How Can American Music Be Better Outside of…well, America?

(Brazil starting tomorrow! I’ll try to keep you updated on my happenings. First up is the Back 2 Black Music Festival, all about promoting black culture through live music, presentations, discussions, and more!)

Ummm, not quite *this* intimate...

I don’t know how this happened, but I’ve easily been to more live music events on vacation and while living abroad than I have here in the U.S. Well, I guess I do know how it happened. I prefer live music – even American – when I’m traveling. I don’t know if it’s because the venues tend to be smaller (er, more intimate?) or because tickets tend to be cheaper (depending on the artist of course), but if I find out an artist I even remotely like is going to be in a city that I’m going to – you can bet money on seeing me in the crowd. I don’t know how true this is, but I always feel like I have a special connection with the artist up on stage because noone else is American! Don’t judge the shallowness, ok? But I’m pretty sure this is why I’ve gotten asked to hang out with the band and go back to their rooms (no, I didn’t go!) and why I’ve gotten pulled onto stage numerous times (yes, I did).

Artists make most of their money touring right? And their international following is sometimes more obsessed with them than fans here (read: Kelly Rowland).  Or it may be that they’re not as well known abroad, hence the smaller venues and lower ticket prices. All I know is that I’ve seen the Roots twice – once in Paris and once in Milan, both in venues with less than 250 people – and I know I wouldn’t have had the same experience had that show been here. And besides, there’s just something so sexy about being blocks away from Elysee Monmarte while Blackthought rhymes about it.

That said, I’m super excited about Brazil starting this weekend. 1) Because it’s Brazil! and 2) Because I’ll get to see some of my all-time favorites at the Back2Black Music Festival. Check out the entire lineup here – but I’m most excited about Seu Jorge (legend!) and Aloe Blacc (soon-to-be legend!). So for your Friday Listening Pleasure, please enjoy the sounds of Aloe Blacc and Seu Jorge – I’ll see you men on Sunday!

Am I making this up? Does anyone else feel like their live music experiences are different when abroad?

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