Live Fix Radio: Camplified and Teaching The Kids How To Rock Live

camplified summer tours
camplified summer tours

Payton Rae performing at Camp Blue Ridge


As we’ve seen (and heard) before, kids can rock the stage and get lost in the awe of live music at any age.

And during this episode of Live Fix Radio, we’re continuing our why kids rock and amaze us exploration and talking with Camplified founder Aimee Berger about how she’s playing a pivotal role in raising up the next generation of artists and creating a new type of live music experience for young concert fans through the Camplified summer camp tours. She also shares what amazes here about seeing Adele and Eminem live, and why she loves going to shows with her parents.

And since this episode is all about the kids, we’re excited to have another special guest, our son Calvin,  join us during the show too.

Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!

Subscribe via iTunes.

Show Notes:

Segment one: News and other cool stuff we talked about:

Segment two (10:53): Interview with Aimee Berger.

Segment three (35:09): Should kids strive to be great musicians or great performers?

Music featured during the show
  • Payton Rae – “Stomp Out The Fire” Live during the Camplified Summer Tour
  • Adele – “Someone Like You” Live at Royal Albert Hall
  • Eminem – “Lose Yourself” Live at Yankee Stadium
  • Brandon and Savanah – covering Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”  live during Camplified Summer Tour 2012

Share your concert experiences and thoughts about this podcast in the comments below, on Twitter @livefixmedia, on Facebook, Google Plus, or call the concert fan hotline at 773-609-4341, and we’ll include them in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Concert Review: An Open Letter To Lollapalooza 2011



Editorial Note: Well, you know that we love to embark on new and exciting concert experiments here at Live Fix. And now we’re going to share with you a most curious experiment that I tested out in my coverage of Lollapalooza 2011 for Blogcritics. As you’ll read below, I wanted try out a new way to explore and write about my concert experience and I hope you enjoy reading this personal letter to Lolla about how Eminem, Atmosphere, Cee-Lo and the crazy mud-people rocked our world at Grant Park.

And stay tuned for more fan stories and gate-crasher interviews and other adventures had at Lollapalooza!


Lollapalooza 2011 has come and gone but I won’t soon forget what happened as the festival celebrated its 20th birthday along Chicago’s lakefront in Grant Park in true spectacle and ultimate glory.

Like it always is, my Lolla experience was a complete and utter mind-blower. Once again I was sucked in by the sheer magnitude of it all and forever changed, whether I wanted to be or not.

And this year, the massive party was bigger than it’s ever been with a record-setting 275,000 fans (90,000 per day) who all got their rock on to the tune of 130 bands over three days.

But before I tell you about the music, I’ll be completely honest and tell you that as a fan and a concert reviewer my relationship with Lollapalooza is very complicated and super complex. It’s a love/hate sort of thing. Part of me loves going to the festival to immerse myself in the endless river of intoxicating sonic pleasure.

And I love the fact that so many people have gathered to embark on a life-altering and communal adventure like no other. But another part of me feels that the whole thing is just too damn big, and way too overwhelming at times. Because of this, much of the intimacy, uniqueness and sacredness of the live music experience is compromised and forsaken.

And as I struggled to make sense of my relationship with Lollapalooza, I decided to go back to Lolla’s etymological roots in hopes of writing you a different kind of concert review.

My curiosity led me to Webster’s dictionary, where I was reminded that “lollapalooza” is defined as “…an extraordinary or unusual thing, a person, or event, an exceptional example or instance.”
So instead of writing about Lollapalooza as just an event or just “an unusual thing” – which it certainly is – I’m going to share with you a concert review experiment in the form of an open letter/review to Lollapalooza as “a person.”

Dear Lollapalooza 2011,

There’s no easy way to say what I’m about to tell you, so I’ll just be completely honest and tell you that you make me crazy. Crazy good and crazy bad. You have a special way of making me want to cry, laugh, smile and go nuts all at the same time when I go to your festival.

I don’t know how you do it, but somehow you know how to manipulate all my emotional buttons, and still I come back to you each year acting as if nothing happened. Am I addicted to you? Or do I just love being psychologically abused and manipulated by you because I love the way it feels?

As you know, we’ve been close friends for the last five years and I have to say that you really put one hell of a show on this year in Chicago. Like the other 274,999 fans, I especially enjoyed the two torrential downpours on Sunday. Those heavenly showers from above really added something special to the festival.

When I saw dark clouds rolling in across the Chicago skyline and as the rain started to fall and soak us all, I knew deep down that no rainstorm could put out the candles on your birthday celebration.

And I was right because when things got sloppy, wet and super swampy, fans took full advantage of the situation and transformed a possibly depressing scene into a scene where hilarious mud-people ruled and ran wild across the grounds. And the funny thing is that most fans didn’t even bat an eye but continued to rock their brains out in the pouring rain.

I just hope that the injury report wasn’t too bad because I saw a steady stream of battered and bruised fans going in and out of the medical tents hobbling about, lying unconscious on tables and being carried out on stretchers as ambulances hurried them to local hospitals.

Sure, your festival is one of the most unique festivals around with a legendary and inspiring backstory. But the truth is that us concert fans can pay a hefty price for the rush and pleasure.

And I’m not just talking about the $215 three-day pass it costs to attend your Big Party.

I’m talking about the physical price: the bumps, bruises, busted ankles, puss-filled calluses on our feet, and the exhaustion of walking back and forth across your 115 acres to see our favorite bands that played on opposite sides of the park at the same time.

Yes, I know you and your hired security folks didn’t like them. But I did have fun watching the swarms of Gate Jumpers trying to crash your birthday party. Fan culture sure has evolved since your first festival in 1991.

And I have to say witnessing the sociological evolution of The Gate Jumpers and how they used Twitter to assemble their overpowering flash mobs to crash the gates was one of the most interesting non-musical parts of the festival.

I’ll never forget watching a throng of crashers trolling back and forth along the gate while I interviewed an artist. I felt like I was watching a scene from Jurassic Park where the velociraptors systematically tested the perimeter gate searching for weak points to plan their attack.

And when you think about it, this behavioral and technological development in Gate Jumpers shows that a new breed of concert fans is evolving.

Does this mean that our love for live music contributed to the molecular evolution of our species? I remember seeing the type of Lolla fans or “weirdoes,” as Perry Farrell affectionately called them, attend in 1991.

So who knows what the next 20 years will look like?

Okay, now it’s time to talk about the music you served up this year. I was pulled in so many different directions that it was yet again so hard to tell myself that I’m not going to see it all. But for you, I imagine it’s gotta be pretty hard to curate a festival for fans who’s iPods span the entire gamut of music genres.

And you have to figure out a way to get as many people there so you can make the most money possible while simultaneously satisfying the masses. But still, I always think it’s sort of sneaky how you scheme and schedule the sets with just enough time to walk from end to end, tempting fans to see if they can really see and hear it all.

No, I’m not trying to be a drag. I’m just having a little fun with you. Yes, most of the music I heard this year did move me and I’ve told my friends all about you.

No, not all the bands were as great as you made them out to be; some were actually pretty bad and quite disappointing actually. For starters, Eminem and Cee-Lo left me wanting more (more on those two dudes in a bit). I wanted a bit more rock on Friday night but Chris Martin and his buddies just weren’t doing it for me and Muse lost my interest after the first song and my favorite track “Uprising.”

But thank God for Ratatat!

They were fantastic and won the award for Best Use of Video Screen during Lollapalooza 2011. I’ll always remember how they synced up their electronic blips and unfurled their hypnotic instrumental melee of edgy guitars and synthy riffs with a trippy video screen backdrop that flashed exploding scenes from classic ’80s action movies. Arnold Schwarzenegger never looked so psychedelic, reanimated and re-contextualized as he was running through the jungle getting chased by an angry alien predator.

But what the heck was Cee-Lo thinking on Saturday?

What convinced him that coming out in a metal-clad and outrageously spiked football shoulder pad costume would make up for playing a set of half-assed and scattered songs? Did he really think such a sorry performance was good enough for Lolla fans? I would expect a lot more from the host of The Voice. I think he would have voted himself of if he showed up in that costume and played like he did.

Yes, Cee-Lo did eventually get to the song we all were waiting to hear in the flippant love-pop ballad “F#ck You.” But come on! Why did he waste our time and not unleash the golden voice and let us enjoy his golden croon and gift for great showmanship that we all know he has.

And what about Eminem’s set?

I had high expectations for this show. I’ve seen many amazing shows on that same Lollapalooza stage over the years. Kanye West was off the charts with his brilliant emotionally moving show before the hometown crowd in 2008. Then in 2010, I went in a skeptic and came out a newly converted Little Monster after Lady Gaga won me over with her dazzling and intimate spectacle of a performance.

But it kills me to say that Mr. Mathers’ performance was too rushed, contrived, and distant to get anywhere near inspiring. I don’t think it was a wise move to fill the set with a litany of hooks and snippets of his hits like “Without Me” or “Cleaning Out My Closet.”

Those are great songs and I would have liked to see him reinvent them more with fresh takes or freestyles. But that didn’t happen. Sure, it was a nice surprise to see Bruno Mars and Skylar Gray join the show for “Love the Way You Lie” and “Lighters.”

But again, it was too much medley and not enough of what Eminem is best at: being the freestyle master and battle-rapping hero that won us over in 8 Mile. The new recently recovered and reborn Slim Shady I was hoping for surely did not stand up.

Watching the set I wondered: Is Eminem still getting his bearings back? Is he still not comfortable in his own skin as he gets used to playing live without the crutch of drugs or alcohol? Without a doubt I applaud him doing what he’s done so far in his recovery. And I’m glad he didn’t’ suffer the fate of his peers that couldn’t overcome their addictions.

But why didn’t Eminem give us a great show? He had us all in the palm of his hand and I feel like he sold us all short. Since he’s not touring a whole lot these days, I expected him to go deeper and truly make it a special moment at least for a couple minutes. I wanted him to go beyond the expected jesterish and wrote humor.

I wanted him to take us to a new place that we haven’t been before, again, if only for a moment. Instead he made a few corny jokes about being sober. And those cheesy and awkward jokes climaxed and fizzled when he faked like he was going to guzzle down a bottle of vodka and throw his sobriety away.

And his punch line was a ridiculous trick jacket he had on that squirted out spouts of water like a water-filled cartoon character shot through with bullet holes. It was a pretty lame move that still confuses and frustrates me when I think about it.

But ya know what Lollapalooza?

The bad parts of your birthday party did not trump the best moments.

For starters, Atmosphere’s righteous mix of beats and rhymes was magical and off the charts. I still can’t wipe the smile off my face after witnessing emcee Sean Daley (aka Slug) riling up fans — new converts and faithful followers — into a feverish frenzy as he yelled “Let me see you bang your fists like you’re trying to build something.”

Those words and the way the crowd was so beautifully synchronized in their fist-pumping during the seismic “Should’ve Known” was one of the most memorable Lollapalooza moments I’ve ever had. I swear if it would have gone on for much longer I think the ground would’ve split beneath our feet.

Lollapalooza, my dear friend, it kills me to say this, but in the end Atmosphere’s show turned out to be far more significant and evocative than Eminem’s. I didn’t want it to be that way but that’s the way it turned out after Saturday night was over.

Sunday was all about the bands and fans either battling or embracing the rain. I don’t know what it is about the psycho-molecular combination of rain, dirt, grass and live music that turns fans into crazy and possessed mud-people.

But nonetheless I loved watching fans joyously stomp around in the giant muddle puddles at the Google + Stage while Georgia-based rockers Manchester Orchestra provided the perfect raw, grinding and gloriously emotive anthemic soundtrack to your righteous mudfest.
The day went by so fast and by the time Foo Fighters roared its way towards the festival’s finale on one side of the Grant Park while Deadmou5 entranced fans with his electronic DJ wizardy on the other, I was caught in smack dab between at the Perry Stage watching Kid Cudi woo his way into the hearts of Lollalites with a fan-led version of “Pursuit Of Happiness,” a fitting anthem to the close out the festivities.

I’ll wrap up this letter by saying…

that I do fear that you might’ve invited too many people this year, and I’m still not convinced that bigger is better. But I know that we won’t always agree on this, so I’m cool to agree to disagree with you.

I wanted to tell you that I’m not crazy about that prohibitive radius clause that you’ve asked bands to sign off on in order to play at your Big Party.

It seems kind of selfish to have bands agree to such a deal because it takes away from the local music scene and forces Chicago and Midwest fans to see their favorite bands under the hot sun when most of the bands that play your party are better suited for a smaller venue with a more intimate crowd.

Speaking of contracts, I saw how trashed Grant Park got and I hope that the possible $80,000 bill for cleaning up Grant Park doesn’t break your bank – I don’ t think it will considering how much you’ll end up making when you’re done counting your ticket sales.

And it’s good to know that the cleanup bill won’t be costing Chicago taxpayers a dime, and that your promise to make Grant Park look better than it did before your party. I just hope you and your fellow concert promoters C3 Presents do keep your promises to make this cleanup a reality.

There’s a lot more I could say to you Lollapalooza but I’ll save that for another letter.

In the end, your 2011 Birthday Party was certainly an “extraordinary and unusual” experience that I’ll continue to think about for a long, long time. And I’m excited to see what 2012 in Chicago will bring and how things will go for you next year during your big debut in Brazil.

Sincerely Addicted and Loyal Concert Fan,


Were You There?

Were you at the Lollapalooza festival? Did you like this open letter? What would you write to Lollapalooza? We invite you to share your Lolla concert experiences in the comments below, so they can be included in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Concert Preview: Top Picks for Lollapalooza 2011 and Perry Farrell’s Artistic Vision


lollapalooza 2011

Here we go again my fellow emotional concert fans… It’s that time of the summer when Lollapalooza takes over Chicago and here’s a festival preview for you to enjoy that I wrote for my friends at Blogcritics. Plus a few extra bonuses and live music follow-ups for the Live Fix faithful.

The Lolla Story Continues…

This weekend Lollapalooza will once again rumble and rule Grant Park in Chicago. But it wasn’t always a three-day, sold-out mainstream celebration to boot. It’s nothing short of amazing to think of the festival’s roots and remember that Lollapalooza first started as a traveling farewell oddity tour for Perry Farrell and Jane’s Addiction in 1991.

And things have certainly changed since then. Because 20 years later, in 2011, the festival has a more corporate-flavor with sponsored stages and three-day ticket prices topping out at $215. This year, the fan count has swelled to an expected record number of 90,000 fans a day who will come ready to rock to the tune of 130 bands on eight stages.

One of the ways I’ve put the whole experience in perspective over the years is by re-reading one of my favorite interviews with Perry Farrell. The intriguing chat is from Dimitri Ehrlich’s Inside the Music, an excellent collection of conversations with artists and performers.

One of the reasons I love reading this interview is because it was written around the time of Woodstock 1994, and it never ceases to amaze and challenge me to think differently about Farrell. And each time I read it, I always notice something new about Farrell’s artistic vision.

I can’t help but struggle with deciding whether or not his perspective on performance and entertainment has changed over the years. And each time I read deeper into what he says, I often wonder if the Farrell of today would put on the Lollapalooza of 1991, or vice versa.

So before I tell you which bands I’m looking forward to seeing this weekend, I’d like to get you ready for this year’s show by sharing a section of this interview that takes us back to Farrell’s provocative “self-love” mindset in 1994 and that properly celebrates Lollapalooza’s 20th birthday.

Ehrlich writes, “As the founder of Lollapalooza, Farrell gave a generation it’s own version of Woodstock, an alternative rock tour de force, which became so big, so powerful, and so popular that Farrell had to jump off … Farrell is playing to smaller crowds but he’s adamant about creating art on his own terms. Operating with that sense of freedom, he’s finding not only artistic rejuvenation but a kind of spiritual one as well.”

Farrell says, “Whether it’s about being a catalyst or being another cell in a total living organism, I’m finding that in the ’90s, this is what I’m shooting for, this is what I believe. I believe that the next step for entertainers is to teach people self-love.

“Those people who separate themselves, those who look down, those who condescend, they are going to be wiped out. I think that people are just going to wipe them of the slate. The performers who will be valued are those who come to a town and practice and exhibit self-love. Because I think that’s what we want now is to learn how to love ourselves ….”

“What I’m trying to do in my life right now is learn how to love the position that I’m in …. I welcome the fact that I entertain people. I don’t separate myself from them, I don’t look down at the crowd. I like being the emcee at the party, I like putting people in a good mood, and I work hard to do it.”

Farrell’s thoughts are certainly an interesting thing to think about as the music begins to rock this weekend.

Top Picks and Those Extra Goodies

Now, here are few extra goodies and my top picks that I’ve already marked off as “must-see” on this year’s Lollapalooza mobile app. I’d love to hear what you think of Farrell’s thoughts and what bands you’re looking forward to seeing this year too.

If you’re heading out to the festival be sure to take a break from the music and check out all the new Lolla activities and fan-centric side shows going on this year.  We hope to see you there as we see if Lollapalooza has made any of our suggested improvements.

For those of you not able to see the action live, the whole festival will be streamed live on YouTube, and you can watch it here.


Kate Diaz, 2:30 p.m. @ Kidz Stage:  This 13 year-old singer-songwriter has come a long way in a short period of time. We’ve shared her inspiring story with you before, and we’re looking forward to checking out her Lollapalooza debut.

Kids These Days, 4:15 p.m. @ BMI Stage: Don’t be fooled by their lack of years. This Chicago-based eight-piece is quickly winning fans with each passing show. Get caught up in their raw, re-energizing and refreshing mix of Roots-style jazz, rock and hip hop.

Bright Eyes, 6:30 p.m. @ Bud Light Stage: One of the best singer-songwriters today, Conor Oberst will certainly leave no personal story untold and no emotion unfelt.

Girl Talk, 8:45 p.m. @ Perry’s Stage: Knowing what we discovered during our previous Girl Talk explorations, it’s always a joyous free-for-all when Greg Gillis is behind the laptop. And fans are never able to resist the thumping and surging mashup of party beats and Top 40 hits when he hits full throttle.

Muse, 8:15 p.m. @ Bud Light Stage: A fitting end to day one is Muse. It’s British anti-establishment anthem rock at it’s finest. Fans’ fists will be raised high in pleasureful protesting salute.


Atmosphere, 7:30 p.m. @ Music Unlimited Stage: We’ve talked with these guys before. And as one of the pioneers of indie-rap, this Minnesota-based duo never disappoint live with the beats and rhymes. And with their latest offering Family Sign, the superb storytelling combo of emcee Slug and producer/DJ Ant has only gotten better with age.

Cee-Lo, 6:30 p.m. @ Music Unlimited Stage: Yes, Lollapalooza wouldn’t be complete without Cee-Lo putting a mile-wide smile on the masses. Expect one of the biggest sing-a-longs in the festival’s 20-year history to erupt during uber hit (and hopefully uncensored) “F*ck You.”

Eminem, 8:30 p.m @ Music Unlimited Stage: Mr. Mathers isn’t touring a lot, so this Saturday closer will be one to remember and is not to be missed. And we’ll be thinking a lot about what he told Anderson Cooper recently about why his fan are no longer a blue during the show.


Cool Kids, 3:00 p.m. @ Perry’s Stage: This crafty hip hop duo have honed their release of their latest album When Fish Ride Bicycles. And the hometown crowd is ready to put it to the test live.

Manchester Orchestra, 7:00 p.m. @ Google + Stage: Courageous, intimate and epic storytelling doesn’t get any better than on their latest gem, Simple Math; it’s simply one of the best, most personal and inspiring rock albums of 2011.

Kud Cudi, 9:00 p.m. @ Perry’s Stage: Escape in the cold dark world of Cleveland native Scott Mescudi as he raps deftly with a slow and melodic flow about his life’s drug-hazed trials and lonesome tribulations.

Foo Fighters, 8:30 p.m. @ Music Unlimited Stage: When he’s not kicking fans out for fighting during their shows, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl shows why he is the master of arena rock.

What’s Your Lollapalooza Story?

Were you at the first Lollapalooza festival to witness it’s begining? Have you been to the Chicago incarnation before? We invite you to share your Lolla concert experiences in the comments below, so they can be included in a future episode of Live Fix Radio.

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Surprise, The Grammys Are Worth Watching This Year!


Just when I was ready to write off the historically out-of-touch and one-step-behind awards show, the Grammys have pulled me back in. And we can thank social media, mobile and several timely musical nominations for making the usually irrelevant, retrogressive and disconnected TV event more interactive, relevant and interesting than it’s ever been for fans. Continue reading

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Live Fix Weekly Wrap-Up: A Lot Can Happen In Six Days (or Six Years)


Summer’s just around the corner and I can’t believe how fast this week went by. Speaking of how fast time goes by, Colleen and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary yesterday.

And while we waited for dinner to come to our table we talked about all the great live music experiences we’ve had since we’ve been married. And though it endearingly captures a slice of the romantic dinner we had at Le Colonial in Chicago, this picture I took also reminds me why Colleen is the one taking the pictures and I’m the one writing the words when we cover concerts.

In addition to celebrating our wedding anniversary, I’d also like to celebrate a great week on Live Fix with this weekly wrap up, including live music news about Live Nation Q1 Losses and Immigration Laws, Mother’s Day and Sasquatch Festival Dancing Guy interviews, sensual eye experiments and news about upcoming baseball park concerts featuring Eminem and Jay-Z.

You’ll also want to check out the recent updates to our Live Fix summer music festival iPhone apps guide and the Foursquare fan and venue call-out experiment.
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Eminem and Jay-Z Not Afraid To Rock Yankee Stadium, Comerica Park


Ever since I posted about the Little Things and baseball, I’ve noticed just how connected live music is to the best game in the whole world. And since it’s that time of year, there’s a seasonal buzz going around about blending the two, with the most recent being a double concert this fall between Jay-Z and Eminem.
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Eminem Gives Detroit "One of His Best Concerts Ever"



According to Billboard magazine, Eminem seems to be already benefiting from his new found sobriety. And his hometown fans are the first to feel the positive affects.

During a free show in Detroit last week to promote his newly released Relapse album, Mr. Mathers had this to say about his recent recovery stint as he plans to get more out of his live performances. 



“How many motherfuckers are gonna get fucked up tonight?,” he queried. “Get fucked up for me, ’cause, goddamn it, I can’t anymore.” He then added that, “This might actually be one of the best shows I’ve ever done, ’cause when I get offstage I’m actually gonna remember it.”

Now, this is one of the best quotes about the live music experience I’ve heard in a long time. And who better to say it than Eminem. One of pop music’s most articulate and entertaining documentors of the struggles that come with having an addiction to drugs and alcohol.  Though in the past, he’s leaned more on the glorifying side, Relapse finds him telling more of the how’s and why’s as he struggles to understand his addictions.  Relapse fails in it’s attempt to tell a completely fresh or unique story of Eminem’s struggle but it was the album’s two best songs “3am” and “My Mom” that sent me down a trail wondering about the impact of drug and alcohol addiction on the live music experience.

 What’s Exactly Behind The Curtain?

I’m all for artists taking hold of their lives and their art in positive ways, and I’ve had to cringe my way through plenty of awkward live shows, such as seeing Amy Winehouse perform under the influence at Lollapalooza 2007.

But sometimes the addiction is not so obvious.

Sometimes an artist can do a great job of hiding it.

But then, if that’s the case, I start to wonder if the abuse they’re hiding is really helping their performance. And if their “hiding” it well, would I be able to tell the difference between a performance not “under the influence” verses one that is? Would a show minus the drugs and alcohol make their anxieties and fears come racing to the surface?

While I’m at it, I’ll crack Pandora’s box wide open by asking whether we would enjoy an “under-the-influence” show more than a “clean” or “sober” show.  And would the music be better or worse? And would we be able to even tell the difference?

I’ve also wondered many times if artists really need to use or abuse drugs and alcohol to put on a great show? 

I decided to rattle off all those questions because all to often the abuse of alcohol and drugs are looked at as necessary evils to loosen up before a show, allowing artists to “relax and get in their creative zone.”  This may be true to a certain extent. But there have been many cases throughout rock n roll history that make this so-called practice of necessary and regular abuse seem more like a myth than truth. 

Eminem’s quote was amazing to read because I had a hard time thinking back to when I heard an artist speak so boldly and honestly against the myth to “need drugs and alcohol to relax and be creative”.  Now, we all know Mr. Mathers is known to joke around, but I think his dead serious when he said it. And I’m glad he was, even though his return to music with Relapse left me a bit disappointed, doubtful and wondering if he’s really back at all.

In any case, for now, I’m holding on to Eminem’s live quote because it provided far more insight than Relapse  has at this point.

In short, the truth is that drugs and alcohol are, and will always be, a part of music making. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

And just like the myriad genres of music, each artist is unique in their ability to handle the substance.

To a point, that is.

Then what usually happens is that their use becomes abuse, and their music begins to eventually suffer. And the unravelling begins.

That said, I don’t believe that the use of drugs to get creative is beneficial for anyone for several reasons. One reason is that I’ve seen it destroy families and friends and ruin musical abilities that could’ve changed the world. But I also don’t judge any artist if that’s what they choose to do.  And if Eminem is genuine in his quest to live a clean and sober life then I fully support and salute him. 

Musician or not, the ability to live a sober life and actively battle and recover from your addictions is to have the ultimate power to change your life, make great music, and put on a great show that you can remember and cherish long after the performance is over. 

So let’s think about that for a moment. 

Think back to the last few concerts you’ve been to and tell me if you’ve ever wondered if the performance quality was influenced by the artist’s use or abuse of drugs and alcohol. Was the performance better or worse?   

Of course, there’s the other side to this discussion: the fan’s use of drugs and alcohol during a show, and whether or not drugs and alcohol can make an average show great or a bad show good. 

But we’ll talk about that in a future post. 

Here are a few links to where you can get more information on drug and alcohol abuse.

(SAMHSA) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

(NIDA) National Institute On Drug Abuse  

Sober Musicians


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