There's something about experiencing live music that feels so inherently human. It can be a busker on the street playing to your mood that day, it can be a band you've never heard of playing in a club you've never been to before. It can be seeing that artist who's music is a permanent part of you in a stadium with thousands of people who feel the same way. It can be playing as part of a band in a rehearsal space, knowing full well that what you're creating there is something special.
When you're part of a crowd, however big or small, it doesn't matter where you come from or really, who you are. Right then you're a part of a group, all there for the same purpose. Complete strangers sharing an experience that might be fun just for that night, or it might stay with you forever. Or you're out with friends and all the stresses of every day life disintegrate as you dance with people you care about and who care about you.
I have the immense privilege of being able to play music and there is no feeling like standing on a stage in front of people who are enjoying what you're making. To be allowed to create a moment for someone else. It gives me a feeling I don't think I'm capable of describing. For years I had this experience on my own as a singer/songwriter and there was something unique about being the sole source of sound in a room full of people. For them to genuinely listen to words I've written and melodies I've created, to grab a loved one's hand or to close their eyes and sway. That said, nothing beats the feeling of playing as part of a band. It makes the whole experience bigger than one person. It gives me a sense of belonging that I've never found anywhere else.
It's the sharing side of music, the universality of it, that makes it so human. It's a way of sharing experiences and emotions that makes us feel at home in each other, listeners and musicians alike. These live music experiences are when I feel the most alive. Sometimes fearlessly alive. I don't think any blog post could accurately depict the way I feel about this, so I'll leave you with a memory:
A favourite band of mine is Band of Horses, and one summer I experienced them at one of my favourite festivals in my favourite city, PiP Fest in Oslo. My friends wanted to stay on the grass further away, so I walked right up to the stage and soaked it in on my own. Then, they played the last song, and my best friend comes to join me, throwing her arms around me in one of the most genuine hugs I've ever been given. That was one of those moments where happiness overflowed and streamed down my face in the form of salty tears.