Opinion | We need live music now more than ever


Kenyon Edmond

Artist JPEGMAFIA performs live at the Pitchfork Music Festival on July 21, 2019.

By Noah Nelson, Senior Columnist

What’s your definition of vacation? Is it tanning on a beach with a cold drink in your hand, embarking on a cross country excursion with only the essentials or hiking through the mountains somewhere? All of those activities are no doubt relaxing and should be taken advantage of, but I wouldn’t do any one of them  — at least not for vacation.

While countless people define those activities as vacation  —  and there’s nothing wrong with that  — mine takes place in a very different setting. For vacation, I would rather be attending a concert, preferably first row squeezed in together with other music fans listening to the sounds of our favorite band for two hours. Ahh, now that’s relaxing. 

Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, most public events have been shut down such as live sports, county fairs and even big screen films at the theater. The worst of it all is not having live music and we need it now more than ever.

In the past five months, with live concerts canceled and bands virtually unemployed, many of them have taken to social media for live stream concerts of them playing acoustically or with their band. It’s been great to see stars up close like that, almost intimate, but it’s nowhere near the energy and electricity of live concerts. 

It’s hard to describe the beauty and importance of live music. Concerts are a way for musicians and music fans to come together in a venue where for a few hours, the rest of the world is blacked out. It’s a time where nothing else matters besides the music, the band and the screaming fans. Having all of that been taken away, it’s hard to escape reality nowadays. 

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Some artists, especially in the country music world, like Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton, have taken the stage but at drive-in movies theaters. Patrons pay to park there to watch the concert on the big screen. Having not personally attended one of those concerts but judging from photos and videos, it’s not the same as a live concert.

Since the mere age of seven, I have attended over 50 ticketed concerts alongside countless free shows. Over the years, I found that concerts are my form of vacation for a number of reasons: the feeling of holding the cardboard ticket in my hand with the band’s name on it, waiting in line for hours just to be first row or even occasionally meeting the band at the show. These experiences drive me to keep attending concerts for as long as I can. 

Who knows which direction the pandemic will turn next and therefore, the fate of live music. The second everything comes back to normal and I can see my favorite band in person again, I won’t take any of it for granted. I will cherish every moment of every concert as best as I can. And why not? When you’re on vacation, don’t you want to end the trip with a whole slew of new memories? Me too.


Noah is a junior in the College of Media.

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