I probably shouldn't have watched so much of the Glastonbury coverage over the weekend - it made me wish I was there. Partly because the previous two occasions that I descended upon the festival were mudbaths of the highest extreme but also because it reminded me how much I love going to see live music.
I know a couple of people who argue that they don't enjoy live performances by artists they enjoy as it never sounds as good as the recorded version. I can see their point of view if they just want to listen the songs they know and love the way that they know and love them but, for me, that's not the appeal of the gig. Sure, a big part of is about the music itself but it's also about the shared experience, the company, the socialising. Even a bad gig can still be a good night out. There's just something about it.
You arrive at the pub/club/stadium/field. You find someone you know. The longing emptiness in your hand is replaced by the cooling fullness of a lovely cold alcoholic beverage. Imbibing commences. The anticipation builds. Music begins, probably a support act. They are good or bad. Discussions ensue. Imbibing continues.
At last, the act you have been anticipating graces the stage / corner of the pub / cowshed. You sing, you dance, you jump around, you shout yourself silly, you probably spill some alcohol but this is one of the few occasions where that is pretty much OK.
They were brilliant. Everyone is happy and carries on drinking and dancing badly to the post-gig cheesy disco (if there is one). They were awful. Everyone is a bit disappointed so carries on drinking and dancing badly to the post-gig cheesy disco (if there is one).
Having had many a friend or family member in a band at one time or another, there's just something appealing about seeing a band play live. Of course, you will inevitably spend the next day with ears ringing and throat sore from the singing but it's a small price to pay, I say...