It’s a beautiful, sunny day in your local city – except you are unaware of this as you stand, shoulder to shoulder with strangers from all degrees of life. Packed like farm animals inside a dark auditorium awaiting the blinding of strobe lights and deafening of speakers with enough SPL per watt to uproot a forest. And yet, you leave this loud, crammed, seemingly undesirable experience as an inspired, satisfied and overall happier individual; and the question is: why? Why humans not only love, but crave the live music atmosphere, dates back to practically the dawn of mankind.
Even in prehistoric times, the art of live music was believed to play part in the lives of cavemen and women. Artifacts found revealing cave drawings of people dancing—and let’s be honest, who dances without music? Jump forward a few hundred-millennia to Ancient Greece where live performances of theater and music became not only a source of entrainment but also a means of projecting societal norms.
1700s: Opera emerges as a new type of live music performance; initiating a need for large showcase venues such as La Scala in Milan.
1850: Jenny Linda makes her debut in America, exceeding the crowd size bought on by any preceding artist.
1950s: Rock and Roll broke down the race barrier by showcasing black and white artists side-by-side on a shared stage.
Maybe it’s just in our nature or maybe there truly is something different, something unexplainable about live music. On that note (pun intended), the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center conducted a study which analyzed the compared human reaction to live and recorded music. According to the data retrieved through this study, live music resulted in greater relief of stress among patients than recorded tracks. The setting, the physical vigor and connection between fan and artist has the power to pull audience-members out of their busy lives for a moment, where nothing else matters but the art in front of them.
And that’s not even the best part. Concerts not only have illustrated a unique ability to reach people in a way no other means of art can, they are also -dare I say- saving the music industry. Mind you, this is a debated topic amongst music connoisseurs. Many argue, that as the profit from purchased music decreases with the incline in streaming, the touring and live music industry will pick-up the income slack.
Despite the outlandishness of this claim, it is valid considering the immense growth in live music profit over the past decade. Concerts and live tours, which were once mere means of promoting a new album, have evolved into a multibillion dollar industry. Millennials have undeniably taken part in the live music fad; however according to Ticketmaster’s 2014 Live Attendee Study, their presence was solely thirty-five percent of overall attendees. Therefore insinuating that older generations too have increased in concert attendance, and today take up sixty-five percent of the documented audience.
So picture this…
It’s sixty degrees in Dublin, You’re in an outside venue in close quarters with the stranger on your left. You take a moment to appreciate that one festival brought all of these people together. The lights of the stage dim, and outsteps the artist you came to see. And thus, you leave this loud, crammed, seemingly undesirable experience as an inspired, satisfied and overall happier individual; and the answer is: music.
Josey is a content writer for youbloom as well as a member of the marketing team. She is music obsessed and a diehard Tom Petty fan. Josey currently lives outside of Los Angeles where she enjoys excessively sunny days, train adventures and organic chai (yes, Josey is high-maintenance about her chai).