Growing up in New Orleans afforded me the opportunity to see more live local music than anywhere else I've lived since. Jazz, funk, soul, R&B, and brass bands all contributed to my music education and soul nourishment. Finding this kind of musical expression is often difficult and usually reserved for intimate live concerts. But what if a service like Netflix came along and offered live streaming music content? Would you subscribe?
Enter the website, Concert Vault . This streaming web service costs $2.99 a month and offers live concert recordings for listening and viewing. Some of the performances include video while others are purely audio recordings. The quality of sound is decent enough, but of course the fidelity can vary.
Navigating the desktop web page allowed easy access to several genres of music including jazz, rock, folk, country, blues, and even some Indie performances. I was able to dial up a performance of "Mumford and Sons" from Illinois. I also found an "up and coming" section from San Francisco that allowed me to hear a collection of live performances from new bands on the scene. To round out the interesting content, some interviews were also available from rock legends like Pink Floyd and U2.
Videos from MIles Davis to AC/DC provided an excellent music history lesson, but sometimes lacked in full fidelity. Obviously these recordings are done by various audio engineers, but Concert Vault does its best to restore these recording without taking away the mojo of the live performance. I was disappointed at the number of actual video performances of my favorite bands, but still managed to find some worthwhile concerts.
Concert Vault offers an iPhone app to watch and listen, as well as use Airplay to accomodate speaker docks. Using the app seemed easy enough, but soon the app crashed and when the app did work it was very buggy. At one point I had two concerts playing simultaneously.
Concert Vault provided a fairly decent experience on the dektop, but had me wishing for more concert performances. Luckily, you can search the music content before you sign up for a membership. And at 2.99 per month, this may be a worthwhile tool for those wanting to reconnect with live music, but the mobile app bugs had me questioning the full value of this service.
(Images: screenshots; linked to manufacturers above)