I sometimes find it astounding that a few short minutes of deliberately placed melodic notes and well-chosen words can so easily capture emotions universal to mankind. We often get so caught up in the formulated pop songs thrown at us every time we turn on the radio that we begin to forget the power of music. The Antlers concert at Old Cabell Hall last Saturday served as a reminder that real and completely honest music is still alive and thriving. In the beautiful auditorium I sat completely immersed in the music, able to direct my complete attention to the sounds. If anything, I have a newfound appreciation for seated concerts — there were no distractions, only the music and those around me to enjoy it. There is a sort of flat one-dimensionality to recorded music that just cannot replicate great live performances. There’s nothing quite like hearing Peter Silberman’s falsetto accompanied by some gut-wrenching instrumentals from only 10 feet away. It’s rare that I come across a song so good that it’s able to give me chills, but there were several instances during the concert that I had to take a figurative step back, speechless and with only one word in mind: “Wow”. The naked rawness distinct to The Antlers was made all the more real and tangible live. The poignancy present in so many of their songs seemed almost more compelling, as I could feel the sound waves physically shaking me to the core. Many of The Antlers’ songs explore difficult themes such as loss and sadness, but it is done in such a way that it reaches down and draws out certain feelings of sorrow and regret from the listeners with such subtlety that they don’t even realize it until it’s too late. I’ve never once questioned my love for music, but The Antlers made the impossible possible and I fell even more in love with music than I had before. That is how you differentiate between a great concert and a good one. When some aspect of your life has changed and you begin to view everything with a slightly different, more learned perspective, then you know the concert was great. One thing’s for sure: I’ll be the first in line for tickets the next time they perform in the area.