By Lisa Morgan
Last Friday night, I saw one of the best concerts I’ve ever had the pleasure to attend. I had bought my ticket (for whatever I could afford to pay at the time) and waited anxiously among my fellow enthusiasts bantering back and forth about what song we thought would be played first. As we watched the clock wind down until show time, I chatted up a new acquaintance, Amanda all the way from Australia and another friend there from Washington DC (Hey Lex!). It seemed like I knew most of the people gathered for the concert since many of us had met as part of a Facebook group called “Travlers”: kindred souls and full on fans of Nashville singer/songwriter and recording artist, Travis Meadows. He was performing with a group I had never heard before called Granville Automatic. I attended this concert with messy hair, no makeup, my pajama bottoms and Oklahoma Sooners sweatshirt. Nobody there cared. Heck I could’ve shown up in my underwear and it wouldn’t have mattered; not to this group of good country people.
Suddenly it was show time! There he was, Travis Meadows, sitting on the sofa with his guitar. And there I was, right there in the living room with him; well, me and everyone else. He’d play a song, we’d ask him questions, he’d answer the questions, then he would play another song all the while, chatting back and responding to our questions and comments. Then Travis brought the ladies of Granville Automatic on. I was blown away! I’d never heard of them before, but I was an immediate fan. They talked about the songs they wrote and the stories behind them. We were even able to tip them to play our favorite song. We were all having a grand old interactive time. We even joined in on singing happy birthday to our friend Steve Donnelly in the crowd. Before I knew it the concert was over. We begged and pleaded and threw more tips at them and they came back for an encore! We didn’t want it to end, but I guess it had to eventually. I left that concert feeling so connected to the artists and their music as well as to the great group of people I had just shared that experience with. We all kind of sat there afterward not knowing what to do next. So, we did the only thing we knew to do; open a new tab and talk on another thread. Did I mention that this live concert was all online via Stageit.com?
Stageit.com is a concert venue where performers can broadcast LIVE and interactive experiences directly from a laptop, while offering unique fan experiences that are never archived. I know there will be some negative Nellies out there complaining that “It’s not like a real concert”. Well, no, it isn’t. There’s no smoke and light show, sound effects or a booming base that makes your hair move. The sound is dependent on the equipment you have in place on your computer to listen to all your other music. There’s no mosh pit, crowd frenzy or people passing around …jolly ranchers. But there’s also no one blocking your view of your favorite artist, pushing, shoving, spilling beer on you or singing badly and loudly in your ear, no parking hassles or outrageously priced adult beverages. This is for the backstage, unplugged experience. Just like using Skype for a live conversation with a distant loved one is better than simply watching them on a recorded video, Stageit allows you to connect much more meaningfully with an artist. The Stageit venue allowed these fabulously genuine artists to play from their living room with nothing standing in the way of the purity of their voices, their instruments, the words to the songs or their “face melting harmonies”. Stageit isn’t for any artist reliant on sound effects or Pro Tools to make their music sound good. It’s for pure music and true musicians.
From the artist’s perspective, it’s a very cool medium for connecting with fans and marketing music:
Travis Meadows: “Levi Lowery (fellow Nashville singer/songwriter/recording artist) turned me on to Stageit. We did a show several months ago and I was blown away by the technology. I love the chat room. It was so cool to see the response from the crowd and their interaction with us as well as with each other. We both picked up some fans from each other and we shared a concert experience unlike any I ever had before. We also made a surprising amount of money just playing from the kitchen table.”
Granville Automatic: “Travis Meadows suggested we do a Stageit concert together. It was an absolute blast. Interacting with listeners is the best part of being a musician, and Stageit allowed us to do that across the globe. Since the webcast attracted fans of both artists, we were also able to share friends – Travis now has new fans, and we do as well. We are so excited that we connected with people who appreciate the songs we write. We certainly see Stageit as a valuable tool to expand our fan base and to reach people in countries we aren’t financially able to tour to for now. It was a very enjoyable 30 minutes – look for more of them from us in 2013.”
Stageit.com was launched in March 2011 by CEO and music industry veteran Evan Lowenstein, who enjoys nearly 20 years of experience as a recording artist, award-winning writer and executive. Artists who have used Stageit include Jimmy Buffett, Jake Owen, Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, Lisa Loeb, Plain White T’s, Kate Voegele, Crosby Stills & Nash and KORN.
The best way to get to know this venue as an artist or a fan is to go to Stageit.com and buy a ticket at whatever price you can afford and then attend the live show. Travis Meadows and Granville Automatic will be doing another Stageit concert this Friday, January 11 at 5 pm PST and I promise it will be thoroughly enjoyable. Just log on to Stageit.com, search by date or artist and follow the instructions. You can check out any number of other artists as well. If you are a “behind the scenes”, “story behind the song” kind of music lover, I promise, you will thoroughly enjoy this venue. If you’re a musician looking for venues to play at, put all that social networking to work, play for your fans and tap into the limitless potential this venue offers.