How Live Music and Visual Art Merge Into A Beautiful Canvas Of Human Expression

Franco Muscarella @ Abbey Pub During Beats Antique

There are many ways that concert fans get inspired during the show. And the beauty of it is that we all show our inspiration in different ways. Some of us love just watching the show and smiling blissfully as it unfolds in front of us. Others like to feel the music and get lost in the dreaminess of the moment, dance themselves to a oblivion, or mosh their brains out.

But for other fans, live music inspires them to create visual art because the beats and rhythms rush through them and unlock the beauty of their creativity.

During this Beats Antique show in Chicago earlier this month, I noticed a fan sitting at a table drawing and sketching with headphones on. And as he drew I grew more curious as I saw how the music influenced the way he pen moved across the paper as if it was in dancing in tandem with the music in his hand.

So once the opening bands finished I walked over and asked him more about his drawings and what brought him to the show.

During our brief chat, Franco Muscarella from Rogers Park, IL, told me about his work as an carpenter, an artist and muralist.

Franco first told me that his wife is waitress at the Abbey pub and that he was recently commissioned by the venue owner to redesign the walls with his artwork and stenciling. I thought that was very interesting and ask him more about how he planned to go about redesigning the walls.

Franco Muscarella @ Abbey Pub During Beats Antique

He explained that he has started to draw his murals in certain parts of the Abbey Pub already, and that he was working on more designs during the opening band.

I told him that I have seen other concert fans draw on sketch books and create other visual art expressions during concerts and that I’d like to know more about what goes through his mind when he’s drawing during a show.

He smiled and said that he uses a “self will run riot” approach style to make his art.

The name of his style made me even more curious so I ask him to explain and he told me that it basically means that instead of him deciding how the drawing turns out, he lets the live music and how it makes him feel direct his drawing.

He smiled again and said that he was excited to draw during the Beats Antique show because he his huge fan of their music and he won’t have to wear headphones to block out the music, which something he does when he’s busy working on Abbey walls during shows while his wife waits tables.

Then just before the Beats Antique set began he showed me his book that was full of watercolors and intricately sketched drawings. Then he told me something very interesting about his creative process.

Franco Muscarella @ Abbey Pub During Beats Antique

He told me that each drawing he does has a specific time limit. So when he reaches a certain number of hours on any given drawings that’s when he knows the drawing is done.

Some of the drawings he showed me were almost done and others were started that night during the show and I told him it would be great if he would share some before and after drawings with us on Live Fix.

Again, he smiled and said “sure, I’d love too”.

I ended our chat by asking if he has other artist he loves to draw during their live show. His eyes lit up and he said

“Yes, I love the Bassnectar. He is one of my favorite because his live show is like an ocean with surges and waves. It’s great to drawing during his show because he takes you on a journey and he also gets lost in the music and you can feel that instantly in your heart when it happens on stage. That is the same type of mindset that I try to get into when I draw during a show. It helps me create my best art.”

I’m very thankful to have had the chance to talk with Franco and I hope you enjoyed this brief look into how the merging of live music and art can make the live concert experience into a living breathing canvas of human expression.

Check out the video below to see a live clip of Franco at work during the show that I captured with my Flip Video Camera .

If you’ve ever drawn during a concert or used the live music experience like Franco does, we’d love to hear about it. Drop us a comment or send your story to

Photos by Colleen Catania

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