In a time where the internet gives … and keeps giving … and gives so much that we pay monthly for its streaming tv, music, and even workout platforms, what in the HELL can motivate us to get off our behinds and go hear live music? While this is partially self-serving since I’m a performing musician myself, this is also to pump up so many friends in the industry and keep the arts alive and well!
Here go ten unusually fabulous reasons to see live music!
- 1. There will never, EVER be another show like the one you go to. Think of it. Every moment that passes is unique, like a snowflake, like a breath. You’ll never be the same age, the same configuration of cells, the same complex of neuroses or feelings, the same season. Same for the musicians you witness on stage. Their songs, their breaths, their special guests they are making music with, the amount of time they’ve spent on their craft. Perhaps they are fresh out of the gate, and you can say you saw her when she was 18 and look, 20 years later, 7 albums later and she’s opening for Shawn Colvin (true story for me! LOL).
- 2. You will never be in the same configuration of audience members ever again. Riffing off point #1, the crowd you’re in will never be the same. You may sing together, cry together, laugh together. True super fans, or maybe brand new fans, what matters is the common theme – this show is happening and you are all there.
- 3. You might meet a new friend or lover! What if the person standing next to you ends up being your partner for life! What if you’re in a new city or feeling lonely and you stand next to your new best friend or workout partner? Regardless, seeing shows in a live setting builds community.
- 4. You are supporting multiple causes with your dollar. When you go hear live music, the musician hopefully takes home some money through the door charge, a guarantee with the venue, tip jar, or a cut from the bar, and/or merchandise sales. The venue gets a cut from the door and the bar / food sales and lots of people hopefully love the venue and spread the word. The bartender gets tips. The people who manufactured the merchandise stay in business. The bandleader pays his band, his manager, his gas, his agent, and hopefully has some to take home to feed the kids and take a half day from work so he can write more songs to get more people out to the next show.
- 5. You could get exercise. Do you work a desk job? Do you drive a car? Maybe at the show you stand the whole night and walk around the venue. Put on that fitbit and see how many steps. Better yet, plan a date with friends and walk to the venue. If you drink soda with a lime and not thick IPAs you’ll have a healthy little night of it!
- 6. You could get even MORE exercise if you dance! I live in Minnesota and it takes a little while to get people on the dance floor sometimes but not only is dancing good for your body, it’s good for your heart (part of your bod, I suppose), brain, and holy spirit. It is uplifting, it is fun, and if anyone judges you, fuck ’em! You don’t need people who judge your dance moves in your sphere. You are having WAY more fun than them!
- 7. It builds community. Similar to an earlier point, going to hear live music strengthens and builds community. You might start to see familiar faces around town. You might see the same faces at shows and become friends. You might decide that this band supports certain causes, environmental, political. Their songs might inspire you and your new friends to get more active in the community. Maybe their show is a fundraiser or donation, maybe you get some money off if you bring food for the food shelf. Music can bring so much good to our communities.
- 8. You might learn something. Sometimes the songwriter will tell a story between songs. It might be just what you needed to hear to spark your new lust for life. It might be just what you needed to hear to finish the project you’re working on that has you stumped. The lyrics or the melody might touch a place deep in your emotional center to learn more about yourself, to move forward in life with a changed perspective. Or, maybe the grungy character at the bar will hit on you with some sort of odd fact about the band that you never knew. There is always something to learn, every day, especially in social settings.
- 9. Music lifts the spirit and can change our moods. Why DO we make music? Who started it? Why do the birds sing? It seems almost strange that we would evolve to be able to create music … I used to think that flowers were frivolous but have you ever stared into one and knelt inside of that beauty? And then, of course, learning about pollinators and how crucial they are to us for survival. Music, I believe, is also crucial to our survival. Have you ever closed your eyes and cried to the same song a hundred times? Have you put music on during your commute to work that pumped you up or listened to music during your workout? Music shifts energy. Music touches something deeper in our being, the indescribable, our essence. The auditory system is developed at 23 weeks in utero … and hearing is often the last thing to go when we leave this earthly plane. I plan to spend the larger part of my remaining life learning what is the point of music and how can it heal us and further our evolution …
- 10. We need to support artists. Artists approach the world in different ways. Through the lens of emotion and symbol. This is a tumultuous time. In fact, all throughout history it’s been tumultuous. There are natural disasters, there is war, there is unspeakable random violence, there is illness. And, there is beauty, ecstasy, love, compassion, puppies and kitties. What can describe the indescribable? What can bring voice to the voiceless? Music can. Art can. We can go to it when we need answers and healing. We can go to it when we are confused and alone. We can go to it when we need community and support. We can raise our voices together in chorus. Our senses are here for us to enjoy music, painting, theatre, comedy, nourishing food. Let us relish in the good that this human experience has to offer. We need to support artists because we never know who needs that special song, poem, painting that might change the course of our lives for the good of humanity. Or just a provide us with a good memory from back in the day …
Thank you for reading and I truly hope you’ll go check out some live music soon. Much love, Mary
Do YOU have more reasons to go see live music? I’m sure you do! Please comment below or send me a note – I’d love to hear from you!
If you enjoy these writings, songs, teachings of mine, I’d be SO grateful if you’d support my work on Patreon! I’m offering a special through October for all Patreon members $5+ — my first LIVE recording — Live at the Mission Room recorded by Henri Minette. It’s a compilation of songs from my band’s Fall Residency at the Hook and Ladder Mission Room in Minneapolis. Next show is Oct 16th, and Oct. 17 at Reif Center in Grand Rapids, MN.