We live in the golden age of entertainment. You can watch Citizen Kane on your phone in a booth at a fastfood joint. You can watch master performances by master performers on your tablet while sitting in the passenger seat of Subaru outback. You can be immersed in more real than life surround sound and 4k video on a wall sized screen, sitting in the comfort of your living room wearing your favorite jam jams, ensconced in slanket, watching cat video after cat video after cat video. So why would you venture out into the bright harsh sunlight or worse, cold dark night to watch someone who you may have never heard of, do their little thing? Why should you go watch some stranger sing or play spoons or tell you a joke or put on a play? Because there is nothing like seeing it live. More specifically: feeling it live. When a room full of people at a comedy show share a belly laugh, you feel the laughter wash over you. When the singer hits that note in that melancholy song, the whole room feels that lump in our throats together, you can see it on their faces.
Live performance is the modern version of gathering around the campfire to hear fantastic stories of adventure, struggle and love. The audience is transformed we are no longer a room full of ‘strangers’ we are experiencing it together. Plus while you’re in it, all the other stuff falls away for a moment. Your bills, your kids various school based cupcake needs, the pros and cons of corn syrup and/or gluten. All that stuff goes on hold for a little bit and you can focus on something that at worst, will be pretty fun and at best, will change your life.
Finally when you are watching a live performance, you are watching someone putting themselves out there without a net. They are doing what you’re seeing live, for real, in front of your naked eyes. If a string breaks, they deal with it. If the someone in the crowd doesn’t know how to act in public, they deal with it. If they ballet dancer that is supposed catch them sneezes just as the other ballet dancer is about to land in his arms, they deal with it. It’s awesome. And you can look them right in the eye. They might address you in the show. They might ask you a question or make fun of your shirt or get in your face and sing share the mic while you sing the chorus together.
You should go see live a live performance because you don’t watch a live performance, you experience a live performance.