The year had just started, 2020, and what a year it was going to be. In a little over a month, my wife and I, along with our dog and cat would load everything we own into a car and make our way out west, to glorious Denver. We had just landed jobs, with me finding a freelance gig at what I thought would propel me to a more prominent local role of covering concerts, reviewing albums, and everything else that comes with it. Life was exciting, and we had tons of plans for our new lives. For Ashley it was a chance to get to settle into a new place with her best friend and others, but for me I was looking forward to one thing- Red Rock shows and seeing what Denver had to offer my music devouring soul.
Regardless, the year started out amazing. We had tickets to see Tool the first month of February, right before we left Louisiana. For me, it was my 24th evening spending it with maybe my favorite band, but it was also more than that. Sharing something like that with a spouse is a big deal to both of us, not only because it's frankly awesome, but because we get to share in something very special. For me that's what shows, festivals and life experiences have always been about. I’m never been swayed by money in the way many people are, it just wasn’t as important to me as making a dream become a reality, whether it's venturing to a show that cost too much(Tool tickets were about $300 for us both) or making it to a music festival across the country, experiences propel happiness and creativity alike.
It's with all of those and many more thoughts that I entered 2020 with. I wanted to take what I had learned in New Orleans and use it to get even deeper into the world I'd always felt called to. It's nearing March now, and I've just interviewed the lead singer of one of my recent favorite bands, Pup. It goes well, Stefan Babcock is an absolute gentleman and extremely open and easy to talk to, and finally it feels like this might be something I can make something out of. In Denver, Pup played and although it was great to finally be seeing a show in my new home city, the year was just beginning.
If you’re reading this and you know me, you know how crucial music and concerts are to my general well being. I stopped talking to some family this year, all for the best, and i’ve dealt with not only the drastic impact of the pandemic, but also the diagnosis of my strong as fuck wife wit breats cancer. Any other year, concerts and festivals would’ve been there to help us navigate stress and live life, but not only did the communal nature of our world disappear, but with it came venues closing, bands unable to tour or make money, and oh so many exciting moments for millions of people, gone in an instant. That's the virus dictating our lives, and music was one of the great sufferers of this pandemic. It's estimated that the general music industry lost somewhere between 2-4 billion in 2020, but that's only one side of the loss of live music.
Artists like U2, Taylor Swift and other mega hitters will obviously be fine, but what of the venue workers, or the the middle of the road opening bands with day jobs, or the sound engineers, light techs and every other person who helps put a performance on? They can’t afford to wait around as we argue over $600 checks and asshoiles who refuse to wear masks because of their “constitutional rights.”
My point is, everyone fucking suffered tihs year in one way or another, but its still a loss of uncalcuble lengths when you factor in not only music but entertainment as a whole.Just think about your plans for the year. Any concerts included? For me, 2020 was to mark the first time I'd take my sister to Bonnaroo, where we’d spend four blissful days off the grid doing something we almost never get to do. Tool was gonna play, as was Lizzo and Lana Del Rey, who my sister loves. There were even rumors of a King Gizzard late night set that was sure to be transcendent and utterly bonkers. Nick Cave was coming to Denver, as was Pearl Jam, and i was hoping to do a story on it, but alas we know how that ended.
I could go on and on, and this really wasn’t meant to be the first official post of the year, but the weight of creative endeavors that were not to be was just too deafening for me to ignore. After all, music had saved me, and plenty of others. This year at home, we needed it more than ever. I can’t speak for everyone, but my vinyl collection more than doubled this year, due in large part to not really being able to do anything. We were stuck at the house, Ashley was suffering for much of this year, and we needed something new to help us get through. Again music had helped me and others I know navigate through multiple impossible situations at once.
So even though “Roo and Rage and Pearl Jam, along with the Killers and xenu knows who else weren’t meant to be experienced this year, i hope we all are aware of how music and the arts helped us this year, and how great it will be to (safely) venture out to venues and festival grounds alike as the world (hopefully) can keep itself same.
Lastly, welcome to 2021! There’s tons of cool stuff planned for this year, with weekly posts planned and plenty of awesome mixtapes that will be available on spotify, as well as the instagram page, which brings plenty of off the wall music fun and plenty more.
Follow us for more content at @thedeathofthemixtape on instagram, facebook and Spotify. Thanks for reading.
Landon Murray is a New Orleans native, who thrives on painting the world he interprets through the useful forms of all types of art he feels connected to. He's seen over 1000 bands, and had loved mostly every minute of it. He has an amazing 10 year old dog, and is loving life.
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