Dave Grohl has penned an impassioned op-ed piece about what going to, and playing concerts, mean to him, particularly in a time where he can’t do either.
In the piece The Day the Live Concert Returns, published by The Atlantic, Grohl asks:
“Where were you planning to be on the Fourth of July this year?”
His own precise question was met with an even more precise answer.
“I know exactly where I was supposed to be: FedExField, outside Washington, D.C., with my band Foo Fighters and roughly 80,000 of our closest friends,” he began.
“We were going to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of our debut album. A red, white, and blue keg party for the ages, it was primed to be an explosive affair shared by throngs of my sunburned hometown brothers and sisters, singing along to more than a quarter century of Foo.
“Well, things have changed.”
Grohl goes on to discuss the power of live music, writing:
“There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of live music. It is the most life-affirming experience, to see your favourite performer onstage, in the flesh, rather than as a one-dimensional image glowing in your lap as you spiral down a midnight YouTube wormhole.”
After referring to Queen’s Live Aid concert as “one of the most triumphant live performances of all time (clocking in at a mere 22 minutes),” Grohl recalled something Bruce Springsteen said to him after catching the Foos live.
“When asked where he watched the show from, he said that he’d stood in the crowd, just like everyone else. Of course he did. He was searching for that connection too.”
Grohl expressed his fears about playing live again in the future.
“It’s hard to imagine sharing experiences like these ever again. I don’t know when it will be safe to return to singing arm in arm at the top of our lungs, hearts racing, bodies moving, souls bursting with life. But I do know that we will do it again, because we have to,” he wrote.
“It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone. That we are understood. That we are imperfect. And, most important, that we need each other.
“I have shared my music, my words, my life with the people who come to our shows. And they have shared their voices with me. Without that audience – that screaming, sweating audience – my songs would only be sound. But together, we are instruments in a sonic cathedral, one that we build together night after night. And one that we will surely build again.”
You can read the whole op-ed here.