So, yesterday I mentioned online concerts. That’s my new favorite amusement. I’m defining “concert” as any time a musician sits down in front of an iPhone and puts himself out there. So far I’ve attended three of note.
Barenaked Ladies are not offering concerts as such, they’ve been taping their parts separately (I suppose with a backing track) and submitting them as “selfie-cam jams.” These have been offered everywhere - Facebook, the app, maybe YouTube. They’re pretty polished, but they have some fun with the staging and guest appearances. However, the lead, Ed, does do concerts as a solo act each week and they’re nice and loose. For some reason I thought the first few were taped in his bathroom, probably because he did do a series of songs taped in his bathroom back in the day. He makes the mistakes I live for. I love live things, I love mistakes, I love people putting themselves out there and making it up on the go.
Friend Dave - I have a Facebook friend, Dave, who is a piano teacher / dueling piano player / church service accompanist, until social distancing dried up up much of his income. He’s been using Facebook to have a weekly live stream for 90 minutes in which he peppers the lyrics to rock songs with asides about the virus and shout outs to listeners who comment. (I get call outs often when there’s a key change. I have discovered that I love key changes.) I like the comments and I would like to see them at live concerts in the future. People could comment instead of trying to shout louder than the music.
Speaking of comments, Steven Page did a concert last weekend via Zoom, and about five minutes in the comments took a turn. Some bot filled the comments with racial and anti-Semitic slurs. He claimed to be excited that he was big enough for someone to hack the comments. That concert was very loose. I’m afraid he began with a little — understandable — overconfidence. I’m sure if I had performed The Old Apartment for 20 years that I too would assume the words would be committed to memory, but evidently not.
Online concerts: some are free, some are Facebook donations, and the Steven Page one was eight dollars. You get the same sense of community you used to get from the applause, only now it comes from the comments. I like it, and in some ways I like it better than standing outside in the summer.