An awful lot of time I spend in SL tends to be music related. Most of the people I hang out with have a shared interest in music, and much of the time we have in each other’s company will involve music, either in the background, as the main event, or as the topic of conversation; it’s usually a combination of those things.
However, my interest in music is relatively new found, and prior to coming into SL, I wouldn’t have said that I had an extensive, knowledgeable or far-reaching appreciation of music, and although I’ve always had a fairly eclectic and broad taste, or so I thought, that’s developed exponentially over the course of my time inworld. It’s fair to say that I’ve been exposed to a much wider variety of music and genres as well as people, many of whom have an extensive and voluminous knowledge of the subject, from whom I’ve learned a great deal and – in consequence – my own musical repertoire has expanded and developed. However, the one thing I don’t have, that for many of my inworld friends has been a formative influence in their lives, is an experience of growing up immersed in music, around bands, and attending gigs.
So, when the question was posed recently, ‘If you could go back in time and see any band, which would it be?’, I found it to be a far more difficult question to answer than most people of my generation, or older, may have – few had difficulty in rattling off some classic bands and artists who they would have loved to have had the opportunity of seeing in their heyday, whilst I… Couldn’t really come up with anything at all!
I suppose I could have fallen back on any one of the usual suspects – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts, and so on – but, to be honest, that would have been cheating and, I don’t really know which – if any – I would plump for if I had the choice. I suppose I had a bit of a sheltered upbringing as far as music goes, not seeing my first gig until my very late teens, and that wasn’t even a ‘proper’ one, and the number of bands I’ve seen live I can count on the fingers of one hand – it’s just one of those things that has never really been part of my life, and so if I could go back in time, it’s something that would be a little bit alien too, sad to say.
I’ve always found live music to often be a little disappointing anyway. I think there are very few bands and vocalists capable of delivering the sort of performance that would blow my mind, couple that with less-than-perfect acoustics, a noisy crowd and the inevitable singalongs – (there’s something deeply annoying about paying a king’s ransom to go to a concert, only to have the artist point the microphone at the crowd… I’ve paid to hear the professionals sing, not the plebs in the crowd!). “Ah yes”, I hear you exclaim, “it’s the atmosphere and the drama of the occasion that makes all the difference!” – Well, OK, but personally I’d rather not be pressed up against a crowd of sweaty fans, having my feet stepped on and being sureptitiously groped, before being seriously ripped off for a t-shirt that will fade in the wash, and a souvenir programme that will just be hidden away in a cupboard. So, I’m a bit of a diva… So what?
Maybe I’m something of a Philistine for holding those views, especially considering that I’m really not at all qualified to comment on the matter, but I can’t help how I feel. I’d much rather enjoy such things vicariously through the stories of others who are vastly more experienced in such things, and they do have such great tales to tell of their own experiences, that I don’t feel I’m missing out at all. Better still, on any given day inworld, I can find a whole bunch of people who would be more than happy to chat for hours about the time they saw Hendrix at Woodstock, or U2 at Slane Castle, or the High Numbers at the Railway Hotel, and I’m more than happy to listen to them, especially if I can do so to a background of the music in question, which is almost always the case.
So, if I did have the chance to travel back in time to see any band… I think, in all honesty, I might just give that chance away to one of my inworld friends, who would no doubt appreciate it far more than I would!
“There’s no reason for it, you’ve gotta go sometime”
Pink Floyd – The Great Gig In The Sky