People debate streaming and 99 cent downloads. They talk about how recorded music changed everything. The digital takeover made every wannabe musician a possible star. Autotune can correct your flubs and an amazing producer can morph you into a flawless icon. People mourn how musicians and writers don't make as much money as they used to and how the art of music has been degraded. Industry writers and critics say "get on board, or get left behind." And so the artist pushes for streams, and likes, and hashtags and followers and tiny little numbers ticking upward to tell all the bigwigs that what they do is worthwhile so that they can maybe have a shot. "Find us on Spotify, Itunes, Amazon, Google Play, Apple Music, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, the next thing, the next space, the next addiction..."
But where's the real buzz?
It's in the same place it's always been.
It's in 100 or 1,000 people singing Amazing Grace in the same space and at the same time.
It's at your favorite venue, with your favorite friends and your favorite artist.
Recorded music can run itself into the ground and then fling itself a mile high again, but live music is still home. Maybe becuase it's in our roots. Maybe it's because music is especially magical spiritually and physiologically when someone is playing a real instrument right next to you. Maybe because it's more human. You can't go back and perfect the previous moment. But you can use the moment to make something even greater. The real thing.
We understand there is a difference between digital and real. It's just like all of those studies showing that we don't know how to communicate in real life anymore after becoming so accustomed to editing and shaping our images online. But when is sitting right across from you, you can't perfect your words or make your face look just right. If we say the wrong thing, we can't delete it or change our inflection, or add a happy emoji face. If there is a wad of spinach in our teeth, we don't even know it. Whether we like it or not, we are still human and we live in a space where our energy affects the place around us. And where we desperately need to know real, feel real, and see others as real. It connects us. Music can do this better than anything. Live music can unify absolutely. In a space of thousands of people, one song, sung by one person, can turn into the anthem of every soul who can hear it. Just go to a U2 concert or a gospel music driven church service. The real thing is unstoppable. And no industry can change it.
It might be daddy playing a lullaby to his daughter on acoustic guitar by the fireplace before bedtime. Or maybe it's At Last by Etta James played at a wedding. Everywhere music is still doing it's work and spreading it's magic, even when it seems like music only exists on the radio and in our spotify list.
In our hearts, we are grateful for every live show we get to play and every non-perfected experience we get to have with our friends and fans. It's a gorgeous thing.
We'll see you at a show...