Did you watch the Dance Gavin Dance live stream for the release of their latest album Afterburner?
... Well we did and in this first installment on the 7 notes on the Music Scene blog we will be talking about it. To start, and in an effort of full disclosure, Dance Gavin Dance (from here out DGD) is one of my favorite bands in it's current incarnation with vocalist Tilian Pearson. I was very much looking forward to the Afterburner tour which was first postponed due to the 'Rona and later cancelled all together with plans for a 2021 tour instead. Check out some notes:
A - It costs money? Yes. In a world of streaming platforms, borrowing your cousins Netflix password (thanks Craig), and on demand everything, many people didn't expect to see a price tag to watch a show live online. That is in apart due to how many bands and artists have leveraged Youtube Live streams and twitch to broadcasts during stay at home orders. At a minimum for just viewing the stream, it cost about $13 and some change. This wasn't just a cash grab either. The production was top notch. This was a full show with a legit stage and a light show.
B - A word from our sponsors. The show started with the most recent video for the song "One in a million" followed by a short ad for Kiesel Guitars featuring the Will Swan (DGD lead guitar) signature model which recently launched (It is sweet, check it out here). In fact, you might notice... errrr you probably didn't notice actually that all guitars used for this performance were exclusively Kiesel guitars including Tim Ferrick's bass. If you are a bit of a guitar nerd like myself you might have noticed. I have a Kiesel... I am an advocate for them. Get a Kiesel (not sponsored).
Having a sponsor for a live stream show is perfectly acceptable when the sponsor makes sense. Now if there was a live stream of a Five Finger Death Punch show and they all come out wearing Mt Dew tee shirts while snapping into Slim Jims... yeah that is a problem.
C# - Why isn't everyone one doing this? No doubt many watching asked that question. In a way, many are but in a different way. Guitarist are streaming on twitch, Youtube, and getting a little help here and there. To pull off an actual show you have to have a dedicated fan base. For more on that check this video out by Finn McKenty about the band to help further understand the DGD fan base:
Also, like and subscribe while you are there.
D - Merch Bundles. This show featured a plethora of bundle options including special edition tees, posters, vinyl. It is a smart way to create an exclusive merch release for the one time event...built in scarcity. Merchandise sales are big part of the revenue stream for touring artists who are not at that Arena level in 2020. With the streaming services essentially making music sales irrelevant, record labels often putting up the youtube videos (whole other tangent) touring and merchandise sales are what drives the financial success of the band and is the best way to show support of artists you listen to. Any artist you want to stay around, support them.
E - Andrew Wells is jacked. Touring guitarist from Eidola is jacked.
This is the ideal male body. You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.
F#- Speaking of Andrew Wells... The best song on Afterburner is Nothing Shameful which he has a guest vocal spot on. I know that DGD twitter was bummed this song wasn't played as it seems to be the favorite of the masses..and speaking of that.. Only 3 songs from Afterburner? Seems light for it being the Album release show but no one complained too much. There was a clear effort to span across the catalog. I also imagine decisions had to be made about what songs they wanted to perform on a live stream knowing that any mistakes would be recorded in history. The playing was flawless and that is saying something as most DGD songs are very demanding. I griped about wanting to hear Nothing Shameful earlier but I can imagine wanting to play that song live a few times first as it is some intense tapping going on.
G# - Hopefully this trend continues. Adapting to COVID-19 has made many impacts on the world that people didn't expect. It certainly changed how we view entertainment and what is the new normal. I for one hope this trend continues. For many people as they get older with responsibilities like jobs, kids, or health issues the live streaming of concerts seems like a logical step. In the future select shows can be live streamed with fans in the same fashion. Let this be a trend!