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Is it Live, or Is It Memory?

16 Nov, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

A few years ago I was talking to indie suppliers about the music DVD market. They were on the ball with this market segment from the very beginning. They were mining any content they could get their hands on and lovingly mastering it for an optimum sound and viewing experience. They were hip to the potential for music DVD long before the consumer was, and long before many major acts and major record labels were.

As this genre of the DVD market continues to grow, I remember something one of those indie supplier said a few years ago. He said it would take a big name, a big act to get into it in a big way before everything started rolling.

He was right I think, and I think this year is the year with both U2 and Green Day releasing elaborate and stunningly crafted DVDs featuring concert footage from their current tours.

These two bands are vastly different in sound and style … in sentiment though, in pure connection to their fans, they are more similar than not. Both of these bands are firing on all cylinders musically and culturally. They have an impact. I was at both of these groups LA tour dates this year and I have to say they are definitely striking while the iron is hot putting these DVDs out while they are still in the thick of it.

Both of these shows were so uplifiting to me, so resonant. Then again, I am not your average music listener. I was born to a hippie father who taught me that music is more about what it makes you feel and how it makes you weep than what you are actually hearing.

Sure I like those tiny intimate shows at which you feel all cool and rock-snobbish. But sitting at both of these huge-arena concerts (with good seats) this year, was just as profound to me. There's pretty much nowhere else I'd rather be than at a good show.

I collect memories of them like some people do dolls or crystal or jewelry. I spent years playing in an orchestra and know what it's like to be a part of the creation of music, what an amazing and memorable experience it is.

I am of the opinion that any time you are a witness to live music, you are a part of its creation. At the moment that first chord, first note, first drumbeat strikes, you are part of something that did not exist a second before. To me that vibe can reach to the farthest row of the biggest arena.

Having said that, I am stoked at the idea of reliving these two amazing concerts, which will forever be such valued memories for me, in my own home, on DVD. I can't wait to dive in and get those sensations all over again.

Who knows, I may just thrust my hands in the air and sing along with “We are the waiting” and weep a little.

After all, isn't that what music is for? I'm glad groups and labels and DVD producers are remembering that and helping to deliver it over and over again in so many ways.

The future is exciting for visual music. I can't wait to see what's coming next, what new memories it will inspire for me.

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