As live stream concerts move out of the “earlier adapter” stage and into the mainstream, it’s worth taking a step back and looking at such events the X Games Aspen concerts in a larger context. ESPN announced last week that four of the hottest acts going — legendary DJ Tiësto, Grammy Award-winning pop band Phoenix, indie darlings Matt and Kim, and Swedish DJ Axwell — would be playing “X Games Music Presents” shows in January. Furthermore, all four shows will be live streamed.
This is indicative of who the live streaming early adapters have been — the X Games live stream announcement was almost an afterthought (one sentence at the end of a press release), so routine has it become for the X Games’ demographic to have free access to what in years’ past would have been highly exclusive shows. The audience, just two years ago, would have been a few thousand snow-encrusted hipsters; now, hundreds of thousands and possibly millions will witness the show in every corner of the world.
The age of the live stream concert, in other words, isn’t on its way. It’s here.
KROQ has made a point to book some of the biggest names in alternative rock for its annual holiday show, Almost Acoustic Christmas. Not only does this year feature a fantastic lineup with such acts as AFI, Vampire Weekend, Kings of Leon, Phoenix, Arcade Fire and more, but it will be broadcast live. Watch both nights of KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas live on Friday and Saturday.
Source: KROQ on Saturday-Sunday, December 7-8, 6:00pm PT.
Time Warp Festival brings its massive indoor techno party to Utrecht in the Netherlands. Be-At.TV will be there to capture all the fun, covering two stages and performances from some of the world’s best house and techno acts like Sven Vath, Monika Kruse, Pan-Pot, Paul Ritch and more. Watch Time Warp Festival in Utrecht live streaming on Be-At.TV on Saturday.
Source: Be-At.TV on Saturday, December 7, 11:10am PT.
Chic is well regarded as one of the biggest disco acts in history. Led by charismatic frontman Nile Rodgers, Chic brought such hits as “Everybody Dance” and “My Forbidden Lover” into the world. Nile Rodgers has jumped back into the spotlight for his recent work with Daft Punk. Watch Chic and Nile Rodgers performing from the historic Sydney Opera House on Saturday.
Source: Sydney Opera House on Saturday, December 7, 2:00am PT.
The legendary Phil Lesh has embarked on a four-night performance run from his home music venue, Terrapin Crossroads. Lesh, a founding Grateful Dead member and renowned bassist, will perform alongside friends and fellow luminaries Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, John Molo, Jeff Chimenti and Neal Casal. Watch Phil Lesh & Friends live from Terrapin Crossroads on Saturday.
Source: Terrapin Crossroads on Saturday, December 7, 8:00pm PT.
Brian Blade is a talented jazz drummer, composer and session musician. Together with pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Chris Thomas, saxophonists Myron Walden and Melvin Butler, guitarist Jeff Parker and more, Blade has formed the Brian Blade Fellowship, releasing three studio albums. Watch the Brian Blade Fellowship performing live from NPR Music on Tuesday.
Source: NPR Music on Tuesday, December 10, 5:30pm PT.
Live digital concert venue platform EVNTLIVE has been acquired by Yahoo!. Terms of the deal have not been announced, nor has Yahoo’s plans for EVNTLIVE — other than the fact that the site and service itself will no longer exist but be folded into Yahoo! in some manner. “Although our service will no longer be available, we are excited to be joining Yahoo’s video team,” says an announcement on the EVNTLIVE homepage. As Gigaoam.com notes, Yahoo! has been on a bit of a buying spree in pursuit of CEO Marissa Mayer’s wish to get a bigger foothold in the video sphere.
File this under “wow.” As we’ve documented in these pages, live streaming is day-by-day being applied more inventively and pervasively throughout the music industry. But we never saw this one coming: Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, has launched Christmas Cats TV, a live stream featuring room full of adoptable cats, a “cat lady” grandma, and a wisecracking elf. The antics will be accompanied by holiday music from the Legacy catalog, including Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Alabama, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Martina McBride, and Andy Williams. USA Today reports.
Boiler Room TV has quickly become one of the leading lights in the underground electronic music scene, expanding in just three years from its London warehouse origins to truly global reach. Just in the last few months, Boiler Room — with its emphasis on high production values and total artistic freedom — has live streamed from Mexico City, Paris, and Madrid. On December 4, Boiler Room opens the gates from San Paulo, Brazil.
Boiler Room’s Steven Appleyard talked to Metro last month about the rapid yet dedicatedly underground growth of this incredible source of music.
“It began in 2010 in a warehouse in Hackney with literally just a webcam attached to the wall and us inviting some friends to come and play records and hang out. It then picked up this organic traction and grew really quickly,” Applegate said. “….It had been growing gradually and then hit an enormous spike earlier this year. Now we reach around 5 million people-a-month across our website, YouTube channel and Soundcloud. The YouTube channel has a quarter of a million subscribers alone, which is just insane. Our headquarters are in London, but we also put out shows from New York, Berlin, Madrid and all over.”
File under “everyone is doing it”: The Guardian, one of the most storied British newspapers, announced plans to provide its first concert live stream. The paper will stream next weekend’s Other Voices festival in Dingle, Ireland, featuring Patty Griffin LuLu James and David Grey among others. What’s up, New York Times? Got your stream on?
Radiohead manager Brian Message spoke emphatically and positively about the importance of streaming — both live and via music services such as Spotify — at a music conference in Mumbai this week. Streaming music, he said, is “critically important” as a part of the industry’s evolution. “There was a structure on the supply side that got between the artist and the fan,” Messages said, according to MediaNama.com. “The Internet allows you to reach the fan direct. Anybody can be an artist,anybody is a fan, and the dialog between us and the fan is where the business is growing. The forefront of growth is technological change. Breaking through the noise on the Internet is very very difficult.”
What is curious about this is Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, who pulled his Atoms For Peace’s material from Spotify earlier this year, only last month ripped the service a new one in an interview the Mexican site Sopitas.”To me this isn’t the mainstream, this is like….the last desperate fart of a dying corpse. What happens next is the important part,” Yorke said. The Guardian reports (and translates).
Meanwhile more and more artists are utilizing live streaming in increasingly personal ways in order to more directly reach fans. Last week, violin virtuoso Joshua Bell — who is as famous for his Carnegie Hall shows as he is for playing the New York City subway — live streamed from his apartment via Medici.tv. The Wall Street Journal reports.
By the way, you can also live stream Jesus now. Or at least a church in Pleasantville, New Jersey.
Ustream was awarded the Best Live Video Platform at the Streaming Media West 2013 conference this week.
Nobody has been more discerning of the importance of live streaming from a business standpoint — for both bands and the music industry generally — than The Streets Rocco Pendola. Most recently, he gave big ups to Concert Window as an example of this paradigm shift. “Consider the power of a single platform — and other platforms that choose to focus on different flavors and levels of the live experience — that can hit venues, but also give small unsigned as well as indie artists the ability to merely open a laptop and play a show,” Pendola writes. “This eliminates so many practical factors that hold bands back.”
One Direction @ 1D Day
Xbox One Launch with Deadmau5 and Macklemore @ Xbox.com
Pitbull @ Live on Letterman
Boiler Room Mexico with Ana Helder @ Boiler Room
Boiler Room Mexico with Daniel Maloso @ Boiler Room
Red Bull Music Acadey: Los Angeles Takeover @ Boiler Room
American Music Awards Red Carpet @ Dick Clark Productions
Kasey Musgraves & Dale Watson @ Austin City Limits Live
Olly Murs @ Sony Music UK
Wild Cub @ MTV Hive
* estimated live online attendance