Why live music blows, and when it doesn’t


I’m not a live music junkie. Unless I am very into a band, I am not going to bother. What bothers me more than anything is the waiting.

Doors: 7:00pm

Support band: 8:30-9:00

Headline: 10:00

Standing all the meanwhile, because if I am there I will damn well be at the front, where the air flow is… existent; the view uninhibited, and, with luck, the pushing not bone-crushing.

Then there’s the noise. Even in venues with decent acoustics, the music played between sets and during the performances is deafening and makes me think back to a year 9 substitute teacher who did magic tricks and warned us of his tinnitus.

I hate being at gigs alone, which happens often enough, but I hate trying to hear my friends amid the din.

So for almost all of the music I see live, I can describe the band as a favourite.

Usually when I listen to music, I’m doing it alone. It’s in my ears as I traverse the city en route from work to film; or pumping tinnily from my computer as I absorb the internet. It’s personal. Sure, there’s the playlist of upbeat danceable tracks I pull out for parties, which has the potential to make my friends believe I am no deeper than Lollipop, Milkshake and Danger! High Voltage may suggest, but I’ve stopped trying to inflict my abiding Cole Porter obsession upon them.

Gigs, thus are cathartic.

All of a sudden, the thoughts and feelings and lyrics and rhytms exist in the real world. The musicians are out of my head yet more physically close.

To this is added another layer. When I first heard most of these bands, I lived in Armidale, New South Wales, and was having a middling-to-rotten time of it, depending on the year. I was assured that if I wanted to escape, even temporarily, it would cost hundreds of dollars.

When I see these bands, I am reminded of how much has changed since then. Pro-tip – so much. I’m taken back and brought forward and it makes the whole thing more than the music.

In the next few entries I’ll document some of the music I’ve seen lately. I’ll do it with words, as the sweat which formed has since been washed away.


About ducksandsunshine

Some say blogs are paradigms of self-indulgence and narcissism. I'm plenty of those things, but I mostly prefer to spend my not-actually-free hours playing Words With Friends. I like comedy, films, music, long reads and refined sugars.
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