“In a crazy way, being a part of an audience requires us to be apart as people.”
When looking for a time I was part of an audience to write about I struggled to find one, not because there’s so few but rather because there are so many. My mind eventually leads me to my most recent experience of being part of an audience which was a concert at the Metro Theater for one of my favorite artists blackbear.
But before I talk about the experience itself I wanna take a moment to examine what being part of an audience really is from my perspective. It’s about finding common ground despite being in attendance for differing reasons and all may have our own unique experience that led us to the event. In a crazy way, being a part of an audience requires us to be apart as people.
This is what leads me to my own personal experience where I was fortunate enough to meet the performer prior to the show. Waiting in line other fans was an experience that allowed me to fully grasp the concept of a diverse audience, whilst in line I was situated next to a man who was sporting two sleeves of tattoos and dyed red hair spiked up in a punk-fashion. We spoke about a lot of things in an attempt to pass the time and
I feel this moment relates to a piece by Mitch Waterman titled Emotional Responses to Music: Implicit and Explicit Effects in Listeners and Performers, a piece written before blackbear’s impact was even felt on the music scene, in which he wrote “…music is so individual that attempts to provide a systematic explanation of the interaction might well be ultimately fruitless—there may be no systematic explanation of what happens when individuals interact with music”.
There is no doubt that individuals relate to music differently and are drawn in for a variety of reasons, this is evident in this case as after we both met blackbear and he complimented my socks as I held him like he was my pregnant wife (yes, that actually happened) me and this individual went our separate ways into a sea of other people who were each in attendance and drawn to this music for their own reasons.
Now I would like to take a minute to diverge from impact of music on individuals and onto my one negative takeaway from the night. The unspoken rule that should always go without saying … if 👏 you 👏 are 👏 not 👏 going 👏 to 👏 mosh 👏 do 👏 not 👏 go 👏 in 👏 the 👏 mosh 👏 pit… you see I was blessed with the opportunity to spend the night situated in the front row next to an individual who not only refused to mosh but opted to film the entire concert instead! The government really has to consider passing legislation and making it a federal crime because it’s getting out of hand fast.
To me that’s what being an audience is, I’m sure it’d be different for you but that is the beauty of it.
- Waterman, M. (1996) ‘Emotional Responses to Music: Implicit and Explicit Effects in Listeners and Performers’, Psychology of Music, 24, pg. 53–67.