What's behind the magic of live music?

By Mariusz Kozak

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© The Conversation

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Very interesting article. One thing I’d like to add about experiencing live music seems pretty obvious, but isn’t mentioned. That’s the sheer visual stimulation of it. It’s different from watching it on a screen. Watching musicians perform right there in front of you, seeing up close (if you’re lucky) the sheer physical and emotional commitment of people playing instruments or singing. It adds to the aural experience, along with the being in a crowd of like-minded people all sharing the same thing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The magic of live comes in many ways. There's the thrill of meeting others with your tastes who also come to see, hear and have some fun. Performers often don't perform their songs exactly as on disc, and I like the surprise of that. Of course that also means that they are working, it's not 'money for nothing'..... and the experience is a bit different from just listening to it or seeing it on TV or DVD.

Then there's the issue of souvenir swag, something to show your friends or at least it can start conversations. Nuff said there.

And you can have stories to tell others of your experiences - who. what, etc. All kind of funky tales to tell. And then there's the props. Pleasant surprises like video screens showing you the performers at different angles, close-ups, video animation (it can be mind-blowing and trippy to make the evening more exciting), laser beams, confetti, light shows, clay fire pots, dry ice, performers in costumes, balloons, fireworks, so much more out the yinyang. Some shows I've been to by bands like Pink Floyd, RUSH, Genesis, U2, (Jeff Lynne's) ELO, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, and even Daryl Hall/John Oates have had a big 'WOW' pleasant surprise factor, more than you hoped for and I like that.

And even shows in clubs are better, more intimate. Sometimes you can meet the performers yourself w/o paying a stupid VIP rate (which usually doesn't even get you to meet the stars anyway). And again, you might meet a future superstar that way. In 2019 I saw and met the Nigerien guitarist Mdou Moctar and now he's getting a LOT of media coverage fast. Rolling Stone magazine has had an interview with him this year and has reviewed his new CD, rated it 4 stars. There's that prestige of saying that you saw and met him before.

And when these stars and bands are gone you've got your memories of it all. Just seeing and being there live, in the flesh makes a whale of a difference.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It’s the shared experience. Nothing beats the euphoria of being in a small venue with a couple of hundred other Half Man Half Biscuit fans and singing their songs at the top of your voice in total unison. ‘Oh heeeee’s much better, than David Nixon ever was……….”

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This subject is dear to my heart.

Like most of us, I spend a lot of time listening to recorded music, and am very appreciative of it. However, I will never forget a live concert I attended which featured Simon & Garfunkel and Louis Armstrong Jr. Both of these acts played live music, without the aid of electronic amplification. I was dumbfounded by the increased range of the music when the artists played it live. As good as the music is when recorded, it had an amazingly greater depth of range when listened to live.

Perhaps, today, it is possible to record and play back music that is very close to as dynamic as live music. I do not know. What I do know is that I have never listened to recorded music that had the highs and lows, the depth, and the timbre, of that music from so long ago. I feel sorry for anyone who has never listened to great artists play live music.

I would point out that the music from most live venues, today, is electronically amplified, and so is incapable of achieving the range of the instruments when they are listened to without the electronic mediation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nor was there anything like a live concert with the fansplaying in the raw” as well: Woodstock, Lollapaloosa, … -
0 ( +1 / -1 )

The magic consists of three components, the music and the artists’ performance, the audience on similar wavelength and therefore absence of cancel culture, and the bar counter in the background or side room for triggering enjoyment. lol

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

zichiOct. 27  08:57 am JST

There is nothing like a live concert with the band playing in the raw. The Grateful Dead gave so much pleasure in their live gigs which don't happen on their albums or by zoom had it been available. Bands like the Pink Floyd and Stones had amazing stage sets.

Pink Floyd and Rolling Stones shows have had quite a number or surprises. I had seen the dicu 'Let's Spend the Night Together' in the cinema as a teen, it details the 1981 - 1982 tour. But by the time I finally saw them for the first time in 1997, their shows had completely changed (partially due to technology advances).

And Deadheads have extolled to me the trhrill of it all. Their live CDs seem to be better than their studio work (mostly) and i've heard that the Grateful Dead never used the same setlist twice. That and they dug up any old chestnuts and rock covers out of the hat. I guess that's the appeal right there.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites