Summer is festival season so if you haven’t found the time to see a live band this year, no more excuses! No matter how pristine a recording is or how high-end your equipment, nothing compares to live music. It’s a unique shared, sensory experience. Only your fellow concert-goers will ever truly know how it felt to be at that time and place. Jill Sutte of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley writes, “According to researchers, when we try to synch with others musically—keeping the beat or harmonizing, for example—we tend to feel positive social feelings towards those with whom we’re synchronizing.” Just consider the fact that when we look back at the 60s, Woodstock is one of the defining cultural events of that generation.
We tend to associate music festivals like Woodstock and Coachella with twenty-somethings celebrating the freedom of youth. No matter what your age, live music has the power to transport you back in time. Not convinced? Here are eight reasons why seeing a live band keeps you young.
1. A Sense of Community
Before the show even starts, you can look around the audience and know that you’re surrounded by kindred spirits. If you’re a fan, you’re in a room of fellow fans. If you came ‘just because’ you know you’re about to share a unique experience with everyone there. Feeling part of a whole for an hour or two will turn back the clock for much longer.
2. A Creative Spark
When you’re in a rut, the energy and vitality of a live band may just be that spark of inspiration you need to get back in touch with your own creativity. We all need to find that little push reminding us to open our minds and broaden our horizons now and then.
3. A Gateway to Serenity
Whether it’s chamber music or thrash metal, losing yourself in the rhythms and melodies for two hours, gives you a much-needed break from everyday worries and stress.
4. A Shot of Pure Joy
Music is euphoric. Even the saddest music is sort of a celebration of pain, which can be incredibly cathartic. Watching a live band taps into your deepest emotions and reminds you that you aren’t alone because everyone around you is feeling it too.
5. Good Vibrations
We don’t need research to tell us that music is emotionally healing. Recent studies have found that it may help you heal physically too. Researcher and director of the Beth Israel Medical Center’s Louis Armstrong Center for Music and MedicineJoanne Loewy says, “There’s just something about music—particularly live music—that excites and activates the body. Music very much has a way of enhancing quality of life and can, in addition, promote recovery.”
6. Get Social
With all of those good vibes and camaraderie, you may just widen your circle of friends or make a love connection!
7. Stay Current
All of those free outdoor summer concerts are an excellent way to keep your finger on the pulse of new music.
Lastly, seeing a live band is just a whole lot of fun—something that becomes more of a rarity as we get older and life’s responsibilities mount. As long as you can still let loose now and then, you’ll always be young at heart.