Recalling A Grizzly Bear Show Is "Like A Slide Show"


After reading this New York Times live review about Grizzly Bear’s recent New York concert, I was reminded how much our brains make concerts wonderful and diverse experiments of experience. 

Music moves; it can’t do anything else. Grizzly Bear’s songs rev without going anywhere. With broad vocal harmonies and harmonic motion built from unusual guitar tunings, the band gives you beauty until you can’t stand it. I found myself lost in a few bright, bursting moments of its show at Town Hall on Thursday. They felt like static pleasures, though. The concert sits in my memory like a slide show.

 While I’m not sure if this is a positive or a negative reviewI do know that I’ve never compared a live concert to a “slide show” before. So when I read that description, I thought for awhile about why a concert reviewer would use such a simile to describe a live show.  

Is it because that’s how our mind is wired up to take in all the stimulation of a live show?  

Or is it because there is a threshold of what our sensory system can take.  And when we go beyond that point does the show just becomes annoying to us? 


Our Mind Can Be Like A Slideshow (at times)

I still like the comparision to a slide show. Because our mind is like a camera at times.

And when you think of all the ways we store memories it really starts to blow your mind.

Our minds take snapshots, store images and then connect them to emotions all at the same time. And sometimes those images even summon emotions we didn’t intend on feeling during the show.  And all of these memories and experiences can be stored in long, short term or as sensory memories.

Knowing that, no matter how hard we might try (aside from having a traumatic experience  or surgery that erases our memory), our mind never truly “deletes”  images like a camera can.

So this makes me think about  how unaware of how aware our mind and memory are when we go to concerts.

And if a band’s performance can trigger a “slide show” effect in one concertgoer, than what does this say about the many ways a concert can be experienced?

How many different ways are there to enjoy, experience and store a concert in our memory?   

If there are many ways to experience a concert based on the brain chemistry and memory recall of  each individual concertgoer, than I wonder if…

Bands plan for this…

Will Eminem have a rush of memories now…

Concertgoers consider this…

Concert reviewers are aware of this…

Venues create environments to enhance or capitalize on this…

We even know how many ways a concert can be recalled…


It’s the weekend and I bet you’re headed out to a concert this weekend, or have one planned for the summer.

So let me know how you experience the show.  Was it like a “slideshow” or did you store the show differently in your memory? 

Learn about “H” in this HowStuff Works video and think about what it would be like if you were able to remove your hippocampus.

Would it impact your concert experiences?

Photo By Colleen Catania

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