When we heard about the recent launch of the Fans.com platform, we knew that we needed to get involved. After all, who are the people who live for live music? The fans, of course!
Over Thanksgiving weekend, we reached out to some of the most passionate users of Fans.com and asked them just what it was about live music that they loved. Whether it was a first concert, a cherished moment, a favorite band or all of the above, each and every person had a wonderfully unique story to tell.
Read these ten stories below, and be sure to let us know what you love about live music. You can sign up for Fans.com and share your music love there, as well!
Live music has always been a large part of my life and I think that manifests in my current love for live music and being at live shows. A progression that started first as a performer, a toddler on the piano – by age 5 I was playing full Mozart and Beethoven concertos and piano arrangements. As a teen I got into the contemporary rock classics and switched from piano to guitar and really started exploring music more with my own hands. In my early teen years I started seeing live music, in the early-mid 90s I saw bands like Crosby Stills and Nash, The Grateful Dead, Phish, Stone Temple Pilots, the Allman Brothers, Metallica and as time went on and I was able to drive a vehicle my ‘touring’ picked up a bit and I would hop out to see The Grateful Dead and Phish anywhere I could, who basically were priority and if I was within 5-7hrs driving it would be done. It wasn’t only the music, but the scene too – the people like me.
Fast forward 20yrs – I realized that due to work obligations and a lack of time, traveling around to follow my favorite band wasn’t as easy as it used to be but my craving for live music and the music community was still there so I began seeing local shows weekly in the Philly area and began taking photos at these shows in early 2014. In mid 2014 I started my own music/photo blog (215music.net) and began single-handedly covering smaller, local bands in the area with a focus on their growth while still getting out to the larger shows to photograph and cover as well (if possible). The music community in Philadelphia is thriving and growing, it’s very apparent lately and I’m here to help that keep happening…Everyone who makes live music possible, from the musicians themselves, producers, managers, booking agents, PR people, bloggers, photographers, stagehands, ticket tearers and most of all the fans do this all for a reason – the pure love of music and community, which is what this country and my city of Philly need so much of right now – Community & Music. Music will save us, trust me!
See more from @215alexB at Fans.com!
Live music has been an integral part of my life from the very beginning. The earliest experience for me would be The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Quicksilver Messenger Service at a free concert at the Griffith Park carousel in late ’67. I was only about two at the time and all I really remember was being upset at not being able play on the swings but I also believe the experience that sowed the seeds that has been a part of my life ever since.
As a young kid in the ’70’s most of my live music exposure came from albums with occasional concerts along the way. By the ’80’s, I was finally of an age to go to shows on a frequent basis. Kicking into high gear in ’83 & ’83 at the two US Festivals in San Bernadino, CA was a turning point in embracing diverse styles in music. One look at their rosters is a snapshot of a wide range of influential bands that made me the fan I am today.
It allowed my passion for music to be more than just the band of the moment or the genre de jour.
Highlights would be seeing the Dead one week, Motörhead a few days later and chase both those shows with the latest hair band blowing up the Sunset Strip, Motley Crue.
As I got older, I honed in on bands that moved my soul, regardless of style. Keeping an open mind and taking the time to explore has opened up continual joyous memories and passionate exchanges with those around me. Holding on to that passion means that I am always finding music that would normally be dismissed if I was only a jam head or metal maniac or classic rock junkie. Even as recently as this year, catching Sturgill Simpson or Flying Lotus has shown me that I can always learn more and always have fun.
See more from @MrJelley on Fans.com!
I had just turned 16 when I went to my first concert, Elton John at Dodger Stadium on October 25, 1975. This was the concert where Elton famously wore his sequined Dodger uniform, as he was the first musician to be performing at Dodger Stadium since The Beatles played their second to last concert in 1966. This is where I got the live music bug that has been a part of my entire life.
In my youth I was fortunate to be able see and hear some of the greatest musicians and bands at the height of their careers from Paul McCartney & Wings in 1976, Pink Floyd performing The Wall in 1980, the Grateful Dead at West High Auditorium in Anchorage, Alaska in 1980 and the Rolling Stones in 1981.
My love for live music grew even more as my musical tastes changed, from rock to new wave and punk. Actively participating the LA Club scene at the Starwood, Madame Wong’s and the Whiskey a Go-Go seeing The Tubes, Devo and X. One of the greatest shows ever was the Clash and Los Lobos at the Santa Monica Civic with the spiked haired punks slamming to Mexican polkas, which was quite memorable.
As I’ve gotten older, my musical tastes continue to grow as I’ve gotten into Soul artists like Charles Bradley, who exudes so much emotion that people start crying to his singing and Americana artists like Steve Earle who continue to sing about important issues of the day. Live music touches us all in so many ways.
What I really love most about live music is being able to witness a musician or band bringing their artistry to a room of people and draw a range of emotions. Live music brings a sense of community like nothing else, where people can be unified together for that moment.
See more from @PeterDervinPics on Fans.com!
As a frequent concert goer, I am surprised at how difficult it is to articulate the reasons why live music is so important to me. You may as well ask me to explain why breathing is important to me! But if I have to narrow it down, I can distill it to two main factors: the multi-sensory and emotional experience that envelopes you when the lights go down and the show begins and the sense of kinship you feel with others there who are sharing this experience with you. There is also an element of “escapism” – that is, once the music begins, everything else recedes into the background. For someone who is not especially good at “living in the moment,” live music is the one exception for me. Once the music starts, that’s all that matters. Reality and day-to-day life are suspended until after the show ends.
My live music journey began at a Kansas concert at Madison Square Garden on my birthday in 1979. I was fortunate to grow up near Nassau Coliseum, Madison Square Garden and Jones Beach Theater where I saw many other classic rock shows plus countless Grateful Dead shows. More recently, the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester has brought many of my longtime favorites to my backyard. To be honest, there have been so many incredible moments at shows over the years that it’s impossible to identify just one or two moments as especially noteworthy. My favorite shows tend to be those that bring me back to a particular point in my life. And while the studio versions of these songs can do the same thing, it is always significantly more powerful and emotionally evocative to hear the recording artist performing them live. The synergy and connection between the artist and the audience adds a whole other dimension to the music and the experience.
These are just a few of the reasons why the “Ticket Folder” on my desk will NEVER be empty.
See more of @RubyE on Fans.com!
When I was sent this prompt, I was kind of overwhelmed. How can I answer what live music means to me in just a few paragraphs? That’s one of the hardest questions I’ve ever had to answer, period. I would need a full essay to answer that as throughly as I would like. I will start here:
There’s nothing like live music; the sound reverberating through your entire body; through every molecule, through every atom. They say music changes the molecular structure of the human body. So, live music, literally changes my molecular structure. I have always been fascinated with music from early childhood, picking out albums from my parents collection but I didn’t really find a true love for live music, until I was 18 when I saw the Allman Brothers Band live. From those first few notes of “Whipping Post” I knew I had to pursue this with all the passion and drive inside of me.
In the past decade I have been to well over 350 shows including many music festivals. Live music has shaped my adult years; changing with the ebb and flow of the music that drives it forward. It has become a lifelong pursuit and even now I am trying to make it a full-time lifestyle. My Dad has always criticized me, saying, “You are still going to dumb concert, grow up!” To that I have always replied, “Its not something your grow out of, its something you grow into,” and that has remained true to this day. To say live music and concerts are like a religion is cliché but it’s the closest I’ve come to dancing with the spirit that dwells within us all. To quote Bob Marley, “One good thing about music, when it hits ya, you feel no pain.” and I would say thats the best thing about live music, no matter what, no matter how down or how low your life can get when you see live music and dance to the rhythm, everything else melts away. “If you get confused just listen to the music play!” Live music is like time traveling, there are moments when time can just stand still and you are one with everything and everyone around you. I have never experienced that feeling in any other. There is no “me” without live music and I certainly wouldn’t be the same person I am today if it wasn’t for my musical experiences.
Some of my favorite musical moments have actually come in the past year, after finding Fans.com. I got to meet the String Cheese Incident backstage in NYC, and got super VIP viewing at Lockn’ Festival which is my hometown festival. This year has really given me the opportunity to move forward with my writing and getting to hang out with some of my favorite bands, I have been the happiest FAN on earth. There are so many live experiences I would love to share with my community. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share some. I hope to work with you in the future. I am always here to help. Have a great holiday!
See more from @JamBandPurist on Fans.com!
My interest in live music started as it did with many of the tail-end Baby Boomers, seeing the Beatles on TV on the Ed Sullivan show. If you asked me when I was four, what’s your favorite song, I would have gladly told you, ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret?’.
My first real live mega-concert experience was CSNY at Roosevelt Raceway in September 1974. The next summer in June 1975, I saw the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden and shortly thereafter, I was off to the races with The Grateful Dead at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ.
In December 1992, I was lucky enough to see Paul McCartney perform live at the Ed Sullivan Theatre. The concert was an MTV sponsored and recorded show and it was released for the anniversary of the Beatles coming to America. The day of the show, NYC and the suburbs had a nor’easter that shutdown most of the mass-transit systems. The MTV staff needed an audience and they were pulling people into the show from the street. They stopped these two out-of-town seniors and asked them if they wanted to see Paul McCartney live. They replied, no, we have tickets to see Cats. I interjected and told them that Cats has been at the Winter Garden for 10 years, it will be there another 10 years, this is a once in a lifetime chance to see Paul McCartney live on Broadway. They thought about it for a second and made the right decision.
Live music is a connection. Seeing the artists perform, meeting new people and best of all having tons of fun. Many shows and many memories later, the live music experience is still fresh.
See more from @HowardH on Fans.com!
How can I describe my love for live music? It’s hard to do. I’m not a professional writer, I’m just a music nut. If we went to a concert together, it would be a look between us during a particularly sweet guitar solo. I would look over at you with a grin on my face, you’d smile back at me and nod, and we would be on that musical high together! Going to concerts is pretty much my life’s blood. It keeps me going. I have a 3 month calendar on the wall in my office and the concerts are there in multicolored highlighter, shining their light, making each workday worthwhile until the day of the concert arrives. If there’s no highlighted squares on the calendar in the next month or two, I need to start searching the internet for shows.
I started seeing live music myself on May 14, 1972 Jethro Tull at the Nassau Colosseum. I was in Junior High and we had an English teacher who let us analyze the lyrics to Thick as A Brick in class!. That show was very cool and a great intro to live music, but my real love for live music came less than a year later when I saw the Grateful Dead at the same venue on March 16, 1973. That night my mind was opened to the wide variety of musical possibilities all in one evening. The Dead played so many different styles of music and the crowd was so cool and laid back. Reading about the Dead and their musical influences and collaborators got me interested in a wide array of different artists and types of music and collecting their records and seeking out more concerts. That same approach would multiply as I discovered other live acts I loved and researched their influences.
Listening to music is a beautiful, spiritual, uplifting, healing, therapeutic endeavor. A well recorded album and a good sound system is a wonderful thing. Seeing and hearing live music takes this experience into another dimension. It becomes a communal, life affirming ceremony with very loose rules of engagement. there’s no sacrilege ( other than maybe talking too loudly while the musics playing !) Human beings are meant to come together and share beauty and art and creativity and experimentation and improvisation and the realization that we are all one. Live music allows this to happen on an individual and collective basis. I’ve evolved from enjoying the large arena and stadium type of shows to really loving seeing a show at a small intimate theatre where you can get the communal live vibe thing, but can also be in a place where you can see the musicians practicing their craft, interacting with one another as they perform magical music.
Hey, it’s not all magic. I’ve been to many a show where the 16 year old who drank too much is sitting right behind me and I’m worried I’m gonna get thrown up on ! Sometimes I feel like I’m the magnet for the overly talkative, way too high dude who just wants to talk, and talk, and talk. All in all the great music and magical moments win out and keep me going.
Favorite experiences at musical events: Paul Simon’s brother Eddie coming out with him- both wearing Yankee hats and singing “Bye Bye Love” as the encore at Carnegie Hall in 1973 on Paul’s first solo tour. Sitting on the rocks and climbing trees in Central Park to watch the concerts at the Wollman Skating Rink when we couldn’t even afford $2.50 for a ticket ( or if the show as sold out ), The David Bromberg Band sliding seamlessly within one song from all playing fiddle-mandolin, acoustic guitars into electric guitars saxophone trumpet – from bluegrass to Chicago blues- an amazing band indeed. Lou Reed scaring the shit out of me at the Felt Forum. John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana joining Eric Clapton for a 20 minute Eyesight To The Blind encore. Pat Metheny & Jim Hall jamming together at Columbia U. ..Laurie Anderson playing her talking violin !!..Steve Reich & Musicians performing Drumming !!..Sitting with 500 thousand people listening to Simon & Garfunkel sing “Scarborough Fair” in Central Park, you could hear a pin drop.. ..Thunder & Lightening in the distance at Saratoga 1983 when the Dead were jamming to “Playin In The Band” and then went into “The Wheel”. “If the thunder don’t get you – The lightning will!” ….Indeed !!
See more from @musicaddict on Fans.com!
In 2007 I attended Bonnaroo Music Festival and that changed the way I understood the live music experience. It completely reformed what I thought music was. It was nearly 100 thousand people driving to a farm in middle-of-nowhere Tennessee to witness and hear a plethora of bands play their music until the sun came up. It was impromptu collaborations between music across a variety of genres. It was a joyous gathering of dedicated, music-loving, life-living people.
Live music is a vehicle filled with energy and emotion. I love the feeling of a special night where everything seems to be clicking – the band, the sound and the vibe. A night where the crowd is engaged and the band feeds of that energy. The room becomes a fertile space where one can witness musical greatness in its most organic format – the live performance.
See more from @brickjp on Fans.com!
I started going to live music at a very young age, with my mother. She took me to my first Dead show at the Berkeley Greek theater when I was 8. I still have that shirt. I haven’t looked back. I am a radio DJ at KSPN FM in Aspen, CO. I’m about to celebrate 20 years on December 17th! Conveniently, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is playing that night at the Belly Up. As a DJ we used to get most shows for free, this doesn’t happen as much anymore. I have got to smoke weed with Willie, and I took frequent phone calls from Hunter S. Thompson late at night (always wanted the Stones-Sympathy for the Devil). We travel frequently for shows, during our off season. Our furthest show was Eric Clapton at Royal Albert Hall, and then Mark Knopfler at O2 the next night. We got engaged at the Chicago Dead shows (After meeting Bill Walton in the elevator-he gave my now husband the encouraging words). We just got married at Red Rocks in May, and took everyone to a show for our reception. JJ Grey/ Infamous Strindusters/Fruition. We had interviewed the Stringdusters when they were in Aspen (Feb?) I asked them, since they were my wedding band if I could make 2 requests. 1. Bring Nicki Bluhm (2 weeks before the wedding she announced she was coming!) 2. To play our song Not Fade Away. They did and it was awesome.
We love festivals! We have gone to Lockn’, Bottlerock, Beale street, Jazz Aspen(30), Phases of the Moon, Blues and Brews, Desert Trip and countless more!
We are there start to finish every day. We don’t camp, or drink-so it’s probably easier for us. I just hit my 700th show in September-Phil and Friends at Terrapin Crossroads (Finally-I got to go!). We try to be front row to almost every show-especially at Red Rocks and of course the Belly Up. and we are always looking forward to the next show-it’s what keeps us going.
See more from @GingerAnne on Fans.com!
I don’t remember a time when music was not a part of my life. I have very early memories of listening to music sitting on my grandmother’s living room floor and my love for music continued to grow as I got older. The more I discovered, the more I wanted to discover. I was lucky enough to be exposed to “hip” music by aunts and uncles who were teenagers when I was a child. When I myself grew into a teenager, concerts became a chosen destination. There was something very exciting about seeing and hearing live the musicians who I listened to every day.
Then a friend talked me into going to see the Grateful Dead and a fun hobby became an obsession. This, I realized, was not just a concert. This was an experience. An experience completely in the “Right Now” that was being shared and enjoyed by thousands of people. I had never felt anything like it and I wanted to experience it as much as possible.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve expanded my musical horizons, but that pull to live music is still there. Depending on the act, there may not be a “Grateful Dead” vibe, it may be very structured as opposed to improvisational and people around me may not be as entirely focused on the music as I am. But when live music is good, there will always be that feeling of connection to and through the music. There will always be the feeling of experiencing the art the musicians are presenting in the moment it’s happening.
That’s my happy place!!
See more from @Zeus481 on Fans.com!
These are just a handful of users who truly define the Fans.com and Live For Live Music spirit. What are you waiting for? Get on Fans.com and share your love of music with the world!