Dave Grohl pens thoughts on live music’s post-COVID-19 return to form
“It is the most life-affirming experience to see your favourite performer on stage”
Photo: Thomas Niedermueller / Redferns
Dave Grohl has shared his thoughts on the importance of live music – and its current absence due to COVID-19 – in an opinion piece entitled The Day the Live Concert Returns. In the op-ed, the Foo Fighters frontman revealed his eagerness to see live music’s return to form, offered critical views on live streamed gigs, and looked back at treasured concert experience.
“I know exactly where I was supposed to be,” wrote Grohl in the piece for The Atlantic, explaining that the Foo Fighters were scheduled to play a show on the fourth of July, commemorating the 25th anniversary of their eponymous LP. “A red, white, and blue keg party for the ages, it was primed to be an explosive affair shared by throngs of my sunburned hometown brothers and sisters, singing along to more than a quarter century of Foo.”
“Well, things have changed.”
Grohl expressed his disappointment at seeing COVID-19 “[reduce] today’s live music to unflattering little windows that look like doorbell security footage,” referring to the numerous live streamed shows that artists have settled upon doing in lieu of in-person performances. He likened their “stuttered and compressed” audio quality to “Neil Armstrong’s distorted transmissions from the moon”.
He also looked back on some meaningful concert memories. He described a U2 concert he attended in 2001 as “a lesson in intimacy”, referencing the fact that the band chose to perform without the usual “barrage of lasers and LED screens”, but instead with rudimentary house lights. “Without all the strobes and lasers, the room shrank to the size of a dirty nightclub at last call, every blemish in plain view. And with that simple gesture, we were reminded that we are all indeed just people. People that need to connect with one another.”
“I’m hungry for a big old plate of sweaty, ear-shredding, live rock and roll, ASAP.” wrote Grohl, sharing his yearning to see live music’s events return.
“There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of live music. It is the most life-affirming experience to see your favourite performer on stage, in the flesh, rather than as a one-dimensional image glowing in your lap as you spiral down a midnight YouTube wormhole.”
In light of current health climates around the globe, and how the future of live shows after COVID-19, the musician admitted “it’s hard to imagine sharing experiences like these ever again.”
“I don’t know when it will be safe to return to singing arm in arm at the top of our lungs, hearts racing, bodies moving, souls bursting with life. But I do know that we will do it again, because we have to. It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone.”
Read Dave Grohl’s full piece for The Atlantic here.
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