I confess, I wasted a childhood growing up in the 90’s in Seattle.
Okay, so I was only 7 when the 90’s started, but it was, by all accounts, a pretty epic time for music, with the epicenter my hometown. Yet I was never a live music or concert kind of girl. I didn’t go to my first concert until college. (Though Incubus was a pretty fantastic first show.) While I enjoyed it, that first amazing live music experience somehow didn’t trigger a drive to pay more attention to my local music scene. I went to the occasional music festival or stand-alone show over the next handful of years, primarily hip hop and big name shows and festivals. Warped Tour isn’t exactly the epitome of deep musical exploration.
But somehow in the last year plus, I have become a concert kind of girl. Everything from the symphony to indie-rock, from big stadium shows to new artists at hole-in-the-wall dive joints (then supporting them by buying their EP on iTunes, natch), I have morphed into a live-music fiend.
I absolutely adore live music.
There is something transformative in live music. Something intangible and magical and soulful, on multiple levels. There is the group experience- a mass participating in a collective, communal appreciation, and simultaneously the individual experience- letting the real-time melodies seep into your heart and the bass make your bones vibrate.
There is a beauty in the imperfections, the tiny flaws and vocal warbles that would be auto-tuned out for your purchasing pleasure.
I may have ignored, for the most part, live music for the first 30 years of my life. I’m doing my best to make up for lost time it seems.
A quick gander at the ruler of my social life (Google Cal, of course) shows that I have gone to double digit numbers of live music acts in the last four months. My wallet is also very aware of this new obsession. I need to cut back.
But it’s invigorating. It’s enchanting. The energy you get from the live act, that you feed back to them, is like a very purified and not at all disgusting version of the Human Centipede. (If you don’t know what that is, don’t look it up. Like ever. Some things can’t be unseen. Your life is better for your ignorance.)
The overall concept, as it pertains to music, is you swap that enthusiasm back and forth, audience to artist, like middle school kids swapping spit.
(Okay, all my metaphors are odd today. I’m going to ceist and desist with them pronto.)
It’s a symbiotic relationship, really. And a unique moment and experience. There’s a feeling of being part of something, part of a bigger energy, while appreciating your importance as one piece of hay in that haystack. (Better metaphor? Kinda?)
And I never got that until now.
It’s addicting. And I know I’m a little over the moon, twitterpated by the honeymoon stage I’m currently in. And I can’t keep up this intensity for long, especially from my bank account’s POV.
However I AM glad I drank the kool-aid. I’m glad I got on the live music bandwagon, so to speak. It’s a pretty amazing human experience to have.
Just take it easy on the frequency, huh?