The Importance of Live Music with Stephen McBean of Pink Mountaintops


Bradley Beggs

In recent times, live music has suffered at the hands of the pandemic. Shows have been postponed, canceled, and delayed, leaving fans without seeing their favorite artists and musicians themselves unable to do what they love. 

Luckily, this spring has seen a rebirth of concerts and live music. Hundreds of artists are holding their first tours since the pandemic in the coming months, with many being held right here in San Diego! And with the Sun God Festival on the way, live music has never been more relevant. For those avid concert goers out there, this news has prompted you to buy as many concert tickets as possible, even if the Sun God website keeps crashing. But for those who like to stay away from the crowds or have never been to a concert before, I am here to change your mind. 

For the fans, live concerts are their chance to see the songs they have fallen in love with performed in person by their favorite artists. Take a second to imagine this: You have been listening to one particular song for a couple of months now. It seems to pop up on shuffle every time you are at the gym, studying, or in the car. And everytime you hear it, you never skip it, even though you’ve heard it a million times. Next, you find out that the same artist is performing live soon. You buy tickets, anticipate the show, and once the lights dim and the musicians walk out from the wings of the stage, they strum the first note of that song you have not been able to escape. You cheer, clap, and scream as you watch the artist perform their heart out and you dance like no one is watching. 

Alternatively, attending live concerts can help you discover new artists. Jump back into imagination land with me: Your friend makes you buy tickets to an artist you have never heard of. Disgruntled, you go with them to the show, only to realize the music they are playing is fantastic! And just like that, you’ve found a new musician who speaks to you, whose music you truly love after seeing their performance. 

This is what live music is like. You are experiencing the songs you know and love being played by the artists who created them from nothing, or actively discovering a new artist you will talk about to your friends because seeing them live was so amazing.

As for the performers’ perspective, I asked Pink Mountaintops’s Stephen McBean how it feels to perform live; what makes it so special?

The chemistry of audience, venue, songs, and performance is where it comes alive in magical union or flops to the floor like a wet noodle. All the elements strangling new life out of some chords and words have always been fascinating. Life on the road is where the anxiety frazzles.”

I think Stephen put it perfectly. The energy and life is incomparable to anything else when you are at a concert. Personally, I look forward to my concerts – it’s something to be excited about in the coming weeks! And when I am there, the stress of school, work, and frankly, life, seem to melt away as I am transported into the world the artists have created for me through their songs. Even if you don’t know the artist or their songs, the vibes of a good concert are unmatched. 

So, I implore all of you out there to see at least one concert this spring quarter. Or at the very least, register for Sun God! Broaden your musical horizons, get out of your comfort zone, and enjoy an energy like no other. 

Special thanks to Stephen for his insight, and if you suddenly need to see a live concert that isn’t on the RIMAC field, be sure to check out Pink Mountaintops live at Casbah on Sunday, April 24.

Photo via Laura Pleasants