Song of the Day: Pleasant Grove, “Commander Whatever”

Live video from the Pleasant Grove show I saw on Friday night. I think this was one of the best songs of the set, and I say this despite the fact that it’s probably one of my favorite songs by them. You can actually hear a lot more conversation here than I heard during the show, I assume because it’s being taped from the balcony. From the floor, you couldn’t hear anything but the band. It was completely immersive.

At a wedding this summer, I ended up in a conversation where someone was asking about the best concerts we’d been to. He wanted to brag about a Madonna show he’d just seen. I’m not sure anyone else really responded because it was so apparent that the question wasn’t one about connection. I’m sure Madonna puts on a good show, but I’ve never been a fan of the large concert. I spent my twenties in clubs, small venues, listening to live music. Other people went dancing, bar hopping, etc. I spent my time listening to music. At its best, the connection between a band and the audience can be electrifying and exhilarating. The more intimate the venue, for me at least, the stronger the emotive experience. It lifts you up and out of yourself. I spent most of the Pleasant Grove show with my eyes closed; listening, really listening was the only sense I could conceive of.

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