September 3, 2019
You don’t go to a concert for a perfect audio experience. If you want to hear the music the way the artist wants it to be, you get a studio album. There, they had more complete control over how it sounds. (To a degree, of course. But they know how it sounded when it left.)
You go to a concert for a social, theatrical experience. You go for the dramatic coloured smoke, the capes and costumes, the fire, the feel of the bass though your boots. You know the sound quality isn’t going to even be good. The screams are going to white out the speakers and you’re not going to understand a word they’re saying but you know in your heart what they mean. You go for the energy of the crowd. You feed on it as you all sing along. That gathering for a sole, positive, collective purpose. You’re here for a feeling. One that you can’t have on your own, at home.
A feeling like bawling your eyes out as the crowd lights up their phones to wave as if they were lighters during a song about suicide. A song that’s always made you cry but now you can see how much it affects others too as they hug each other as they sing along.
And you can do that. You can sing at the top of your lungs and no one is going to complain, or judge you. Doesn’t matter how bad your singing is or if you get some of the words wrong, because your voice is just another lost in the crowd. You can’t even hear yourself well enough to hear your own critical voice chiming in at how you’re not good enough.
October 30, 2020
So what does a concert look like in the COVID world? Last night ‘I went to I Heard They Kill Live!’, a livestream concert experience from Ice Nine Kills. This event took their professionally filmed (8 camera) concert footage from their previous tour and combined it with a new frame story; a fake livestream event presenting the concert with the band, hosted by horror actor Bill Moseley, who were all stalked and killed off by a mysterious masked and silent killer as we all watched, complete with gore special effects. $15 USD got you a general admission ticket, where you had a shared chat room with the other folx at that ticket level, and you got to experience the stream, complete with fake ads (and real ones for new merch) and pre-roll. At a higher price bracket, you got the RIP (what they were calling their VIP) experience, where you got to interact with the band after the show and could be featured on screen in picture in picture style for everyone to see you rocking out, and had access to the RIP level chat. It was a full 19 song set, with the added horror show. I, for one, joined in the standard concert experience by screaming along loudly (aka singing) with my headphones up loud, in the safety of my home. It was a blast of an experience and well worth it.