The Day the Live Concert Returns - Dave Grohl on the Importance of Live Music
For a variety of reasons (mainly being that I'm cheap), I don't get to a lot of concerts. I like to use the excuse that I'm far away from where big concerts come through, but we get our fair share of big names through Saskatoon and/or Regina down the highway, and there's a ton of local bands I could go see.
So I'm cheap.
U2 has been my favorite band ever since I witnessed their Rattle & Hum to Achtung Baby phase in my friend Darren's basement, and then watched the ZooTV live concert VHS tape that happened to be in an apartment I was in for 2 weeks while working in Edmonton that summer. I honestly don't know if I'd be the U2 fan I am today if it wasn't for that stranger's VHS machine.
Dave Grohl (lead singer of Foo Fighters, drummer in Nirvana, neighbour of Jeff Probst) can't wait to get back on the road, singing songs and celebrating music with everyone. He wrote this article in The Atlantic titled "The Day the Live Concert Returns". A great read, but for this U2 fan I loved his description of seeing U2 back in 2001:
I will never forget the night I witnessed U2 perform at what used to be called the MCI Center in D.C. This was their 2001 Elevation Tour, a massive production. I waited for the lights to go out so that I could lose myself in a magnificent, state-of-the-art rock show. To my surprise, the band walked onstage without any introduction, house lights fully illuminated, and kicked into the first song beneath their harsh, fluorescent glow, without the usual barrage of lasers and LED screens we’ve all become accustomed to. The brilliant move stunned the audience and began an unforgettable concert on a very raw, personal note. This was no accident, mind you. It was a lesson in intimacy. 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 don't know which band will be the first to tour our area post-Covid, but you can almost guarantee it will be a great experience. U2 isn't in any sort of album/tour cycle right now, and my other favorite band, Gang of Youths, likely won't hit Canada when their new album is released.
But I know my soul needs to hear live music again. I can't wait.