Is it live or is it Memorex? I suppose I’m dating myself with that quote from a 1970’s era commercial, asking the age-old question, can you tell the difference between live music and recorded music.
This is what our world has become since the pandemic stole from us the joy of attending live music events. As with so many things these days, I look back on my pre-pandemic life with a mixture of sadness and incredulity, with a healthy dose of regret added in for good measure. The regret is that I didn’t realize how much we lost when we had to sacrifice our live music experiences.
My husband and I over the past dozen or so years have attended upwards of 20-30 annual live concerts on average, and that is while we both hold down full-time jobs 😊. I always attend to watch and listen to the band and musicians, going for the music and the experience rather than the “partying” aspect. We pay attention to song selection, band configuration, arrangement differences, instrument selection, and basically geek out at every performance of our favorite artists.
And while many bands have tried to adjust to the current conditions and have broadcast performances, I have to admit to being underwhelmed, while still being entertained. And it’s not the fault of the bands either…they are trying to make lemonade from lemons. It is the unreproducible and sublime energy of sharing a moment with thousands of like-minded fans, getting lost in the joy of the music, giving audience energy to the band, while the band absorbs the emotion, and throws it back at us a hundredfold. It’s like an electric current that connects everyone in the venue, fans and band members alike.
No staged performance without an audience is ever going to come close to that feeling. While the music is still great, the performers still incredible, the chills are gone. No goosebumps, no thrill. Bottom line: I want more…
PS I was at the show featured in this video ☹