Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Power of Live


See all that red? This picture from the folks at On Frozen Blog only tells part of the story.

I ran into one of the members of IATSE Local 22 (the stagehand's union) before the game Saturday night. He is one of the guys who occasionally runs the follow-spot during sporting events at Verizon Center. That night, he was on his way to see DC United, our local soccer team, start the season.

We've both seen more events than we care to think about, so we're kinda jaded when it comes to the "value" of concerts, plays and other live events.

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One of the things I love about Major League Soccer is there is always one corner of flag-waving, chanting freaks. You don't see that type of energy at most American sporting events. I think that's why I go. It's one of the few events worth the energy and lost wages.

So true - that's why this week in hockey has been so amazing. I have never seen anything like it in DC. Ever. Last place I've seen anything close was a Swedish Elite League hockey game where 2 villages cleared out and attempted to out-sing each other.

Yeah - after hearing stories from the folks working the Verizon Center, I'm kinda sorry I'm not going to the hockey game tonight.

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Saturday - I wasn't disappointed. Pictures don't give you sound or scope or energy. Video can only give you a small approximation of what is going on in any particular environment. All I know is that it's been a long time since I've seen anything like what I experienced at the Verizon Center this week.

18,000 screaming psycho fans hopping and shouting like crazy people. The collective oooohs when things don't go right. Huge cheers when our boys clear the puck on the power play. Communal chants that majically appear from nowhere. No "assistance" needed. Walking out both exhilarated and drained.

I think when we go to any live event - we are looking for that sort of energy and tension. The bonding experience with the others in the room. It's hard to find and even harder to produce.

And with the technologies at our disposal, it might be worth considering whether we are making it worth anyone's while to show up in our classroom.

How do we provide that transcendent live experience? When was the best time you spent in a classroom - as a student and as a teacher?

I have my playoff tickets!!!! Gotta see where this journey heads. GO CAPS!!!!!

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