(I wrote this post once, and am annoyed to have to try and remember what I so eloquently wrote)
When I was a kid, I thought that concerts, and live music in general, were frivolous pursuits. Why bothere going somewhere dark and crowded to watch someone play a song from far away. It seemed impersonal, distant and a waste. I could listen to the same song, followed by another (in the order I chose) from the comfort of my bed.
Then I went a show. I went and saw live music. I realized the error of my ways. I cannot recall who it was that I saw that tipped me over the edge – I think I like it better that way. The nebulousness of it is mysterious.
Since then I have coveted live albums. I have sought bootleg recordings. I have discussed this version vs. that version of songs. And I have never looked back.
It is too easy today to make music sound perfect on recordings. No flaws, no flubs, no missed note or slightly off tone. It is too perfect. There is nothing real about it. The sterility is what you hear, not the emotion that drove the person to write it.
So with that said, many of you mock John Mayer. A few did tonight. But you must not have seen him live. Not seen him on a night where he knows there is nothing to lose. You know the polished, over-produced Mayer of No Such Thing, Daughters and Your Body is a Wonderland. The same can be said for so many artists. What they do when the label is there, in the room, and what they do for the fans are so different.
So, don’t judge by the CD, MP3 or even the vinyl. Go see them and see what they want to sound like. See what live music can do.
You may like it.