I love when artists express themselves by making comments in between songs. Because their comments are often expressions that show a side of them that their recorded music doesn’t reveal. And, usually, once the comment is said it adds an element of unrehearsed and honest suspense to the show.
The comment that made me write this post, came from folk singer-songwriter duo The Watson Twins as I caught their opening set before reviewing M.Ward‘s show in Chicago back in April.
I got there just in time to hear the Watson Twins express their feelings about connecting with fans at a live show. And they had some very interesting things to say about how texting and emailing just can’t compare to the real face-to-face connection at a live show.
I thought it was very interesting because as the Watson Twins were expressing their thoughts I was conducting a Live Fix Experiment and twittering their comments out into the Twittersphere via my BlackBerry.
Here’s what I tweeted:
Watson Twins: “you can’t get real connection with text msgs. We’re glad to be with you here in person.”
Now, when I tweeted that quote, I fully understood what The Watson Twins were saying. But I think they might’ve been overlooking a very important part of how the live music experience is evolving right before our eyes, glowing screens and thumbs.
Thinking back on that moment showed me that I was doing something very special.
When my mind and thumbs raced to tweet that quote and other moments that night I furthered and shared the connection I was having with the Watson Twins, M. Ward and the sold out crowd around me, out into the Twittersphere. And those tweets served as a connection between other live music fans who weren’t at the show or in the venue. I used to be annoyed when I would see people texting during concerts but then I began to learn and see the bigger picture of what is being shared emotionally.
Yes, some texting done during concerts has nothing to do with the show but what I’m talking about here are the emotionally packed tweets and texts that capture the essence of that fan’s experience in that moment. Which is something that is so hard to truly capture because unless that fan puts their heart and mind into a text we never truly know what that moment meant to them. When I started to discover this side of live texting and tweeting I started to change my stance on whether it took away or added to the live concert experience.
Now, I’m still compiling my Twitter live concert research but as of this moment I believe that most of the texting and tweeting done during concerts is a beneficial route worth taking to understand how we process live music emotionally and as a community.
The other comment that The Watson Twins made about touring was so right on that I also sent it out into the Twittersphere.
My Tweet: Watson Twins : “touring is the big payoff of recording an album”
Yes, the live show is the two-hour climax that fans wait months for. And naturally that comment by The Watson Twins resonated with me because it was so genuine and true that it had to be sent out as it was said and experienced by me and the other fans in real-time.
Why We Tweet & Text During Concerts
As I see it now, texting, tweeting, or whatever else you do to connect with other fans or express yourself in real-time during concert, is an extension of our desire to be together, a desire to let everyone else who’s having the same concert experience know how much we’re enjoying being caught up in the great communal escape.
Seeing this desire captured in a text, or a tweet, is something I look forward to every time I go to a show or log in to Twitter.
And when I see a fan use 140 characters to capture and share their heart with the rest of the live music community, I grin a thousand grins.
So tell me, how do you use your thumbs and 140 characters to express yourself during a live concert?