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Life with no live music

| Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Jackie Junco | The Observer

This year is not what we had in mind; we all know that, and I know you don’t need me to remind you. It’s evident that the pandemic has impacted all facets of life, big and small.

This new decade has brought us nothing but isolation. The pandemic has threatened not only our physical health, but also our mental health. Everyone’s been on a search to find something to do while staying in one place. This period of quarantine has forced us to discover new ways in which to be creative and express ourselves creatively. Nevertheless, there is still void that needs to be filled.

2020 marks the year of no live music. Only a few were lucky enough to catch a show in the early months of January or February, but it’s been six months of no concerts. Whether you are a regular concert-goer or not, there is still something off in the universe when there are no sonic waves of music flooding the atmosphere. This energy shift is chaotic. We are currently trapped in our private lives with no shared experiences to connect a community threaded together by chords. Technology has allowed us to maintain this collective somewhat, but it is sadly and steadily fading away.

January through March is the time when musicians release new music before they head out on the road in the spring and summer. Many bands and artists still released music this year, but they were gravely altered by the fact that they couldn’t tour. In today’s music industry, the only way to make money is to play shows. Unlike the industry prior to streaming, musicians don’t actually sell albums. Instead, they receive very meager profits from the streaming companies. They are dependent on merchandise and ticket sales. Not only was the talent affected, but their fans were too. You may feel completely satisfied by your favorite artist’s new music released during this pandemic, but there is still something missing, and what is missing is actually experiencing live music.

Streaming a new album over and over is great, but after a while it becomes a task. What is missing is being able to be embraced and surrounded by sound. The physicality and presence of a people through live music is vital in maintaining and strengthening a society, and when it’s ripped away, it’s hard to grasp a new reality. In essence, we were never given a time to grieve its loss.

Having no concerts may not bother you, but it does affect you. Artistic, creative and innovative people have no point of convergence. Music unites and the lack of a shared cooperative spirit has weakened our relationship with others and with the art itself. We need to do something.

Live music will come back, but it might be a long time before we are able to be crammed together in a dingy venue. In the meantime, help save your local music venues by signing petitions, buying merch from your favorite bands, making playlists for each other, writing songs, reaching out to your fellow music lovers and staying hopeful that our stages will back up and running soon.

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About Willoughby Thom

my name is Willoughby. i am the associate scene editor. i am from Los Angeles. i am a junior studying Art History and French. i like music and words. my favorite band is Oingo Boingo and my favorite film is "The Royal Tenenbaums." follow me on twitter @willoughbythom !

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