Dave Grohl Reflects on the Future of Live Music Amid COVID-19
Dave Grohl Al Wagner/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
Dave Grohl knows firsthand how meaningful live music can be — and he’s not giving up hope that the world can experience it again soon as the coronavirus threat eases.
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The 51-year-old Foo Fighters singer reflected on how the music industry has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and what concerts might look like in the future once the global crisis comes to an end. While Grohl admitted it’s hard to picture how concert experiences might change, he’s ready “for a big old plate of sweaty, ear-shredding, live rock and roll, ASAP.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has reduced today’s live music to unflattering little windows that look like doorbell security footage,” the former Nirvana drummer wrote on Monday, May 11, in a thoughtful essay for The Atlantic. “There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of live music. It is the most life-affirming experience, to see your favorite performer onstage, in the flesh, rather than as a one-dimensional image glowing in your lap as you spiral down a midnight YouTube wormhole.”
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Like many other musicians, the Foo Fighters were forced to put their upcoming tour on hold and push several performances to 2021 as a result of social distancing guidelines put in place by the CDC. Grohl was gearing up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band’s debut self-titled record, and the “lifelong concertgoer” was saddened by the thought of fans losing out on valuable experiences because of the health crisis.
“Arm in arm, I have sung at the top of my lungs with people I may never see again. All to celebrate and share the tangible, communal power of music,” he recalled, noting that he often sees himself in his fans as he gazes out at the crowd from the stage. “I see you lifted above the crowd and carried to the stage for a glorious swan dive back into its sweaty embrace. I see your homemade signs and your vintage T-shirts. I hear your laughter and your screams and I see your tears.”
Though it might still be a while until Grohl and his bandmates are able to perform live again, the Ohio native doesn’t want fans to feel abandoned. Music has the power to bring people together — no matter the circumstances — and the world needs that now more than ever.
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“In today’s world of fear and unease and social distancing, it’s hard to imagine sharing experiences like these ever again,” the Grammy winner concluded. “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. It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone … and, most important, that we need each other.”
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