Live Music: A Form of Community and Escapism

Jubelnde Konzertbesucher auf Rock-Konzert

Music has been around for ages. It is a form of entertainment that many people use to pass time, to help create a specific emotion, or to reinforce an emotion that they are currently having. These are typical examples of music being used on an individual basis through headphones. Music has many more functions for the individual person. My focus for this blog is not on what affects the music has on an individual, but what it is able to do to a group of people. It is a form of escape from the stress and obligations of our busy lives.

Ann Cvetkovich touched on this concept in her book “The Archive of Feelings” when she mentioned the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. She said “performed live, the song creates an opportunity for the audience to shout out the words as a group and affirm the many kinds of survival that bring them together”. She said that these live shows “form the archive in which my own feelings are deposited”. In my own experience with live concerts, I have experienced the same thing. Cvetkovich spoke of a collective “trauma” occurring in each of the attendees that brings them together and unifies them. I’d like to clarify through my experience that it does not take a traumatic experience to pull people together and enjoy these live shows. I personally haven’t really had a noteworthy traumatic experience in my life. However, that hasn’t hindered me from having an amazing, communal experience when I go to a concert.

When I go to a concert by a band that I have been listening to nonstop and know all the songs by heart, the feeling of community is indescribable. In most cases, the people around you love the songs as much as you do. They are singing along to every word just as you are. The lyrics don’t have to be speaking about a traumatic experience or anything negative, its about the atmosphere that the music creates. Songs with positive, encouraging lyrics are just as powerful as traumatic, negative ones. The music behind the words has a profound affect on the movement and mood of the audience. Alternatively, dance concerts and festivals have very little words at all in their music and the feeling of community and acceptance is just as strong. An article in the Los Angeles Times talks about the Electric Daisy Carnival or EDC. The Electric Daisy Carnival is a massive festival that plays Electronic Dance Music, or EDM. This music typically has very few lyrics and is focused on the music and the beat. In this article, sociologist Yale Fox said “When everyone is listening to music at the same time, they’re all stimulated in a similar fashion … there’s something magical about everybody moving to the same beat.”(1) So, whether it has words to sing along to or not, the music has a way of bringing people together and putting everyone in a collective mood. Both the sense of community and the escape from stress are factors that will continue to make live music an unbeatable source of entertainment.

Footnotes:

(1) “Electric Daisy Carnival, EDM Thrive on Escapist Atmosphere.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2015. <http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-electric-daisy-carnival-20140621-story.html&gt;.

Image: http://www.frecho.com/files/2014/07/festival-ete.jpg

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Live Music: A Form of Community and Escapism”

  1. I cannot agree with you more, live shows are the best and take the music to another level, whether it’s just being in the same place as that artist or the atmosphere the fans create make it more exciting in my view. From my experience in concerts the electric and metal scenes have the most communal crowds. Everyone seems to be in touch with everyone around them and are the most inviting people, like they are looking to share their experience with the people around them. Even though they’re playing the same songs as you can listen to on the computer or even watch entire fan filmed shows of artists being there in person, there’s just nothing like it.

    Like

  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog because I too enjoy a good concert. I have been to many concerts throughout my life and I can say that it does not have to be traumatic to be enjoyed. I like how you incorporated the EDM as an example, because you can think of clubs or festivals that just bring everyone together in a way to have fun and let loose of your problems, instead of focusing on how negative the lyrics may be. Very good!

    Like

  3. Cool take on what it means to be present at a live concert, especially EDM or a similar genre. I think one of the biggest draws of live concerts is the ability to enjoy your favorite music at the same time and alongside of thousands of others. Just like how music is often better enjoyed with your friends, I think live concerts play off this same feeling.

    Like

  4. I really liked your take on live music, concerts definitely create a bond between everyone in the audience. Everyone is there because they all enjoy the music of the performer so there is almost a sense of oneness in the crowd that allows everyone to feed off each others positive energy and have a great time.

    Like

  5. I really enjoyed your blog post taking a position on live concerts and the emotions brought out through experiencing it in person. It is such a different experience than just listening to music through headphones and the community you are able to enjoy it with is the best part.

    Like

  6. I liked your blog post because you perfectly described why concerts are so enjoyable. They bring out a sense of community that humans, I feel, really long for. It is the same thing with fans of sports teams cheering on their team; it is always more enjoyable to cheer on that team with some friends than by yourself, and even more enjoyable to cheer on that team in a stadium of 100,000 other fans. I think that people can be moved in different ways at concerts, depending on the genre of music. For example, everyone can be having fun at an EDM concert, or everyone can partake in a very emotional ballad or country song, swaying their lighters (or now phones) to the rhythm of the music. These moments, when experienced live, truly transcend music.

    Like

  7. The post was very intrrsting . Personally I have not been to a concert but your post clearly shows what goes on. I can agree you will feel a sense of community at a concert and maybe even learn more or share more emotions to lyrics when you see how it affects other people singing along with you .Also I can clearly see their might as well not be nothing like listening to a concert live with a bunch of people and seeing the artists live than on a YouTube screen. Great post

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s