Live music is a collective experience. It allows the concert goer to temporarily forget themselves and become one with the crowd. The individual can set aside their inhibitions and get lost in good music with good people; strangers become friends, fans become a community. Jeff McCoy, founder of KC label High Dive, understands how important a music scene is in fostering a community. I had the chance to speak with him during the High Dive Showcase at the Jackpot. His goal with High Dive is simple; he wants to help his friends and his community. He wants to help his musician friends succeed and bring good music to a larger audience. And he has done just that with heavy hitters such as Psychic Heat, Shy Boys, The Conquerors and many others. These locals are gaining a national audience with his help.
The High Dive Showcase at Lawrence Field Day Fest was an exhibition of some of the best talent the Lawrence/KC scene has to offer. Bummer pummeled in a mosh-pit inducing frenzy. The Conquerors took us back with their 60’s affected rock. Shy Boys swooned with their harmonies and twinkling hooks, and Psychic Heat enthralled with their Sabbathesque riffs and mind altering effects. Looking out on the crowd, I saw live music doing what it does: bringing people together out of a shared love of music (and cheap beer). Friends were reuniting and new ones were being made. Community facilitated by music. Us Lawrencians and Kansas Citians are fortunate to have such a thriving music scene and people like Jeff who help make it happen.
But you can’t have a community without people. Be a part of it, go to shows.