For me it’s about feeling a connection with the artist, the song, and the journey that that experience takes you on, as well as the energy of the audience.
I love the way that you can be in an audience of thousands and go from feeling like you’re the only person in the room, to then, in the next song, be swept off your feet by the energy of the crowd in the room. That’s powerful.
Why is live music important (generally)?
It’s transformative – like nothing you get with recorded music.
Live music creates bookmarks in people’s lives. I remember things that were going on in my life around the gigs that I was at – be it Midnight Oil at Rockets Stadium when I was 16, The Angels out at the Bridgeway when I was 18, or more recently, The Jezebels at Laneways or TKay Maidza up at BigSound. They were all amazing in different ways and are experiences that stay with you forever.
What makes for a great gig. “I love gigs where…”?
I love gigs where you can see that the artists on stage are having a great time and really getting into it. The audience can feel that and it snowballs into a great vibe. I love gigs where I leave feeling completely saturated in music.
What needs to be done to encourage more live music?
In my personal opinion, I think that the live music scene would benefit from more local music being played on commercial radio and written up in mainstream papers. At the moment there is a disconnect between what we hear on commercial radio and what is in our local music venues. I know that a lot happens online, but that’s usually speaking to the converted. Likewise, some community radio does a great job speaking to people that are music lovers already. But I think that if the mainstream media began (seriously) helping to generate new audiences for live local music it would be amazing. I think that if it is made as easy as possible for people to hear more new Australian music and then be able to go out in their home town and see it, it would help all round – culturally and economically.
I’m going to sound really old now, but those live gigs that shaped my teenage life were bands that I’d heard on local mainstream radio and read about in local press. I’m talking about Midnight Oil, Screaming Jets, The Angels, Baby Animals etc. That kind of commercial exposure just doesn’t happen as easily for local bands anymore, sadly.