By Ben Dungan
Live Music – Get Out And See Some!
Bob Dylan wasn’t the first to notice that the times were a-changing. He was just the one that coined the phrase – in a song no less. Yet, while the times may change, other things don’t. Like our thirst for music and the way it makes us feel when it is experienced. If you think about it, the music hasn’t changed at all. It’s the way we experience the music that has.
Gone are the days where you sat by the radio to hear your favorite song. That was where the bulk of new music was discovered. Thanks to the Internet and the digital revolution, record labels have been hemorrhaging money. Illegal downloading has taken a large bite out of their profits. As a result, the big record labels are not investing as much into new and up-and-coming acts. The real money is made through touring.
Back in the day, the artists would tour in support of the new record (and the record label). The more you toured, the more your record sold. And the more the record label made.
Funny how times change. Now the touring supports the artists. An artist is lucky if the record breaks even at the end of the day. As a result, there is a greater emphasis on musical talent and entertainment than there ever has been. Making a quality record is important, but getting people to leave the comforts of their home (including their internet streams and DVRs) is the challenge.
We live in what is increasingly a high-tech world that we forget sometimes how much we enjoy a high-touch experience.
It takes a lot of skills to be a successful working musician. However, the ability to connect to an audience is perhaps the most important skill an artist should possess. A great recording can’t stand alone anymore. The successful artists seem to be able to do both well.
But the fact remains – we live in a digital world. And that world gives us access to all kinds of music at anytime of the day or night. But nothing will ever take the place of the live performance. The great talents of our day are proving that night in and night out.