An Encore for Live Music

This will be a brief post. I recently played what might end up being the last public show with my college band, Oddish. Needless to say, it was awesome to be on stage in front of all our friends and classmates playing our music and seeing how they enjoyed it. It’s always been awesome to play live.

It has also always been awesome to go to live shows where I’m not playing, and I’m not the only one who feels that way. It seems to me that more and more, young people are choosing to drop their hard-earned income to go to concerts and live music festivals. There is something special about seeing music performed live, something raw about musicians connecting with their audience. Maybe it’s the mic breaks. Maybe it’s the fact that audience members can see their favorite artists dancing around on stage as they play. Or maybe it’s the fact that the performance is hardly perfect compared to a recording.

I think that live music is more valuable to music lovers today that it ever was. In the age of the iPod, a few quick clicks can grant us access to an unprecedented plethora of music. But while MP3s abound, the simple fact that live music is a transient art form lends it value. The instant gratification of digital music makes live performances so much more satisfying because they don’t offer instant gratification. They require anticipation, living in the moment, and memories. Sometimes those are things that we lack too much today in our quick-paced, instant-satisfaction world.

Recordings have never been a substitute for the authenticity of a live performance. The artist’s emotional connection with the audience and the uniqueness of every performance have inherent value, and the fact that the ever more widely-available musical recordings lack these qualities only serves to encourage people to attend live music performances. Encore!


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