I am strange when it comes to my appreciation of music. Why am I strange you ask? Well, I am someone who just doesn’t want to hear music. No sirs and madams, I want to experience music. You are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about but it is not all that complicated really. To me, music is more than just the soundtrack to which your soul is connected. There has to be something more. I want more than just my hearing to be stimulated by the sounds, I want to the music to encompass me completely.
The perfect example of a band that strives to stimulate every one of our senses is a band that has been around for a long time. You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world…KISS! There is no other band in the history of music that creates music that fills your soul and a stage show that fills your imagination than KISS. Ever since the early 1970’s, the band has sought to create a visual and audio extravaganza that very few came even come close to, let alone duplicate.
They present what I strive to find in a band. There has to be great music that appeals to me of course, but I also want the attraction as well. I have come across a few other bands that have appealed to me int he same manner that KISS has. You can see a direct reason for a few of them and for the others it is a little more abstract.
One of the more abstract acts I mentioned before is a band from Finland named Nightwish. Although the band does not have the immediate visual eye catching costumes that KISS does, there is an intriguing visual there none the less. Nightwish excels in crafting music that gives your imagination more to play with than an actual visual representation can.
There are song writers and then there is Tuomas Holopainen, the founder, keyboardist and man behind most if the bands songs. He does not simply write a song, he crafts a piece of music that generates visuals in your mind. This causes the experience to be more of a complete journey. The band is also one of the best live acts in the world. To see Nightwish live is to take a journey in your imagination you never knew existed.
There was a nexus of another band in Finland that was inspired by KISS. When the original members reunited for a tour in 1996, the man who would go on to be the lead singer of Lordi saw what he wanted to do with his life. He took the name Mr. Lordi and created a hard rock / metal band that followed the KISS formula to a “T” but made their own name along the way.
Lordi is more of a horror themed band, who wears full masks and costumes to hide their true identity and they do everything in their power to remain that way. The music is a raw and powerful experience that is more of a soundtrack to the creatures you are seeing perform for you on stage. They will fill your imagination with their frightening visuals and then lull you into a sense of false security with their catchy rock and roll.
If there is one North American band that can almost rival KISS on their live performance it is the bad boys of Motley Crue. Although they were more heavily steeped in the theatrical performance when they first broke into the music scene, the band has toned it down just a little with their costumes but ratcheted it up in the live show department.The Crue have a catalogue of music that will have you head banging and throwing up the devil horns in no time but it is the live show where these songs flourish.
The band has taken the time to come up with some fabulous and innovative live shows, and take pride in the show they put on for the audience. They are not just a concert you go to in which a band plays, it is an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Another band that knows the rewards of creating a unique sound and visual look is Slipknot. Never has a band had so many members who all present such a unique looking group and overpowering audio. They took the same formula that Lordi used but turned it up a few more notches. They also taught us that there is never, ever enough percussion in a heavy metal song.
Slipknot is a band that is more of a controlled chaos than the others that are discussed in this blog. There is an underlying sense of explosiveness in each of their songs and part of that is due to the amazing vocals of lead singer Corey Taylor but the band overall presents such a unique live and almost “dangerous” experience. You never know what will happen next.
So as you can see, music is more than one dimension for me. There are a lot of legendary and great performers / bands that have a place in the history of music but I gravitate to the ones who offer more than just a great song. I suppose you could say that I want to have the complete experience. Music and the bands who play it are a huge part of my life and I cherish it. It allows me to make a special connection to something countless others love as well. To share a post I shared on the fantastic Facebook group “Music And Art That Matters”:
Even though the world is full of different people from various countries who all speak different languages…who have different beliefs and different customs….Music is the one thing that will allows us to find common ground…it truly is the universal language and it will speak to those who allow it to enter their hearts….how else can a guy from Nova Scotia, Canada have loved a band from the United States (KISS) and Finland (Nightwish)…how surreal is it to think how many miles that covers???…
A good song is plainly just a good song…it will transcend genre, artist and classification…a good song will grab by the throat and pull you in…a good song with find a residence deep in your mind and soul….
I am thankful for the chance to allow music to be the soundtrack to my life….the good…the bad…I can list songs that have gotten me through everything…
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