It’s a question that answers itself, in my opinion, but sometimes it takes a little kick up the arse to highlight the difference between knowing what you should do, and actually doing it. In the age of the internet – free videos, free downloads, free and easy to connect with any and all of your idols in just a few clicks – why would you bother to book tickets and attend a live show? The answer is simple, and painfully obvious. Because you must. Because you have to. Because you should. And you know you want to.
Our grand-kids won’t be remotely impressed by our stories of how we once got 24 likes on our tweet about a band that never really left their own front room. Nor will they care if Kings of Leon’s manager’s assistant’s temporary support for the day re-tweeted our rock symbol \m/ when we mentioned their music. The online experience, any experience that takes place within the walls of social media, will only ever be a single experience. You will have no real stories around it, you won’t meet anyone, and although I can already sense that some of you are now begrudgingly reading this – riling up with your actually comebacks – I don’t care for those. It’s only an article; one about living in the moments that you can literally, within reason, reach out and touch.
We interact and network and connect with a number of people online; we know all about their music, what their face looks like at it’s best, what they choose to present to us after much deliberation. But we don’t know them. They don’t know us. Not until we’ve spent time together. Not until we’ve hung out. Not until we’ve knocked back a few sickly shots and danced at each other at the front of a sweaty cellar gig, to a band we adore so passionately that nothing else matters for three or four genuine, real time, hours. And during those hours, we slip outside several times, to a slightly quieter area, and talk about our dreams in the most excited manner possible, in a way that we don’t ever feel inclined to over a tea break in the office kitchen. And that’s nothing but cider in our plastic cups, I probably promise.
Even after these nights, there’s so much more to experience. And what you loved about your favourite band, you love even more now you’ve seen them live; even if they weren’t that great. As long as they meant what they did. As long as they performed it with passion. That’s all you really want. A bad performance can be forgiven, and it often is, and hopefully, if the artist really cares, the next time you see them – things will be a little better, and you’ll be glad you stood by them.
How else can I put this? You don’t earn a high five from a rock star by reading a rock column. OK, that was poor, and ‘rock star’ is a subjective term – they are everywhere (and nowhere) these days. You don’t earn a lazy Sunday with a fry up and Netflix by spending 8 hours sweating away with strangers, spammers, and socialites on Twitter. Earn the calm. Live the storm. Go to a live gig – however small the venue. Go because your mind deserves to meditate in an uncontrolled, loud, and free environment.
Stay connected, because it’s a wonderful world, but disconnect yourself too sometimes. Go out and see it for yourself. You won’t regret it. Thanks for reading. Leave your thoughts at the bottom. All welcome.