Any classic rock fan knows that there is nothing quite like hearing a live band. A few years ago, I went to hear The Who (or at least Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, the extant members). I remember listening on the way home to a live recording of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ just after hearing the real thing in the stadium. Even without Moon and Entwistle, the live performance was so much more powerful than the recording which, in the immediate aftermath of the concert, sounded like an anemic cover by a wannabe boy band. The same thing applied next day to my watching of the video of the last time the original line-up ever played together, performing that very song. It was simply not a patch on actually being there, despite the absence of Keith and John.
Presence is important. In a world where it is easy to simulate presence, even visible presence as by television, webcam or skype, it remains the case that actually being in the immediate physical proximity of somebody is important. We all intuitively know this: given the choice of talking to a loved one on the phone or over a camera link up or in the same room, who would not want actually to be with them?