When you hit ‘Play’ for a song on your iPod, chances are you’ve heard it before and know exactly what to expect. Buy tickets to a Coldplay concert and you’re probably ready to sing along to every song played before and after the one you’re desperately waiting for.
It’s a whole different story when you walk into a local pub hosting an independent live act. It’s new, full of possibilities and the unknown makes the anticipation palpable. There’s always the chance of getting a shot of of whiskey when all you’re in the mood for is wine. But there’s also the chance of being served that beautiful fine wine you’ve been aching to taste for the past month.
Live music isn’t recorded. You can’t hear it in quite the same way ever again. It’s created right then, right there in front of you, making each beat, each melody and each moment, a special one. And everyone in the room has a part to play: the musicians and the listeners feed off each other’s energy, amplifying the emotional aspect of music, making it a personal experience for everyone. You can’t get that from a recording, can you?
The beauty of live music is that you can be completely engrossed in the music and watch things slowly build and then climax into chaos that, in the most fascinating way, is actually organized and safe. And it doesn’t end there. Unlike listening to the stereo in your living room, during a live gig you also get to enjoy the local pub scene. Music connects you with complete strangers, it’s when you can’t stop grinning or head-banging to the song playing and catch the eye of someone with the same look. You both know exactly what the other is feeling. And it’s all because of the musicians on stage creating that feeling for you. And hell, you may even fall in love with that girl or guy you bumped into on your way to get a drink!
Witnessing all of these people, artists & vibes, it opens your eyes and makes them shine. The feeling is priceless: you walk out of there taking in everything that just happened and irrespective of whether you walk away sweaty, limping or having lost your voice, you feel something new and that’s what makes live music worthwhile. Then there’s that awesome moment where all is right in the world and your favourite up-and-comers blow you away for fifteen dollars, if that.
Somewhere out there, your new favourite music already exists. You just haven’t discovered it yet.