So many things go through my mind when I’m at a concert.
But it’s been awhile since I’ve wondered about this.
So I’ll throw the question out there again.
What classifies or defines a musical performance event as a concert? Sure, that wiki link gives me some answers.
But still I wonder what makes a “concert” a concert?
Is it where it takes place?
How many people are there?
How many people aren’t there?
Where the audience is?
Who the audience is?
How big the audience is?
What the audience is doing during the show?
The ticket cost?
What type of instruments and how the band is playing them?
Like I said, I’ve wondered all these things many times before. And what made these questions start to flow again was another late night viewing of Current TV as they featured Blogotheque’s Take Away Shows–which is an ongoing series where bands put on concerts in unlikely locations such as in a bathroom, a van, a gymnasium, etc. The one that I saw recently was with Fleet Foxes as they sung a capella and unplugged in a gymnasium. I also scoped out Ra Ra Riot’s show, too while I was at it.
Translated from French to English via Google’ language translator here’s how Le Blogoteque describes their Take Away Show mission:
“Each week, a film session with an artist or a group invited to play in the city, a bar, the street, a park, an apartment, with the passage of incidents, hesitations, those moments of madness. Without mounting cosmetics, with its gross capture a moment, film music as it came, without preparation, without tricks.”
Everything that I questioned at the beginning of this post about the true definition of or what makes a concert a “concert”, is everything that a Take Away Show isn’t.
And since improvisation and intimacy were both key stage setters for both the Fleet Foxes and Ra Ra Riot’s Take Away Shows. I paused for a moment and marveled at the fact that there wasn’t a crowd to influence the performance (the only audience was sitting at home, like me, on a couch, soaking up the dreamy harmoics and rhythms of Fleet Foxes and Ra Ra Riot.)
That said, I definitely wouldn’t clasifiy Take Away Shows as “concerts.” But calling them “shows” is spot on. Because both “shows” showed (or revealed) a new dimension of the bands that I didn’t see before. These bands put on two very different live performances as I reviewed them both before. But one thing that escaped both shows live was so much more present and paramount in these Take Away shows. Meaning, the level of comfort the bands felt appeared to be much higher, which increased the level intimacy I felt from their performance coming through the TV screen.
Was this because there wasn’t an audience of thousands staring at them to intimidate the band?
Did these shows allow the band to feel more like they were peforming in a relaxed studio environment or at home in their bedroom?
Either way, what struck me the most, was how they still both managed to retain the feel and the emotional elements of a live show even though they didn’t have most of the basic elements and surroundings of a live concert.
Have you seen the Take Away Shows?
Did they make you rethink was a concert really is and how a concert can really make you feel?
What do you take away from the Take Away Shows?
Do you feel the same way?