The Power of Live and In-Person

Recently I saw Delta Rae live.  If you don't know who that is, first, you are missing out, and second, it's a what, not a who exactly, a band, a group of six young pretties from North Carolina who can sing and rock out like nobody's business.  I have seen many live shows, some awesome (from Taylor Swift to The Rolling Stones to Seal), some terrible (from The Cars to Tracy Chapman to Pavement), but I haven't seen a great "new" band in years.  Somehow life got in the way of the live show, life being the show going on in my living room, my dining room, and mostly my kitchen, the life of raising kids, and those hours don't work well with live music.  The show was great, and I could go on and on about it, but this isn't really a concert review; rather, it's what the concert got me thinking about.

We don't engage much with the "live" anymore, seemingly less and less everyday.  We are immersed in screens of one kind or another, we are scared of strangers, we are dispersed from our loved ones, and we have less time and willingness than ever to engage with the people right in front of us.  How often in the past week, say, have you engaged with an actual person on your commute (I nod at people occasionally), in the grocery store (I use the self-checkout), on the street (the great to smile or not to smile as you pass question), even in your house?  Sometimes in my house every person is in a different room on a different device.  Even when we are supposedly together, say watching a movie, we are often partially elsewhere in our thoughts (often with our devices).

So the concert was a great eye- and ear-opener.  Live music is a full-body experience: it touches all your senses when you are there in the crowd having a group interaction without even trying.  The music was sublime and clearly heartfelt; they were having an awesome time up there, which carried easily to the audience, until everyone was moving at once and yet in sync.  This up-and-coming band may disband tomorrow, it happens to young bands and young relationships everyday (and old ones, too, more easily than ever), but I am grateful that I got this opportunity to experience them.  I almost didn't go, almost made excuses to myself about the time and the expense and the hassle, and I'm so glad I didn't.  But I'm also going to make fewer excuses to myself about live engagement of all kinds.  After all, every friend you have was a stranger at some time.


No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome your comments and questions and will do my best to answer in a reasonable time, though working on my next novel has to come first.