Bands try out “virtual tours” because the reality is summer without concerts

Bands try out “virtual tours” because the reality is summer without concerts
Ever since they started sale of shows across the northeast last winter, a band from the Connecticut congregation seemed destined for a fast-paced life on the road. But a coronavirus pandemic abruptly stopped it all when their national tour was canceled in mid-March.

After three months in their bunkers, the four musicians are leaving again. Done, of course.

For the next 10 days, Goose will be locked up in a barn in Fairfield County, where, starting last night, he will broadcast his unique mix of improvised rock ‘n’ roll through eight sets of live music.

“Bingo Tour,” like Goose inviting running, is one of several new touring experiences that big and small have experimented with experimentally since the time when the touring industry played live, but when Covid-19 began to expand in the US this spring.
Some behave, like Marc Rebillet. Garth Brooks and Spafford, have tried drive-in cinemas. Others, like Dropkick Murphy’s i the Disco cookies, reserved empty stadiums.
But for road warriors like Goose, who spend most of their time playing small or medium-sized spaces in cities across the U.S., with each of their exhibitions increasing fans, the next best thing they can do is play online and hope fans show up.

“The demand for live, new content hasn’t really disappeared anywhere, in terms of what people want to see,” said Peter Anspach, who plays keys and guitar. “They may not go to the show, but we still found a demand for people watching new never-seen-out sets from the living room as big as the shows.”

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Twiddle, a rock band from Vermont, with a 15-year relentless tour, is gearing up for a similar run. Their are the “Roots Tour 2020,” and they promise nine live bands that perform at various locations in their home country in places that are relevant to their careers – and they all broadcast live fans who can watch at home.

“This is going to be something really special for us and we’re very excited to relive some of these special moments from our careers,” said Mihali Savoulidis, guitarist and lead singer of Twiddle, announcing the event, which starts at $ 75 for the package.

Virtual guest appearances of both bands are are produced author Live From Out, an online music and content series within the 11E1even group that began producing concert streams in the early days of the pandemic.

“A lot of people go on Facebook live just sitting on the couch with their acoustic guitar. We wanted to provide our fans with something more interesting that will replace what is a ‘tour’ for us and our fans,” Live From External co-founder Dave DiCianni told CNN. “Goose and every band we work with have come up with their own concept in some way.”

Restoring an online community

Part of the challenge these bands face is trying to create a shared experience that usually revolves around their performances along the way.

“Everyone is in home quarantine. All we want is to be connected,” said the band’s drummer Ben Atkind with Facebook’s questions and questions they’ve tried in recent weeks. “Our fan base is very active outside as well, so we’re definitely trying to keep in touch – for them and ours.”

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For the Goose virtual tour, there will be a few more opportunities to connect.

Fans who have bought broadcast tickets can play as the balls are drawn on the arrow, each dictating which song to play next, giving fans a chance to win prizes if those songs match their intended records.

Goose census lists will dictate randomly drawn balls.
There will be them too Advertising, VIP meetings and greetings with the band (via Zoom, of course), and even a talent talent show.

“It’s just a completely different element of coincidence,” Anspach said. “It kind of makes it more fun for us as well as for the fans.”

Rick Mitarotonda, who sings and plays guitar, agreed.

“It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a different experience. It’s going to stay on our edge,” he said.

Geese usually draw a set before stepping on stage or playing music to take them where they want to go. But now? “We have to go with the balls,” he said.

The question remains what the period of withdrawal from the stage will mean for a band like Goose, whose momentum earlier this year seemed unstoppable in the world of jam music.

Some might never pass by the other side. Other bands could change forever.

Mitarotonda is not too worried.

“Having space in things is really nice. Energy is always renewed when you come back, especially if it’s used intentionally or not,” he said, adding that after you take a little breath, “improvisation goes to new places.”

Anspach agreed. “I feel like when we come back, we’ll have a lot more ideas and be a lot more inspired. We’ll appreciate the fact that we play so much more together,” he said. “I’m definitely worried about that.”

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“I hope we change,” Mitarotonda added. “Because if it stays the same for too long, then it’s not – it’s not good. The best bands, the sweetest bands change a lot. I hope some elements change.”

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