Monday, August 29, 2005

That Great Live Concert Moment

Interesting article in this week's Washington Post Magazine. Memoirs of a Music Man (may require free registration) is a former Post music critic's journey searching for "the great Live Concert Moment". By that, he means "total-body bliss, a rush so strong it turns brain cells into Jell-O and, for a moment or two, you sort of leave your skin." The gist of the article however is that Rock & Roll barely has moments like that anymore, that even the most outrageous moments in a concert are all-too-often choreographed these days, that it is far more the exception than the rule for a band to be truly spontaneous anymore.

Now, most of us Deadheads have had a number of those "great Live Concert Moments" for sure, often several times a show. Unfortunately, the writer, David Segal, only barely touches on The Dead and how they met his criteria for 30 years. He wrote:

The trick for every band is to keep fresh something that is forever threatening to go stale. This was the secret to the longevity of the Grateful Dead. People followed them around full time because the show changed every time they played, and if you missed a concert you missed something singular.

He waxed poetic on other truly great live acts such as Elvis Costello, The Pixies, Guided By Voices, and Bruce Springsteen. But only 2 sentences about The Dead. It's a shame, maybe he just didn't make it to many shows, or maybe the ones he went to, they just weren't on those nights. Anyway, I guess he's just not much of a fan, or he just simply never truly 'got it'. The Dead are not for everyone. But they certainly delivered enough "great Live Concert Moments" for those of us who 'got it' to last a lifetime.


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