Live music is the most primal form of energy release you can share with other people besides having sex or taking drugs.” – Kurt Cobain

This energy that music provides to performers and listeners is so powerful that even a pandemic could not stop it. Even though big concerts (for the most part) ceased to exist for much of 2020, that didn’t mean live music was not being played.

Lester Wong plays music for neighbors in Chico. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

Plenty of musicians kept on playing, though the audience and venues changed. My brother-in-law, Lester, is one of the creative ones. He started playing his guitar (with amplifier) and sang songs from his front porch in Chico. Neighbors would bring chairs, sitting appropriately spaced on the law, sidewalk and across the street.

He resumed the sessions this summer. It was wonderful hearing him last week. My first time to hear live music probably since being at La Esquina in Todos Santos, Mexico, in spring 2020. There local musicians would play on most Thursday nights. It was casual, it was free, and always fun to share with friends.

That’s the thing about music, it brings people together. The experience of live music has created incredible memories for me.

The other day a massage client asked me what kind of music I like to listen to. I’m all over the board and didn’t have much of an answer. I’m actually not a big music aficionado. I just like to listen to music. I can’t tell you the history of bands or even necessarily name who is on the radio.

I just like music. In fact, musicals are my favorite genre of movies.

I didn’t know I was missing live music until I heard it again. It wasn’t just the music, but also sharing it with the dozen people who turned out to listen to this solo guitarist.

I’m not sure I’m ready for a large venue or even an indoor one, but hearing my brother-in-law play made me realize live music perhaps means more to me than I had realized.

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