Nowadays it’s so easy to listen to whatever music you want, whenever you want, wherever you want and pretty much however you want. Streaming services have meant that music is more accessible than ever and discovering new artists a regular occurrence. The ability to search vast libraries of music from Mozart to Drake has meant that the average Joe’s knowledge of music
has exploded and suddenly you have an endless number of suggestions from friends and family – to the point where there simply isn’t enough time to listen to all the music you want. Not to mention, the sheer quantity of new music being uploaded to YouTube and Spotify makes it harder than ever for aspiring artists to break through despite barriers of entry to the industry being lower than ever. So how does the new Lennon launch his Beatles? He can hope that his bedroom set of their new EP will blow up online, or he can tour the underground clubs of Merseyside.
A live music performance gives something that a recorded track cannot – theatre, performance and an experience to remember. Not everyone can be a musical prodigy, but more can entertain a crowd of people; Liam Gallagher may not have the voice of an angel, but he’ll sell out Wembley five times over for his Mancunian charm. It also goes without saying that the skill of a musician being able to perform flawlessly live, beats that of an autotuned recording. That being said, music production is an art in itself and being able to produce a track that is impossible to be played live has heaps of value and deserves respect. Take Alan Walker: while his track ‘Faded’ catapulted to over 1 billion views on YouTube, he himself was still learning the nuances of live DJing.
There’s something that a live performance offers that a recording simply can’t deliver – maybe it’s the appreciation of the musician’s skill first-hand or the sound of non-digitised soundwaves caressing your eardrums. It’s something no one has been able to replicate in a recording, and videos of live shows can’t come close to the feeling of being there. Of course, seeing a band that rarely performs live comes with the added tag of bragging to everyone you know that you were there; but even listening to the local folk group along with twenty others gives something inexplainable.
Maybe it’s the complaints of musicians for streaming services, or Spotify’s seeming monopoly of the music industry today but myself and countless music fans will tell you that there’s nothing that can beat the live performance.