Addicted to live music

Hi! My name is Matt Stevens and I am addicted to live music.

Granted, not just any music. Primarily hard rock and heavy metal. I would say that as much as I enjoy going to concerts there are definitely shows that I wouldn’t go see, even if you paid me. Country, pop, and “adult contemporary”. More than anything what draws me to live shows is the energy exchange between the band on stage and the fans.

Since high school I have seen more bands than I can count in a live venue. Dozens of those were not headlining, but part of a larger festival. Amongst the long list of bands I have seen, there are limited number that I include on a mental short list of those that are worth seeing again. This past weekend I was able to see two of those together.

Disturbed headlined the fifth version of their Music as a Weapon tour. This year they included my all time favorite band as part of the bill, Sevendust. Both of these bands are on that mental short list. The way that the feed off of the energy from the crowd and reciprocate that back to the audience has always amazed me. I have been lucky enough to have seen Disturbed perform live close to a dozen times and Sevendust half a dozen. These are both bands that aside from their ability to perform their songs nearly impeccably live, obviously they enjoy doing their job, performing for their fans.

I’ve gone through times in my life, since beginning of concert-going where, when money was tight, I was unable to indulge in my addiction. Luckily, as of lately, I have been able to binge. It’s been pretty close to one show a month for the last four or five months. During the times when I can’t afford concerts, or there aren’t any good shows to be seen, there is almost a feeling of withdrawal. I want to feel the bass pounding in my chest, the music driving my head to move.

I am always looking out for good shows to see and for bands that I have listened to for months or years that I feel would give a good performance and make good on the energy exchange that drives me to go to shows and also to go back and see bands perform again.

I don’t enjoy everything about concerts. The bad B.O. of people that seem unable to shower, the inability of some people to handle their alcohol and stumble around bumping into people, the people (okay, 99% of the time females) that feel that at a heavy metal/hard rock show you should jiggle around like Lady Gaga is on stage, and the people that wear suits, dresses, or polo shirts with popped collars to the same shows.

Combating those negatives is also the camaraderie that is shared by attendees in the enjoyment of the music being blasted through the speakers, the joy of being able to see a performance by a group you enjoy, and in some cases, the ability to say, “I’ve seen so-and-so live”.

The feeding of my addiction will continue as I have one concert I’m going to see with my wife in March, and likely another show in April. I would also like to mention a thank you to my wife, my brother-in-law, and my uncle, along with others that I’ve been able to share the live music concert experience. Being able to share the experience comes in a very close second on the list of reasons that make me addicted.

If you, for any reason, haven’t been to a concert to see one of your favorite groups perform live, it is absolutely something you need to do at some point in your life. Hopefully then, you will understand what drives me to spend time and money on what some people may think is a waste.

*No comments please on how much you like, dislike, or what you think about my choice of music. That isn’t really the point of this post.


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