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  • August 9th, 2017

    Calling ALL Live Music Lovers: A Youngster Perspective on Live Music!

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    My name is Liv and I love live music…

    Hi! My name is Liv, I’m 19, I’ve been an intern at The Cap for 2 months, and I go to concerts and music festivals all the time because I think live music is awesome. I went to my first concert with my mom, and have been in love ever since! I love sharing music with the people I love, and listening to a variety of genres and styles. Here are two pictures of me and some of my pals at a concert!

    Live music brings people together in a way that almost nothing else can. And while the jamband community of fans is a wide range of ages, I’ve noticed that those who come to see live music at The Capitol Theatre are mostly men and women above the age of 25. So knowing this, I decided to find out how the people of my generation use music in their lives, and how they appreciate live music. I did a fun little survey of a bunch of my friends, so naturally the average age of people who responded was around 20 years of age.

    Survey results are in!

    I asked a bunch of questions to try and get a better idea of what each person’s experience with live music looks like. Specifically, my questions were as follows: How old were you at your first concert? Who did you go with? What artist did you see? What is your best memory from that event? What’s your favorite part about seeing live music? What is the next time you plan to see live music? How do you mostly discover new music? Why do you prefer to see some artists live? What makes a great live music experience for you? Who are your favorite live musical artists? And, Do your parents go to concerts?

    Taste in music: What’s your flavor?

    The first thing I noticed from the responses was that while a bunch of people were going to festivals like The Governors Ball Music Festival and other concerts that have become more mainstream, those who started going to see live music at the earliest age are the ones who have the wider ranges in music taste and go to concerts the most often. They were usually able to go so young because they went with their parents!

    Pass it on down!

    Because live music was so important to my parents’ generation, they’re bringing their kids to concerts to share that experience with them—something that earlier generations’ parents typically didn’t do for them. Live music is becoming more of a family event than it ever was, and it’s something that kids and parents now share their passion for. My parents have always shared their love of music with me, and have been bringing me to see live music with them for years! This is a picture from 2015 of me and my family at a Dead & Co. show in San Francisco! That’s me on the right 🙂

    ~Your vibe attracts your tribe~

    Rock ‘n’ roll for my parents’ generation was a symbol of rebellion, and a way for them to rebel against their parents, to express themselves as independent individuals. This made seeing live music a thing they only really did with pals, and never with their parents. But, it’s different now—it feels more about community. I love that.

    Sometimes music is the only medicine the heart and soul need

    Most of the people who responded to the survey said their favorite part of watching live music is seeing the music with their friends and experiencing the energy of the crowd. Seeing live music is not only a group activity, it is experiencing music with your whole body and soul!

    I know this from my own experience. When listening to music with my earbuds in, often times I’m also doing something else on my phone. When listening to music at work, or at the gym, or at a party, it’s background and my focus is on something other than the music. But, at a concert, the music and the environment are so immersive. People are psyched to listen. They dress for the show, they’re ready to feel it as well as hear it. The music is everything. I love how people surrender their entire selves to the being at and being in the show. We’re all part of it. Senses merge, boundaries blur, people dance and sweat and cheer and feel joy together.

    Picture by: Jay Blakesberg

    What a long strange trip it’s been

    The other thing people I surveyed said a lot was that what they remember most from their first concert experience was simply being in the same room as the artist—being in the presence of someone famous that has had an impact on their lives. I think this says a lot about how the glory of live music affects everyone in the audience. The recorded track of a song is the same every time you listen to it. Seeing the artist in person, you get to see them put their personality into the way they perform the song. Being able to get a better understanding of who the artist is as a person can make the audience feel much more connected to the performer on a personal level. Everyone in the room is sharing this great experience all together and a special kind of bond is formed. It is a unique feeling that you could never get from even the best recording played through the most high-end equipment.

    Share the music, Spread the love!

    Teens and young adults are experiencing live music now in a different way than the their parents did, because the music they are seeing is so different. And even though there are youngsters like me who jam out to rock and roll, they are also starting to go see EDM, and rap, and cultivating their own tastes in music as music evolves. And, yes, even young people continue to find ways to use music as rebellion against their parents! But even so, live music is still something both generations appreciate, and enjoy. Parents sharing their passion for going to live music bleeds into their children as they grow and discover their own taste in music. So to all my readers of every age, keep getting out to concerts and festivals, keep sharing live music with the people you love, and keep on rocking out!