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The future of live music

The future of live music
June 02, 2020 01:31PM
Since we posted about our own individual concert agendas, and how they've been up-ended by this crisis, here's a discussion point: What do you see as the future of live music?

A whole lot of musicians, scenesters and pundits have expressed opinions; let's hear what the esteemed members of the TP forum think.
Re: The future of live music
June 02, 2020 04:26PM
I sure don't see any live music in the traditional sense in my immediate future! Given that it's the only reliable way for artists to get remuneration in this streaming hell we inhabit, the implications are catastrophic. If we view through a Capitalistic lens, at least. Beyond the economics, the live stage is nowhere to be when sickness and death is aloft in the air. Church congregations have been hit particularly hard by covid-19 due to the efficiency of the act of singing in aerosolizing viral particles and expelling them forcefully into the air. Talking is bad enough, but singing is much worse. With the insidious fact of asymptomatic carriers being as widespread as they are, I cannot see a viable way to be in a room with people watching any performance, but especially not a musical one. The streaming gig looks to be the only band-aid we can put on this particular wound at this time.

Just yesterday I watched a webinar with Martyn Ware of Heaven 17 being interviewed about his post-Human League career by the CEO of Ditto.tv. A month earlier the first one had happened and this was the follow up. While I enjoy attending music panels, the fact that these were held online allowed anyone in the world to "attend" and was thus a step up from someone who couldn't easily go to a room in London where it had been originally slated to happen. Afterward, there was a Zoom-like Q+A where fans could ask Ware questions that were streamed to the entire viewership. I didn't participate as I was on lunch hour at work, but it might have been interesting and was ultimately, a creative response to the hermetic present we find ourselves in. How that translates to performance I'm unsure of but I am certain that tech heads are looking into using web technologies to whittle down these barriers. But in my techno-curmudgeondom, I fear the hidden costs of such events. I have grown extremely dubious of technology as I've seen it used to exploit and monetize human behavior.

Former TP subscriber [81, 82, 83, 84]

For further rumination on the Fresh New Sound of Yesterday®

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/02/2020 04:30PM by Post-Punk Monk.
Re: The future of live music
June 02, 2020 07:40PM
Criminy, I’ve gone back and forth about 1,977 times over the pandemic. “we need to give this thing credence, dummy... it is real, so do whatever’s needed to watch out for yourself and others! People really are dying!!”
...”no you big dummy, everything you love is in very real danger of going away forever... including your job! And all those used book and record stores!!”

It’s exhausting.

I’m not much of a concert-goer, and I can only say what I HOPE for. But when this is over.. and I know it WILL eventually be over.... I don’t want a ‘new normal’. I want ‘back to normal’.

I want kids seeing loud bands in sweaty clubs. I want big open air festivals. I don’t think we as a human race can stop that, even if we try. But it probably will be awhile (I have no predictions).

As monk said, it’s really the only way most artists can get paid. Even the most idealistic artists... hell, even Devo... had to have some income coming in to keep the thing going.

Web events, zoom chats, bedroom releases... I respect these, they are getting us through the current circumstances. But here’s hoping they don’t become the new normal.

Goes without saying that I hope no one here has had to deal with loss of a loved one from this....
Re: The future of live music
June 02, 2020 09:00PM
Deke Dickerson (Untamed Youth to you TP'ers) and the Whippersnappers is going to perform live in a couple of weeks to a very small audience - concert ad. Obviously not the solution but an interesting attempt.
Re: The future of live music
June 03, 2020 10:15AM
From what I've read, a very large percentage of the populace remained fearful of public gatherings and close proximity to strangers in the wake of the 1918 pandemic. It took six years for commuter trains in America to return to the levels of ticket sales that they'd seen before the pandemic. (Of course, the war that had just ended probably skews that data.)

I don't think this crisis will result in the death of live music. I think it will return the focus more to local scenes, since the levels of participation will remain too low (at least for a while) to support larger national tours. Along with that, I also think we'll see more of a return to a DIY ethic: with a lot of clubs closed, musicians who want to gig will have to be more imaginative about where they'll play.

Lately, I find myself thinking a lot about the earliest days of the punk/new wave scene in Colorado Springs. Back then — forty years ago, jeez! — the resistance of local club owners to anything that could be labeled "punk" caused bands to look for other places to play. Some of these bands would scout out an unoccupied commercial/retail space, and rent it for one or two nights. They'd put up flyers, word would get around, and the bands would play. I'm sure most of you remember bands who did gigs like that ... and I'll bet those shows were some of the most memorable you ever attended.

Maybe I'm over-optimistic, and maybe I'm just plain dreaming. But pandemics and plagues have never totally destroyed live music, much less the rest of society. Those pestilences have thrown up obstacles, but never defeated the desire to be creative, to communicate, or just to rock out. We will see changes ... but as the original punks knew, change is good.
Re: The future of live music
June 03, 2020 11:02AM
I would certainly attend an outside non-ticketed type concert right now. I call them lawn chair concerts, a lot of our cities and townships in our area have them every week. Typically they are local acts with a few somewhat big names thrown in here and there. As of now at least the June events are all canceled. It is fairly easy to keep your distance at those, especially if you come with a few couples, kids and make your own area. Man I just don't know when inside concerts with or without seats will take place. You could do the math of the max seats you could sell to keep people 6ft apart and see if it makes sense for a touring band - I am guessing no unless you really strip it down. You could make standing spots and sell the spot, just does not seem very rock and roll though does it?!
Re: The future of live music
June 03, 2020 05:02PM
I think local shows - shows at bars, e.g. - have a significant advantage because it's easier to livestream a local show and it's easier to social-distance in a venue where a band can play multiple dates a week. Tons of bands are already facemasks to their merch.

If this means people will finally stop equating the word "concerts" with big-ticket arena shows where you can barely see the band from the nosebleed seats, I'm fine with that. What upper90 describes - the lawn chair concerts - I'm cool with that.
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