Once upon a time the only way you could hear music was to be there as it was created. If you grew up in the early 2000’s you have pretty much had your choice of digital downloads and finding bands across the globe, but what was once seen as the ‘next best thing’ for the music industry soon created expected issues, and now live music is seeing a comeback.
Artists used to struggle to find fans outside of their area. If you were a national band you got radio play, media companies and magazines, tours, and had cassette tapes or CD’s available, but those that hadn’t hit the big time were hard pressed to find a new audience. Music fans would seek out new music from their friends and when MTV came to life we sat in glorious wonder at finding music we could access with a touch of a button. I was thirteen when I found my music. My friends were fans of Bon Jovi and the current boy bands being played on our local stations. Music was fun and I loved it! We had recently discovered this little gem called The Beastie Boys that we wouldn’t dare play around our parents but the day that “Head like a Hole” was featured on MTV was a moment of clarity for me. I sat, transfixed by the sights, bathing in the words. It struck a chord in my life and ultimately changed it’s course. I searched for that song, waited for the video to come up again. This was before the internet was launched and it would be years before I could have access to anything but the censored CD’s at my local stores, if they carried it.
My reaction to that video was exactly what music was hoping for in it’s audience but as time went on these artists found the internet and ability to download music was it’s greatest achievement and biggest downfall. It’s now 2019 and music from any artist able to upload can be found on so many forums that it’s like walking into a grocery store and finding thousands of cans of chicken soup. You may love it, but if you’re faced with too many options, you don’t really know which variety you want and might get tired of looking. You’re most likely going to get the ones you’re used to eating…. and that is where music media comes into action.
If your best friend tells you why they’re excited about something, you’re more willing to try it. If you read an article about the benefits of something, you start looking at the benefits you want. Music media helps guide you through the music market but – there’s a catch. You can download the music and it can hit the right chords, but you’re not experiencing it fully. At that moment music doesn’t connect you to anything and unfortunately the digital age of computers in our hands and access to the world has taken the living, breathing experience of what music really is away from us. Live music isn’t the only thing that so many have lost touch with but it is one thing that has the ability to change this ‘connected disconnect’ within our society. You cannot be in a room full of strangers if you all love the same band because music is not only notes and harmony. It’s delivered in a way that touches something inside of you and everyone else gathered to hear it in the same way.
Live music strips away the programming and perfect tuning. The musicians playing to a crowd are putting their raw talent on display, sharing a part of themselves with you and feeling the same sense of connection as the audience. You lose yourself to something bigger and join in the cheering. If something goes wrong, you’re there for that blip on the radar where the curtain slips and life happens, just like to all of us. The people gathered near you become friends, if only for the moment, and the merchandise you buy holds so much more meaning. For years after you will see the shirt as you put your laundry away and be transported back to that day. You will finally experience the full tactile connection to music in the things you have from that band; and my dear reader, you will want more.
We are coming full circle as a society. We are becoming tired of living alone while connected to millions and live music happening in your area is the fastest way to find your way back to true society. Among friends we can never be lonely and friends are others who share our interests and a part of our emotions, a small piece of ourselves. Music can inspire, soothe, amp us up, let us know that others have experienced our pains and our joys. It is our helper and our muse.
One of my sayings is that Music Unites Souls Everywhere…. and so, my dear reader, the best advice I can give you to feel connected and emotionally healthy in a digital world?
Jana Lee Macheca (aka Lady Jaye) is the owner and editor of First Angel Media as well as professional photographer and writer. Having worked in national and local levels of music media her goal is to provide professional coverage for bands of all levels.