BY ALLISON GUY
There is nothing quite like going to see a live performance.
The performers—whether singers, actors, dancers, or some other type of entertainers—are physically in front of you, sharing the same space.
You become a part of the crowd, getting lost in its energy. You hear the performers respond to the audience with ad-libbed comments, which are sometimes sentimental, sometimes humorous, and almost always entertaining.
As the show plays out before your eyes, there are no spoiler alerts. Each moment is new and thrilling.
And when the event is over, you are left with the memory—which is hopefully a good one—and this memory comes to mind whenever you see or hear something that reminds you of the performance.
In the case of concerts, when you hear the recorded version of a song that was played live at the concert, you cannot help but think about the live performance.
You cannot get any of that if you stay at home and watch Netflix, or even if you go to the movie theater to see the latest blockbuster.
While both recorded and live performances have their merits, there is something special about going out to see a live performance. Performances are shared experiences, shared only by the people who attended or performed at the event.
There’s a sense of exclusivity about a live performance, like it is a secret that you and only a select group of people share.
With the internet, people (often illegally) record performances and post them on YouTube, opening up more people to the partial experience of the performance, but it is not quite the same as physically being in the same space as the performers.
Maybe this unique sense stems from the fact that live performances are not something you can go back and experience again after they have ended. Sure, you can watch a video that you recorded on your phone during a concert, but there is no way that you are going to have the experience of being at that concert again.
This is in contrast to TV shows and movies, which you can watch—and experience exactly the same way—over and over again.
Performances can also provide an escape for people, causing them to temporarily forget about their personal troubles or circumstances.
For me, going out to see a live performance is exciting; it is something that I do not get to do every day. When I watch a performance, I let myself become immersed in it. The stresses of college and young adult life leave my mind. This sense of an escape from reality is part of what gives live performances their appeal.
Live performances are not only rewarding for audience members, but also entertainers.
“I love telling a story,” says Theatre major Jake Thereault. “I love being able to share cool stories with other people, and… theatre is the way to do that. There’s just something different about being in the same space as the performers and as the actors. You can feel the energy in the room.”
The energy that Jake spoke of is unique to live performances, once-in-a-lifetime events that will never come again.
Take that, Netflix.