Basically nothing is more disappointing than going to a concert of a band whose album you love and being completely disappointed by their live performance. Possibly they played the songs live exactly as they are on the album, or maybe they were distant and total jerks to the crowd, or maybe they were ruined for you because you had to experience the music with 3,000 21 year-olds who were acting like idiots.
Without a doubt, experiences like those can sour a person on live music and make one wonder if it's worth the cost and the trouble to go to live shows. But then there's the moments that make it worth it. Moments that almost never translate onto recordings. For me those moments are things like seeing Steve Earle do an in-store and tell stories about Townes Van Zandt or seeing Old 97s for the first time at the Gypsy Tea Room in 1999 or my first Avett Brothers show or going to see Don Williams on his farewell tour. Those experience are etched into my being and make even the bad live music experiences worth it.
What is really amazing to me though is that every so often, some people are actually able to capture that greatness on tape or video. In fact, the Paris-based La Blogotheque's Take Away Shows have come to make capturing these experiences an art form. They may not be the only ones doing this type of thing, but they are certainly among the best. You can find the full list of Take Away Shows at the link above, but I'm posting what may be one of the best. The Bon Iver video below is simply amazing. You can find a number of other songs they played at the Web site, but this one is a favorite.
And no, nothing about this post has anything to do with the soccer team of a small Iowa liberal arts college, but the video does...sort of.