Best Way to Consume Music?

In the past half of the year, I have been to my fair share of concerts whether they were being streamed online or I was standing in the crowd experiencing them in real-time. Of course, during that same period, I’ve streamed more than enough hours of music from hundreds of different artists.

Listening to music is something I constantly have on in the background no matter if I’m doing homework, driving, or painting. The real question though is, what is the best way to experience music as a concept. Live in its natural form or streaming it prerecorded?

Music creates an ambiance and sets the tone for any outing or event, in restaurants or on public speakers it allows silence to be filled.

Recently, I was thinking of going to Lollapalooza and the question of if I wanted to spend the money to experience these artists live or sit in the comfort of my living room and watch their live stream on YouTube for free was racking my brain.

Starting off with live music, there is just so much that can be added to that experience besides seeing the artist performing live. Being surrounded by fans of that artist and being able to shout the lyrics along with the artists themselves can feel surreal. You notice that they sing a line differently or play a random electric guitar solo just because they feel like it. It’s something you can never have the opportunity of experiencing outside of that moment and each live performance by an artist will be unique.

There is that adrenaline that rushes through you in excitement, but it’s an experience that can only be felt in that moment. After the performance or concert is over, you’re left sitting there watching scrolling through videos and pictures trying to attain that feeling once again. Reminiscing about how you were hearing their music in real-time right in front of you and exhibiting the artists as humans.

On the other hand, streaming music is a different experience on its own. You can listen to the same song for hours on repeat and retain that freshness of it if you’re in the mood to do so. Any song is within your reach and you don’t have to go out of your way by plane or car to listen to that music.

While the upside is being able to listen to quite literally any song, you don’t get to experience the realistic quality of that instrument playing. Each time you listen would be 100% identical and you won’t hear any fumbling of chords or changes in song pitch or any variations that make music listening to an experience.

Regardless, it’s all a matter of preference and access. Go stream some music or hop in your car to hear an artist play live.

In the end, live your life and experience what you want the way you want to.

By Mitali Joshi

A Senior at NCSU who is an enthusiastic consumer of music and loves writing about it.