This last weekend I saw Sylvan Esso at Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington. Not only are they an incredible group to see live, but the venue was too inspiring. Twinkly lights in what felt like an open forest made me think: what are the reasons I’m happy to be here today?
Being in front of one of your favorite artists is amazing. To know that the sounds are live is something else. You’re hearing songs that you love, created right before you, coming from the lips and fingers of their creators. Live shows are unique, every single show is different – which is why I’ll never be a critic to the idea of seeing an artist multiple times on one tour.
Beyond the idea of seeing the re-creation of a song live comes the people. Everyone in the audience came for the same reason. They all want to sing along and dance through the show with you, bringing me to my next point.
Depending on the artist, the attendees of a show are more or less tightly knit. (When shows get larger, more people just come for a night out.)
In smaller, more supportive environments, you have a majority of people that just want to take in the show and support an artist. If you find yourself toward the front of the floor at a concert, against the stage, you tend to see others that are, more or less, equally invested. You interact with them, you interact with the artists on stage (provided they aren’t blinded by their lighting), and you direct the mood of the show for yourself and others.
Added bonus: If you’re willing to be sociable, there are plenty of friends to make at concerts. I have friends from several years ago that I met at a concert. We make new concert plans, travel plans, etc. If you’re looking for new buddies, chat up your neighbors at your next show!
In a digital world of free and low-cost music subscriptions, you know that an artist’s areas of income are shrinking. It’s hard to know whether or not ‘saving’ an artist’s album on Spotify is really going to make a point. However, it’s almost impossible to argue that your ticket purchase, travel, and attendance at an artist’s show is anything but direct support.
When your favorite band hops on stage and sees a crowd full of people that came for them, there’s no reason to believe that doesn’t make them feel great. Many times, you’ll see a big smile crack their face as they realize the size of the crowd they’ve drawn. The warmth inside your chest as you realize you brought that smile to their face is enough to push you to the next show on your list (or at least it is for me!)
I can hope that you didn’t need any of these reasons to get out and go to a live show. If you did, hopefully they were structured similar to english, and you understood. Please, go treat yourself to some live music. Have a blast, and make some friends.