My favorite live performances are when you completely lose space and time and you are totally immersed in what the performer is giving you. There is really nothing quite like when a performer leaves it all out over the stage. You you feel the blood, sweat and tears, and all the elation and pain of their journey.
Live Performances in 2016
In 2016, you have the luxury of seeing live music online from the comfort of your computer, phone or tablet screen, but you cannot smell the venue (not necessarily a bad thing considering some venues), you cannot breathe the same air, and you cannot share the present experience with the artist in the same way. That being said, sometimes an artist is truly so special that even during a live stream they can make you feel like you are right there with them.
The point of seeing live bands and live artists is to experience the music in a different way than simply just listening. I personally love when artists take liberties during a live musical performance that they didn’t take on the record and change the arrangement or melody. Some people want it to sound exactly like the recorded product, but I think that the best performances are not the most perfect or well executed. They are the ones with mistakes, spontaneity and raw, unfiltered guttural emotions.
When speaking about live pop music specifically, a lot of artists take slack for using background tracks and a big production. However, it doesn’t matter if there is a light show, pyrotechnics, and tracks going off if the artist or band is still up there fully giving themselves to the audience in their own authentic way.
The mainstream masses are not stupid: they pay for things they like to see and there is a possibility that you can witness a truly emotional, raw performance of a pop superstar and a sort of phoned in, lackluster performance of a folk singer. It matters what the artist brings forth and then feeds on the audience’s energy. When these two things are completely in sync, that is a night to remember.