Dave Grohl Pens Touching Op-Ed About The Live Concert Experience
Has anybody else been having dreams about going to shows and concerts? I've had a few in recent weeks where I met up with friends at our local club, Saint Vitus Bar. On 4/20, I had a dream where Weedeater were playing a 4:20am show and I had an dilemma in my dream if it was safe to go. I miss going to shows, I miss seeing my friends. Dave Grohl misses it too.
Grohl penned a very touching new op-ed for The Atlantic that is worth a read. If you're too lazy, here are two passages that really stuck out to me:
One night, before a Foo Fighters show in Vancouver, my tour manager alerted me that the “Boss” himself, Bruce Springsteen, was in attendance (cue paralyzing nerves). Frozen with fear, I wondered how I could possibly perform in front of this legendary showman, famous for his epic concerts that span four hours. I surely could never live up to his lofty expectations! It turns out he was there to see the opening band (cue devastating humiliation), so I was off the hook. But we chatted briefly before the gig, and I was again reminded of not only the human being behind every superhero, but also the reason millions of people identify with him: He is real. Three hours later, as I sat on a locker-room bench recovering from the show, drenched in my own sweat, there was a knock at the door. Bruce wanted to say hello. Having actually stayed for our set (cue jaw crashing to the floor), he very generously thanked us and commented on our performance, specifically the rapport we seem to have with our audience. Something he obviously understood very well. When asked where he watched the show from, he said that he’d stood in the crowd, just like everyone else. Of course he did. He was searching for that connection too.
A few days later, I received a letter from Bruce, handwritten on hotel stationery, that explained this very clearly. “When you look out at the audience,” he wrote, “you should see yourself in them, just as they should see themselves in you.”
In today’s world of fear and unease and social distancing, it's hard to imagine sharing experiences like these ever again. I don’t know when it will be safe to return to singing arm in arm at the top of our lungs, hearts racing, bodies moving, souls bursting with life. But I do know that we will do it again, because we have to. It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone. That we are understood. That we are imperfect. And, most important, that we need each other. I have shared my music, my words, my life with the people who come to our shows. And they have shared their voices with me. Without that audience—that screaming, sweating audience—my songs would only be sound. But together, we are instruments in a sonic cathedral, one that we build together night after night. And one that we will surely build again.
Say what you will about Grohl, but the man loves live music. We've seen him in the pit for Metallica among other bands. Dude loves to rock.