I have always enjoyed live music and take advantage of local opportunities to hear singer/songwriters I enjoy. We frequent two venues, Roaring Brook Nature Center and Infinity Hall, both in our area. Roaring Brook concerts take place in a small room seating about 50 people, with drapes over the snake tanks. The acoustics astound, and the intimate experience reminds me of my introduction to many artists in the 1960’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Club 47. Infinity Hall, more recently constructed to host small concerts, seats about 100, so all seats are perfect. Again, the acoustics allow a wonderful listening experience.
This spring we were going to attend concerts by the four musicians pictured above. From top left, John Gorka, bottom left, Gordon Bok, center, Keb Mo and far right Eliza Gilkyson. We have seen all but Gorka before, and were looking forward to seeing them again. I have listened to Gorka for years, but only in recordings. This was to be his first local appearance, and I was excited to listen to him at the nature center.
All were cancelled, of course, along with countless other live musical offerings from classical to hard rock. All performers suffer financially at the moment. Yes, I can continue to stream their music and they can continue to earn pennies each time I do. Still, they miss the chance to play before a live audience, an experience distinct from the studio. And we miss the magic of being there as the music plays.
Between live music in times of health and recorded music in times of a pandemic there is no contest. Live wins hands down.