What a night: the gigs that changed music history
It's true that with the advent of Spotify and Youtube, we have access to any song we want, any time we want it. But there are some things that, until now, you could not bottle; some performances that just don't translate through tiny tinny headphones on the Central line at 7am.
The atmosphere of a gig, the combined energy of the room, the infinitesimal nuances only those stood beside the player's strumming fingers could hear. The nights people fell in love, set fires, smashed their lives to pieces.
Finally, we can bring the organic sound of live music in our own homes like never before. Feel the air tremble once again. Sense the anticipation as musicians take their first, deep breaths before a song. Close your eyes and feel the earth move, hear the sweat drip and experience the world change. These are the gigs that changed history.
One moonless night, at a dusty crossroads down south, Mississippi bluesman Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Or so the story goes. How else would this itinerant boy-child have become the best blues guitarist America had ever known?
And we'd have no qualms brokering a little Faustian pact of our own if we could only hear him – no, feel him – play Come on in My Kitchen, back in 1937 in Jackson.
'Mama, can't you hear that wind howl? Oh, how the wind do howl. You better come on in my kitchen. Baby, it's goin' to be rainin' outdoors.'