How often do you listen to live music?

How often do you listen to live music?
All of the time
6% (10 votes)
Once a week
13% (21 votes)
Once a month
33% (53 votes)
Once every 6 months
24% (39 votes)
Hardly ever
15% (24 votes)
2% (3 votes)
I <I>am</I> live music!
8% (13 votes)
Total votes: 163

A great audio system is nice, but there's nothing like the real thing to remind us of why we love music.

COMMENTS's picture

I'm a violist and rehearse with my string quartet and orchestras weekly. Plus, living in NYC, it's too hard to pass up great performances at Carnegie Hall & Lincoln Center, among others. Listing to unamplified live performances focuses the attention quite unlike listening through an electronic system---not necessarily better, just differently---and they improve appreciation for each other in a synergistic manner.

Mark Mason's picture

Even my son's high school band performances and some of his guitar practice have that essential sparkle of live music.

Robin Banks's picture

Although I don't get a chance to go to as many live perfomances as in the past, I still enjoy the feeling of "being there" the most. Most recorded albums just don't give me the same feeling. I actually enjoy listening to a "live" version of some CDs more than I do the studio version. Anything that can put me in row five of the center section is fine with me.

Marty Troum's picture

Being in a university environment (Greensboro, NC is loaded with colleges and music schools), we get many opportunities to listen to live concerts, recitals, etc., etc. There is nothing like the real thing for pure emotion AS WELL AS the music. I find that the musical experience is enhanced not only by the acoustics of the various halls, but also by the sheer emotion of the artists. Sound systems may be good at reproducing recordings, but you'll never get the full impact of the music without the visual emotion of the players, leaders, and audiences.

B.  Etherington's picture

My answer is not really accurate, but you failed to provide enough options. Once every two or three months is probably accurate. I intend to do a lot more of this when my wife and I become empty-nesters. I try to compensate by buying a fair number of live recordings, especially in the jazz category. Monk's "Complete Live at the It Club" is a good recent acquisition that also sounds good. The live recordings of Keith Jarrett's trio at the Blue Note and in Norway are also very good for giving the listener that live "feel."

Mike Johnston's picture

...Unfortunately. I'd like to hear live music more, but I can't listen to live rock concerts--they're too loud. I literally can't hear the music. Even so-called acoustic bands are too loud for me. I once saw Dizzy Gillespie at Blues Alley in Georgetown. In a room the size of a large living room with maybe 60 people seated at tables, they _miked_ and amplified both the trumpet and the drums. Talk about absurd. What, they were afraid a _trumpet_ wouldn't be audible in a little room like that? It was _painful_. People were catcalling from the audience during breaks, "too loud!" "Turn it down!" So the Diz smiled and turned it _up_. A waste of my money, and of an opportunity to hear a famous musician. The loudest concert I ever attended was a Santana concert in Milwaukee many years ago (and yes, I saw Deep Purple and many other bands that were famous for being extremely loud). It was so loud the first thirty rows of the audience emptied out. I had to go out in the hall to try to escape, and it was causing me discomfort even out there. I just don't understand this aspect of live music. Everything is so damned loud you can't distinguish one note from another. You can't follow anything. You can't savor anything. When I lived in D.C. I used to attend chamber music concerts regularly--unmiked string quartets or pianos or sopranos--but that's about all I can take. I much prefer my stereo for serious listening, and my car radio for "loud" rock and alternative (I do listen to the car radio loudly enough to draw disapproving glares through closed car windows at stoplights, so I'm not just being reactionary or fussy about this). Here's a related question...related to my comments, at least. How come audio equipment reviewers so seldom comment about gear that makes extraneous noise? I've _always_ been very bothered by the sound of CDs spinning in their drawers, a sort of "tizz" which I can hear clearly from across a room. I hate amps that buzz, either from their transformers or from the speakers. I have seldom come across audio systems that are truly quiet, and it's always bothered me. I'm especially troubled by components that are _designed_ so they make noise, such as amplifiers with built-in fans. I just can't see how anybody would put up with that. I'm amazed that nobody ever complains about the physical noise of CD players. I'd be very interested to know how many audiophiles are bothered by noisy components, tape hiss, electrical noise from occasional groud loops, or off-again, on-again transformer hum, CD motor "tizz," and the like. I know I have very good hearing (I test in a flat graph right across the top of the chart for every frequency except those above 15 kHz, but I can still hear fairly well at 17 kHz), but I can't believe that that alone is responsible.

Bob Bernstein's picture

I used to play an instrument through college, but pretty much gave it up. Since then I've concentrated on recorded music, enjoying it in different systems. I don't go to live music (although I have in the past) because of laziness, but also I really enjoy the convenience of hearing what I want when I want, where I want. And no crowds to deal with.

Mike Debner's picture

I listen to live music every day, if you include my singing in the car. However, most people would question using the term "music" to discribe my singing, and some may even say it is closer to the groanings of the dead than anything "live"!

David Overall's picture

The only way to really hear good music live is to hear it without amplifiction. This is very hard to find. Even small clubs use it.'s picture

Acutally I listen about 2 to 3 times a week, 2-3 hours each time, generally late at night. The WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) is not at best, but it's almost the only time I can enjoy quietly the music. I often begin with CDs, then I switch to analog and simply turn my converter off ! There is not turn back to digital after few LP's sides... The rest of the time I listen to the radio on my second system or in my car.

John Valvano's picture

Not near as much as I would like to.

Your Sire's picture

It used to be more when I was younger. Just don't get out to that many concerts anymore, nor do I get out to stinkin' smoky bars much anymore. Still, Live Music is Best.

Rollo J.  Brewster's picture

I got a lot of slam and pace.

Anonymous's picture

The kid's

Jose Maria Ruperez's picture

2 to 4 times a month depending on the season.

Dan Landen's picture

Except for music that's played in church every Sunday, I seldom get to hear my favorite artists live.

Don's picture

I'm a musician.

Martin Bruczkowski's picture

I listen to live music every week 'cause I make it---I am a drummer. This gives me a whole new perspective on audio technology. It makes me realize that we still have a LONG way to go before we can even approximate live sound. No system in the world can reproduce anything approaching the attack and dynamic range of a drumset.

Mike Healey's picture

Actually, my daughter is live music (she turned one last month)! Metallica, David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, Sepultura, Meat Beat Manifesto, and Nitzer Ebb were the most exciting to see live. The most sonically gorgeous concert I attended was Anonymous 4 at Duke Chapel in Durham, NC. Duke Chapel is a gothic-style cathedral. It was absolutely amazing to hear the four singers in such a wonderful acoustic! My daughter is also LOUD music sometimes. Is there a speaker designed for new parents with obliterated hearing? I am imagining a speaker that avoids all frequencies heard in a child's cry.

Mark Cashman's picture

Concerts---twice a year. Ticket prices are ridiculous. I play music myself every day.

Scott Livingston's picture

Audio is nice, but aside from a dimly lit room with candles, there is no ambience. Go to a show. Now experience the sound that you can hear and see and feel!

R.  Thatcher's picture

In college (two years ago), about three-four times a week. Now I'm working hard, engaged, and I travel, so I see live music maybe two-eight times a month. It's still far better to go see a band and have a beer (I'm a rock/jazz guy) than to sit at home and listen on the stereo! Dick Dale will never come alive on vinyl or CD like on stage. Same with Dead Can Dance, Subhumans, John Zorn, or thousands of others.

Chris's picture

Actually, it varies. I may go months without a live show, and then have a flood of "must see" concerts. I went to two all summer, but I've got seven so far through November.

Barry Willis's picture

How about "As often as possible?" This past week was typical: Sunday night, we went to an excellent production of the musical "Cabaret." All-acoustic, including the band. Wonderful singing and dancing. Then Monday night we went to hear Alanis Morissette---what a strong voice, and what a great band. Her bass player is exceptional. Rocked the house. (Thanks for the invite, Marc Meisner!) Walking down the street afterwards we passed a lone saxophonist in a store's entryway. He was playing Paul Desmond's version of "Take Five." No crowd, no hype, no electronics---just a man and his horn. Beautiful. Music is everywhere, folks. It's food for the soul. Gluttony is no sin.

skosro@aol's picture

I enjoy rock and jazz. Most rock music venues around Atlanta are acoustically poor and most of the time where you sit depends on the quality of the music.

Anonymous's picture

Sounds better on a good system. Plus, nobody around!

Jacopo Botta's picture

Actually, about once every 2 wks

Andrew Bacon's picture

3 times per year, one series per season at the LA phil. But we can drink all the single malt we want at home, and smoke (gasp) too! Rock tends to SOUND better in the studio than live anyway. (read:distortion)

Paul Lee's picture

I enjoy mostly rock music. Unfortunately the sound quality at these concerts is usually terrible. The venues all seem to overdrive their amps or use poor sounding speakers. Plus they're almost always way too loud!

Tom McDonald's picture

Orchestra is too technichal, lacking emotion from "modern" conductors