Live or recorded? They're completely different experiences and it doesn't make sense to compare them. If you visit your favorite musicians live performance, you can see their facial expressions, mannerisms and movements, it may contribute to how you would interpret the music. So if you listen to a record, you don't observe the true emotions of the performer. I'm not sure why, but when I've recorded live music I've noted that when playing it back the music almost never matches the feel of the live experience. Recordings and live music are two different things. I think, records are for the ears and the brain, live music for the rest of the body and soul because you can feel the thump of the bass down deep. But I actually prefer recorded music. First and most obviously because it's a repeatable pleasure. Whenever the concert has ended along with the musician leaves the property, the music stops. Should you have a record of the favorite song, you can actually listen to it often. Next, recorded music is, after all, perfected and approved by the artist. And finally, recorded music allows us to hear music from artists who are no longer with us, but their music lives on. As far as performances go, I'm one of those who DON'T want an artist to sound exactly like they do on the record. While I agree that it takes talent to faithfully reproduce your record live, I like hearing variations in concert, to hear the music alive and breathing. But I would be disappointed if every song was done so differently as to be unrecognizable.
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