Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Virtues of the Live Music Experience

Truth be told, there is little in life that I find more enjoyable than live music. I've been going to gigs and concerts here and there for the guts of six years now - my first ever being a Paramore gig at the former O2 Arena in Dublin, supported by one of my long-time favourite bands, You Me At Six.

There's something quite exhilarating about the 'live music scene', and everything that comes with it - trekking to the other side of the country, queuing for up to hours on end in every kind of weather you can bear, to be either crammed into a tiny, dimly lit venue or ushered hurriedly into an overwhelmingly vast arena. All just to see a group of people doing exactly what they love, playing the soundtrack to your young life - every heartbreak endured, every tear of joy, every moment of brutal anger, whatever it may be.

One of my favourite things about music is how an artist can capture all of these wonderful, everyday emotions in bursts of melody and passages of unedited lyrics, wrap them up into a song or an album, and unleash them to the public in a glorious flurry of sound and words. It always fascinates me how we, as an audience, interpret songs differently, enjoy different sounds and adapt lyrics to our own lives, in ways that can turn a three minute gush of noise into something incredibly meaningful.

What's even more wonderful is the experience of hearing these sounds and words performed right in front of you, with tens, hundreds or thousands of similarly minded people crowded around you, feeling the same wave of emotions and utmost adoration for the artists standing onstage before you.

This tidal wave of eomtions is almost too extraordinary to describe. The anticipation has a lot to do with it. The build up, counting down the days and hours, finally standing among numerous other excited, chattering fans, tapping your feet or humming inaudibly along to whatever tracks the band have chosen to warm up their audience, whilst crew members scurry across the stage, setting up instruments and microphones. The lights dim, the crowd screams, and the band emerges in a crash of noise, energy and excitement. It's always such a highlight, seeing that they are just as buzzed to be there as you are.

Personally, live gigs are a release for me. It's a release I crave, during long periods of time, without it. It's one of few places you can really let your emotions go and just be, y'know? Be blissfully, adamantly happy. Scream, shout, sing, dance - buzz off the happy and excitable people around and before you, and just let go. Let the music carry you, lose yourself in the beats, join in with the roar of the crowd - it's an exhilarating release, one of the best there is, and certainly one that holds so many happy memories. So much so, I'm getting shivers down my back as I type this.

I could go on and on forever about how warm and fuzzy live music makes me feel, but I think I've made my point. I have to say, though: I don't care what anyone says - no amount of dancing in a sweaty, crowded nightclub could ever beat this.
Ciara Pollock © . Design by FCD.