One of the ways I like to keep things fresh and avoid writer’s block is to read concert reviews written by other music writers. Besides keeping me updated on what other writers are digging at the moment, reading a well-written concert review also helps fill my creative pipeline, especially when I read one that makes me smile and makes me feel like I was at the concert, too. And this Jakob Dylan review did just that.
The Dylan review I’m talking about was written by Mike at Sound Citizen who covered Jakob Dylan’s show last night at Chicago. I smiled and chuckled out loud when I read this section noted below about a “sad” exchange between Dylan and a fan in the crowd because it recalled thoughts I’ve had about fans and bands expressing emotions outwardly together during a concert.
The set was a mix of old and new, and ups and downs. Songs ranged from singing about sweet apple pie to “Evil is Alive and Well” – the latter prompting a woman near the stage to comment, “that song made me sad.” To which Dylan replied, “It makes me sad, too.” It’s impossible to not notice Dylan’s progression as an artist while listening to him perform. Songs like “One Headlight” sound almost juvenile compared to new tracks like “Everybody’s Hurting” and “We Don’t Live Here Anymore.”
Mike also took some video (above) of his Dylan adventures last night and if you’re looking for a fresh take on “the younger” Dylan’s work I encourage you to check out Mike’s review.
The other thing that I loved about the review was Mike’s honesty and how he wrote about the concert in context of his other life passions beyond live music. All to often us music writers can get so wrapped up in the music we love that we fail to mix in other things we enjoy to put our concert experiences in perspective. And oddly enough when we do balance our writing with our other life experiences, it usually makes the review more enjoyable, accessible and human.
How do you keep your music writing fresh? What do you do to fill your creative pipeline?