Passion in Performance

 The Experience of Live Music 

Photo by Michael Competielle

With a history dating back to the prehistoric cave-dwelling era, musical performance and more than likely ritual music performances have been experienced for centuries. With sounds ranging from the human voice, banging rocks and sticks early musical creation is believed to mimic soundscapes and nature sounds.

Drums have been used for religious ceremonies and for marching into battle. And for thousands of years music was a performance art requiring the listener to be present for the presentation. It wasn’t until the late 1870s that audio recordings were possible separating the performance from the performer. 

Early forms of recorded music was in the form of notation that still required a performer for the audience to hear the musical piece. As technology improved mechanical means of sound performance existed from player pianos and organ yet again lacked the performer.

As history moved on we have passed through many technological advances for recording and reproducing sound performances yet most besides motion picture have attempted to capture the energy and emotion from viewing a live performance.

With the expansion of musical venues and advancing in sound reproduction we have been able to have huge music festivals and concerts that can capture the energy and expression from live performance.

Huge infamous musical performances such as Woodstock in 1969 and The Monterey Pop Festival were massive 3-day musical events where performers performed for hundreds of thousands of people.

With philosophies of peace, love, and art, these festivals have inspired entire generations of musical aficionados. Radio play, vinyl records, 8 track tapes, and cassettes tapes have captured the audio performance but lack in the connectivity we experience during a live musical performance.

Jam bands such as The Grateful Dead and Phish have inspired an entire generation of tapers that have been positively encouraged to record and redistribute live performances. The recordings often coming directly off the soundboard generate quality recordings that are almost like witnessing live.

What lacks in these recordings and radio play is the energy of the crowd. Nothing comes close to the experience of moving your body to the beat and rhythm to music along with tens of thousand people. Buried deep in a concert crowd is the togetherness and positive energy and vibe from concertgoers.

Walking into a concert venue brings the connectively and mutual commonality that allows us to escape into the musical journey. Lighting, sounds and smells fuel your emotion as you’ll feel a natural release of stress and angst. Swaying to the music and dancing to the groove collectively with hundreds or thousand of others.

The thrill of a performer hitting the stage, energetically charge by the sheer magnitude of a crowd, electrified by the energy, prepared to give it everything they’ve got.

The rhythmic sound of drums pounding, guitars screaming and words that will fuel your soul, music is the ultimate stress reliever and live performances the best medicine.

Hardly a chance to not even see the most pessimistic observer not tapping a foot, nodding their head and swaying to the music from a live performance.