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Streaming Live Concerts Is Just The Worst

After over a year of waiting for concerts to kick in and tip toeing over to the occasional streamed live show,  I jumped in last week under the assumption that if Code Orange  managed to get it right a year ago (here), and, in fact, the Tibet Festival this February wasn’t absolutely terrible (here), then by all means a Maroon 5 concert (a band I’ve enjoyed on stage before though not as much in recent vintage here) and Waxahatchee performing my tenth favorite album of 2020, Saint Cloud,  live from  Kansas Citi, should have been a smart way to get back into it.

It wasn’t.

Here is the come on for Maroon 5:

“We’re kicking off American Express UNSTAGED for the year with Maroon 5. Join three-time GRAMMY®Award-winning, multi-platinum selling band Maroon 5 as they take you on a visually spectacular journey through their greatest and latest hits, including their new single ‘Beautiful Mistakes’. After spending over 20 years playing to millions of fans around the world, this performance will be unlike anything they’ve ever done – a global show created in collaboration with the iconic music video director Sophie Muller.”

What caught my attention was the “visually spectacular” bait and switch. No, in a world where Travis Scott’s show on Twitch showed just what can be done, the pretaped and boring performance idea of visual is a naff beyond belief light show, the band is entirely indifferent and interchangeable and Adam Levine was just so over it. That’s it? That is unlike anything they’ve done before? You mean because they could have easily run it on a loop for 24 hours and letting the worldwide audience jump in as they might and made nonsense of the concept of live. Instead they staggered the dog worldwide (it arrived on the East Coast last night at 9pm), managed to be eleven minutes late and made us wait around for an entire and complete waste of time. A disgrace (Grade: D).

If Saturday’s performance of Saint Cloud wasn’t as bad, it wasn’t that good either. I can’t really see why Katie bothered, live on stage with no  audience to feed off maybe it could have thrown the music back with enough force where the anemic and generic performance could catch fire, but they sure can’t do it on a live stream. This is the show Katie wishes she could have performed on the road? Why? To punish us? A boring 90 minutes of creamy colored blah (Grade: D+).

A year later and only Travis Scott knows what to do in a live stream.



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