I hate flying. It feels like far too long of a period of time squashed into seats with not enough leg room while sitting next to some of the smelliest and loudest snoring people. Have you ever got the feeling that an in-flight concert by someone notable would make the experience better?
Southwest Airlines thought so, and they created an in-fight program called “Live at 35” in which you may be lucky enough to experience some of your favorite artists playing a very intimate set while you are on your way to your destination.
The program isn’t exactly “new” and has actually been in action for a while now, but it gained some more attention this last week when they brought rockstars Imagine Dragons on the plane to perform a few songs. A video of the performance, produced by Southwest, surfaced online this week and went viral.
In the video, you can see how exciting this was to people. They looked like they were doing something I’ve never done on a flight: enjoying it.
One thing is clear, this had to be really high in the air. At least high enough for people to be able to turn on their devices and unfasten their seatbelts. Everyone on the plane had their phones out to film the band — because the most important part of seeing something unique is taking a video to brag on Instagram later (or right after, if you paid for the in-flight Internet).
What I find the most amazing is how truly lucky people were to see such an intimate performance. Last year I went and saw the group at the completely sold out Pepsi Center and was happy enough to have found tickets in the top area of the stadium. But seeing them on an airplane is almost the same as being in the front row of the Pepsi Center for everyone. Plus it’s such a unique thing that you can tell people you saw.
Things like this not only bring excitement to a plane ride, but also excitement to the music industry and to fans.
Not too long ago I was talking to my father about how the music industry has changed. He didn’t believe it was as powerful as it once was due to the lack of personal feeling it once had. for example, things like getting physical copies of music and the excess of bands out there now as opposed to the few big names everybody knew back in past times.
I agree with him, even though I never personally saw the era he talks about. We live in a time where there is an over saturation of music. Not only that, but there is no personal feeling to it anymore because of the digital music revolution, which has been good in a lot of ways, but has also been negative in others, such as creating a less personal experience simply because we don’t get physical copies anymore. It has made the live performance experience that much more important, but because the live performance is too crowded, it’s hit or miss wether you actually get to feel the personal experience from that.
What Southwest is doing is not only am insanely smart business move, but also good for music fans because it creates moments for people that are truly memorable.
And this whole thing would be great to see on more plane rides. I understand that it isn’t accomplishable on every plane ride, but it would be cool to see the airline do it more often.