Had a great music weekend these past few days, including a birthday party for a longtime friend, a Jubilee show, and a very fun afternoon show sitting in on some songs. Friday’s birthday party had lots of people in attendance that I hadn’t seen for years, and many others that I just don’t see frequently enough. A lot of these folks have been around one or more bands I’ve been involved with for years, and it’s great to share that kind of history with people! Very cool watching people sing along to songs that they may not have heard for a long time, but still remember!
The Rock & Roll Jubilee was a sell-out on Saturday; in fact, it’s the first time the show has sold out pre-show! The house was packed, the energy was high, and we saw lots of friends in attendance. Also got to meet lots of new folks, which is always fun (especially when they like it . It’s fun to watch an audience that has maybe just remembered why they’ve loved music all of these years, and just realized that all they loved about it doesn’t have to end when they reach 25 or 30!
I’ve written before about how rewarding it is to meet people who have seen us for the first time – the Taters, the Jubilee, whatever – and seem to have sort of an epiphany when they realize that it’s still fun to go out and hear live music! So many people have given it up over the years, especially as they get older, have families, earlier work mornings, etc. A lot of times they have an idea that “That was something we did when we were younger” and just sort of gave up on it. But then they wind up at one of our shows, and they remember that there’s nothing quite like spending an evening with friends, or meeting new people, listening to music they really enjoy. And there’s no better way to do that than in local clubs, concerts & festivals.
I think it’s fine people have so many options these days for seeing music and other entertainment on TV, DVD, cable, YouTube, etc. and I do plenty of that myself, but it doesn’t hold a candle to being part of the live experience. Even in the smallest shows there’s an energy there that just can’t be absorbed from a screen, an energy that audience members are involved in creating WITH the band. In the Taters, we often make a point of saying “No two shows the same”, and that’s true from the setlist to the solos, but it’s especially true because of the audience. Every night we play a song, even if we’ve played it 1,000 times before, it hits a person or group of people in different ways, and that response (hopefully good!) feeds back into the performance, making each show a one-of-a-kind event.
Watching music, movies, whatever on TV or the computer is similar to Facebooking in some ways; you can see and learn a lot, find things you enjoy, and increasingly share feedback on items and events. But it can never really replace face-to-face contact with the real world, and that goes for entertainment just as much as for personal relationships. If you know someone who regularly goes out to get involved in live music events – as a player OR as an audience member – just ask them what they like about it; most are happy to tell you!