Like many music lovers, I am missing being able to go to live shows. I had quite a few planned this year until lockdown banned mass gatherings until further notice. As a substitute, a lot of band are doing live streams of concerts through web cams. Last night I experienced one. It was Sonata Arctica’s Acoustic Adventures.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this as I had never experienced anything like it before. I have been a fan of Sonata Arctica for a long time. They were one of the bands that helped shape my music palette. I hadn’t seen them live for a long time so naturally they were the perfect choice to experience this different type of live show.
Before I get into the similarities and differences between a live stream and a live show, I would like to start off by saying their performance was magical. It made me fall in love with the band all over again and its further confirmation that I need to listen to them more after that show.
The obvious difference is that there is less travelling. You only need to go into the next room, upstairs or wherever you happen to be watching the live stream. You don’t necessarily need to get dressed up; you can watch it in your pyjamas if you so wish. It was a hot evening last night so the classic shorts, vest top and flip flops was my attire. There is a lack of sore throat from singing along to the songs as you aren’t trying to sing so loudly. You’re not spending so much money on overpriced venue drinks as you have your own. There isn’t a long queue for the loos either.
The similarities; the main one for me is feeling the same euphoria and escapism when watching a live show. Lives shows are a great way to forget your stresses and troubles for that amount of time. You are fully immersed; you don’t want to miss a moment. For the live stream, I made sure I was distraction free; my phone on silent and facing down, drinks ready and door shut. I sang along to my favourites when they were performed and felt the same amount of excitement when they performed favourites.
Overall, it really is not the same as going to a live show physically. I miss getting ready. I miss the excitement when travelling to the venue. I miss meeting up with friends for a drink before the show starts whilst discussing what songs we are hoping to hear live. I miss that atmosphere of being amongst likeminded individuals.
In the meantime, these live streams are a great substitute. You get the same feelings of euphoria and escapism when watching a live band. They are a great way to support bands financially at a distance. I will have a much bigger appreciation for live shows when we can go to them again.
Final words: support your bands during these uncertain times. Buy their music and merchandise. Like, comment and share their content on social media. This has had a huge impact on them financially and I know they are keen to get back out on the road again.
Words: Lotty Whittingham