You know that feeling you get at a concert when your soul is singing the lyrics and your heart is playing the beat? You’re praying the music never stops, wishing you could stay in the moment forever. As I am sure you know, you are not alone. Erin Feinberg knows the feeling and so do Neil Peart of Rush and Bruce Springsteen. They have found a way to make it last forever.
This familiar musical sensation is creatively shown in Feinberg’s Diehards, a book of black-and-white photos that invites readers on a journey to the spiritual world of live concerts. Including personal essays from Peart and Springsteen, it perfectly illustrates the universal power of a live music show. The combined perspectives demonstrate the equal role musicians and fans play during a performance. It doesn’t matter if you are in the front row, on stage or in the lot; everyone is an important part in the entire experience.
In Diehards, Feinberg shares recognizable experiences at stadiums and festivals with portraits of fans from various concerts from Jay-Z and Lady Gaga, to Kiss and Marilyn Manson. She gets up close with the metals gods and Dead Heads presenting mental pictures diehard concert fans can relate to. As a live music freak I can safely say this book is a great visual definition of why fans often find themselves unable to breakaway from the live scene.
For me, seeing my favorite band live makes me feel as if I have entered a new world where everyone loves the same song. In Diehards, viewing the images without captions allows the reader to identify the show based on their own concert experiences or musical preference. Without realizing it, your eyes instantly drift to the scene where you belong. As you’re browsing you feel like you are searching for friends in a large crowd. When you finally notice the familiar fan sign or band T-shirt it takes you back to that moment in your memories when you were cheering alongside fellow diehards. That moment you were home.
Whatever your artistic preference may be, Diehards is a great way to grasp how special live music is. I was personally reminded of how grateful I am to have not only seen many of my favorite artists, but also worked professionally with some of them. The essays and photos recharged my excitement for this year’s outdoor summer concerts. Feinberg’s images beautifully prove that it doesn’t matter if the performer on stage is a pop, rock or folk artist – we are all in it for the same reason. We all want to feel that concert sensation.
A true diehard knows that nothing beats those long conversations about song lyrics, seeing an artist for the first time or running into an old friend as your favorite song is playing. I live for those live music moments and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Long live the diehards, and see you at the next show!