The Role of Live Music

Bruce Springsteen Live

Bruce Springsteen Live
Photo by John Leyba 

Adele’s 21 remains the only album to sell a million copies so far in 2012.  The music industry is very much in trouble, but that is nothing that we didn’t already know.  Still, live music continues to bring in a lot of money.  Live music made about one billion dollars in 1995.  In 2006, the business made about 4.6 billion.  Ticket prices continue to go up, but fans keep paying them to see artists live.

Why do we as fans keep paying the high fares and making the effort to see the artists in a live setting, especially if we can’t even fork over the cash to buy their albums?  I wanted to investigate this concept a little.  Here are a few possible reasons I can think of:

1. The Atmosphere

Seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band playing live in an arena of people screaming BRUUUUCCEEEE is exciting.  To be surrounded by fans who are just as enthusiastic about the Boss makes you feel welcome. It makes it a better experience than listening to The River alone in your living room.

2. Fan/Artist Interaction

I put together a podcast below investigating this topic.  In the interviews I conducted, my subject both brought up this idea that there should be a connection between an audience and the artist they are there to see.  The concert should work to bring the two together and make the the artist more accessible.  When the artist takes time to talk to the crowd and relate to them, it usually hypes up the audience and makes the show more exciting.

3.  Simply to see it Live

There are some really good artists that you just feel you need to see in a live setting.  Whether it be for their pure talent, or their personality, it just makes more sense to go see them perform.  When you experience a particular solo, or maybe your favorite song, those memories tend to stick with you when you think about the artist in the future.

Check out my podcast and listen to more support for these theories:


Are there other reasons that you go to shows for?  Tell me about some of them in the comments!

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