The death of live music


 Live music is always a very exciting experience. For many people, it’s a complete left turn from their normal lives and a change in pace just to make plans and figure out where you’re going to sit, ticket prices, and so on. Sometimes just buying the tickets in itself is a memorable experience. However, as the years go by and people are able to watch shows in the comfort of their own homes, artists that perform live have to ask; “What point is there in trying?” It also begs the question on why should people even buy these tickets in the first place?

   Now obviously people care about their audience and live shows are neat in their own right, but if you’re going to see a live performance from a band you like, you want to be wow-ed and have the night be a fun one!

   “I went to a Clutch concert back on May 7th, 2022, and it was kind of underwhelming to see that they just stood still and played their instruments without anything entirely interesting going on,” said Sophia Parsons, Senior. “If I’m paying hundreds of dollars to come out and see a band perform in the same quality as me just switching on my music, I feel like the ‘experience’ won’t be all that memorable.”

   The big problem with live shows nowadays is that nothing crazy happens anymore. You’re just watching people sit on a stool or stand up and play their instruments like normal, with the occasional walk-around on the stage a lead singer would give. Take, for example, bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Mindless Self Indulgence. There were always REASONS to go and see the live shows. With The Smashing Pumpkins, after they played the song “X.Y.U” live, the lead singer always proceeded to tear apart his guitar string by string and smash the base. Pretty wild stuff. With MSI, they were always doing SOMETHING. It’d take ages to list all of the ways they’d make going to their shows a worthwhile experience, but the main thing was that they were always interacting with the crowd and finding some way to implement them into their show. 

   “I can’t remember when, but I went to a Mindless Self Indulgence concert, and after every single song, something crazy would happen.” Said Gunnar Linhart, Junior. “The main thing that stood out to me and honestly HAUNTS me to this day, however, was when the lead singer drank his own urine in front of the crowd.”

   Showmanship. That’s what it comes down to. If you’re just starting out as a band or a singer and you want people to come see you, besides your music needing to be enjoyable, you’ve gotta sell yourself; WHY should we go to your concert?

   “I’ve been to many concerts before,” Said Ethan Janacki, Junior. “Nine Inch Nails, Origami Angel, Tool, etc. Back in October I saw that Gorillaz were going on tour. I’m a pretty big fan of them so I looked into tickets but found some performances on YouTube and it ultimately stopped me from seeing them. The only thing they had going for them were the big screens that would show their music videos and pretty good light work. The band in general? Really lackluster.”