The Great Thing About a Live Event Is It Includes You

"Elton John & Billy Joel Concert," © 2009 Sean Biehle, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

“Elton John & Billy Joel Concert,” © 2009 Sean Biehle, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

I had fun reading this article, in which the author complains about her recent trip to an Elton John concert. The problem was that people were singing along to Elton’s songs so much that she couldn’t even hear Elton sing.

I sympathize, kinda.

But not really. Because the last thing in the world that we need to drive into other forms of performed live music is a policy that requires that we sit absolutely silent at all times. See how nicely it’s working out for the classical music genre. Let’s be honest; this is rock ‘n’ roll, and while quality of sound and virtuosity are very important, it’s also not a worshipful kind of environment.

And let’s remember this: The greatest thing about live entertainment and what separates it from a really high-quality recording of the same music is that you, the human being, are actually there. That means you get to be part of it in a way that’s appropriate to the format. Would it really be tragic if people, possibly even including children or young adults, were singing along to certain parts of the opera?

Maybe that’s not quite right, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt future interest in and let’s say ticket sales of opera, would it?

We sing along because we care, and because we’re happy to be there. It would be terrible to see those things just tisk-tisked away.

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