From the stage to the audience: live music performances and the most demanding concerts in history

All concerts, festivals or musical performances, regardless of the location and the size of the crowd in them, are always unique and engaging experiences. Have you ever noticed that shock, the thrills of seeing your favourite singer or group, the live sessions, the hugs, the applause and the screams of the audience? Well, concerts have a beneficial effect, so much so that they do well to body and soul.

In fact, whether you play an instrument on an amateur or professional level or sing in front of a microphone, you are doing physical exercise: that is, you are improving your physical shape!

If you think that making music just means writing songs and touring the world with amazing concerts, you are wrong. The job of a musician is not exactly a cup of tea. Especially when it comes to live performances, concerts are in fact real workouts, which have nothing to envy to a training session in the gym.

Recent studies have shown that a person can burn approximately 200 calories by simply singing while standing. To put things in perspective, imagine how much a frontman of a rock band can get tired during the best concerts, running from one side of the stage to the other and singing at the top of his lungs.

Therefore, there is a clear link between performance on stage and physical activity, between performance and sport.

It has been proven that musicians, in order to be ready for an engaging international tour, need an exceptional endurance ability. Only in this way can they reach their maximum during their musical performances. Think that in those moments, during a live performance, their heart rate is comparable to that of a footballer, for a caloric expenditure equal to 1000 calories, as much as a two-hour race.
Today, we want to go into the correlation between sport, energy and concerts, taking inspiration from the extraordinary shows that have remained engraved in our memory, as well as for the value of the artists and their technique, especially for having gathered crowds so much to remain in the history of music.
One of the most fitting examples is the concert of Rod Stewart on the beach of Copacabana: on December 31, 1994, the Brazilian people decided to welcome and celebrate the arrival of the New Year on the beach of Copacabana, with a special guest to cheer them up. Rod, a true god of rock music, sang his famous repertoire for free, in front of 3.5 million people to celebrate the capital's 85th birthday.

A long and exciting show that became the biggest one in the history of music. As it was the case with Rod Stewart, you have to be almost like an athlete, or at least predisposed to a certain physical endurance, to make a musical event like this so unique and memorable.

Concerts for the bands: an intense wokout with final applause

Looking at and experiencing the greatest concerts in history, we got an idea of how much energy is spent during a concert, not only for the singer, but also for the band that accompanies him. Here are three examples of how much energy you consume while playing an instrument.

  1. 1. The Drum Kit: Playing the drums during the most impressive metal concert in history, the Monster of Rock, at Turshino Airfield in Moscow, in 1991, where AC/DC, Pantera, Metallica, The Black Crowes and E.S.T performed, allowed Chris Slade, at the time drummer of AC/DC, to burn 280 Kcal/h, equal to 15 min running time. The concert was a real historical feat, a cultural revolution for all the young Soviets who, during the years of the censorship of the regime, had been able to know and appreciate American music only through clandestine radios.
  1. 2. Guitar: Jimi Hendrix, with his classic black and white Fender Stratocaster, in his penultimate public appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, perhaps his most significant performance, burnt 230Kcal/h, comparable to about 60 min walk.
  2. 3. The Strings: The New York Philharmonic, by tradition, has always offered its music through massive concerts. However, at the free concert held in Central Park on July 5, 1986, during the celebrations for the centenary of the most famous statue of the Big Apple, went beyond all expectations, with 800 thousand and more people gathered in the park. Not only rock then, but throughout their concerts, the masters and professionals of classical music have a significant expenditure of energy. Especially in an event of this magnitude, the sole violin made musicians to consume 100 Kcal/h during their performance.

From the stage to the audience: how much energy does the audience burn during concerts?

What about the audience? How can we forget the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair that took place in Bethel, a small rural town in the state of New York, between 15 and 18 August 1969. It was the climax of the hippie culture, an epoch-making event in the history of rock music and pop culture. The local authorities were assured that no more than 50,000 people would gather. However, the number was subsequently raised to 200.000, though at the end 500,000 people arrived.

Never before had so many people gathered for the same musical event. On stage, among others: Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shankar, The Who, Santana and Janis Joplin. An event engraved in memory and time, where love and peace were the pillars of the many young people who participated in that event, three days of dancing, revolution and colour, for an energy expenditure of 400 Kcal / h, multiplied by three days.

In conclusion of this analysis, we could compare a rock concert to a cardio training session in the gym for a couple of hours, followed by a circuit of cardiovascular exercises that take advantage of aerobic activity, such as Jumping Jacks.

We therefore recommend a good, constant and effective cardio training, so as not to be unprepared for the next concerts!

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