Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

Concert on Your Couch

I would go to a lot more concerts if they occurred on my lap.

stageit_wide-d14cac47a5091303afcc8a171ae2f7762e3afd34-s6-c30That may now be possible as online platforms such as Stageit and Concert Window are bringing musicians into the front rooms of their fans on their laptops.

Streaming live laptop concerts are a lot easier on the fannies of fans like me  – and a lot cheaper at $8 to $10 per ticket. There is a lot less hassle strolling to my refrigerator or the restroom up the hall.

Laptop concerts benefit artists, too. They can reach a national audience with a single show – and make a little money in the process. Widening their online audience can lead to more butts in seats at their in-person concerts. And patrons at online concerts routinely tip the artists.

When you pay $100 a ticket for a live concert, you more or less assume the tip is included.

Fleetwood Mac is one of my favorite musical groups, but many of their concerts in the Portland area have been held in an outdoor amphitheater setting where you sit on the ground. My ground-sitting days are over, so I didn’t go. If I could watch them perform live on my computer, I would sign up in a landslide.

Granted, there is nothing quite like experiencing musicians perform in person. Then again, it isn’t gratifying to miss a concert with your favorite group that takes place in a city 300 miles or a continent away.

Sometimes, you sit so far away from the stage that a laptop view of the artist seems like a front row seat. In fact, Stageit’s tagline is “A front row seat to a backstage experience.” The “backstage experience” is often a Q/A with the artist. Don’t think Carol Burnett warming up her audience before shows with a live question and answer session, but it’s still an interactive experience where you get to ask questions during the show.

A lot of the acts on Stageit are people you never heard of. But this could be the way you hear about them. No one ever heard of John Denver until he joined the Mitchell Trio and played in backwater venues such as my small college campus. Our gym wasn’t a whole lot bigger than a laptop.

The concerts presented on Stageit are not taped, so you listen or lose out, just like an in-person concert.

Online venues offer a wide variety of fare – from accordions to acoustic guitar. For a relatively low ticket price, with no outlays for gas, parking or a pre- or post-concert snack, you can take a chance on an artist or an art form and be pleasantly surprised.

Laptop concerts are the latest iteration of at-home activities that formerly required dressing up and driving somewhere. You can bank at home, shop at home and get a college degree at home. Why not cuddle up on the couch and watch a concert at home. There is nothing like the digital intimacy of a concert on your couch.





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