reminisce about having seen now-famous bands when they were nobodies. (A note from the agency tells us Casbah is “where Blink 182 and the Smashing Pumpkins played before corporate America knew who they were.”) This ad deftly plays to the time-warped sensibility in which you look forward to looking back on the night you saw the then-obscure So-and-Sos. If the ad romanticized the musicians in their pre-sellout incarnation, it would sound phony—or, even worse, naive. By noting (just half in jest) that Casbah-worthy musicians tend to be “crass and arrogant” even before they become crass and arrogantmulti-millionaires, it instead sounds savvy. That’s the right tone to adopt in addressing people who like to feel they’re too hip to be easily impressed.
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