Very little compares to the enthralling experience of attending a concert. The feeling of singing along to your favorite songs until you lose your voice, looking towards the stage and realizing that your idol is, in fact, a real human being, is indescribable. But what truly creates the buzzing atmosphere is the crowd, a huge group of strangers who unite for a couple of hours of pure happiness, dancing along to what will likely be an unforgettable night.
However, most of what makes such an event so euphoric goes against every single implication brought about by our new social distancing reality. What is even more unfortunate is that this new reality is not only depriving music lovers of these cathartic experiences, but also negatively impacting an entire economy that revolves around live gigs.
For this reason, One Direction alum Liam Payne decided to organize The LP Show, which he said is “a new approach to a live-stream show that’ll be up close and personal.”
Payne teamed up with Veeps, a platform that facilitates ticket sales and streams live performances. Tickets were sold on the platform on a “pay what you can” basis, starting at $10.
Even though part of the reason to organize the show was for entertainment purposes, the event was held for a charitable cause. A portion of the ticket sales were pledged to The Trussell Trust, an organization that supports food banks in the United Kingdom, and is supporting those who are suffering from food insecurity amid the pandemic.
Additionally, the show was more than just a live stream from the artists' living room. Payne and his team fully produced the show, renting out a venue and employing a full band and crew who were affected by the postponement of live events. As this was “Act 1” of the show, Payne aims to replicate this event in a number of venues around the United Kingdom. His goal is to support these locations, as well as crew members who are currently out of work.
In terms of the actual concert, Payne was successful in creating an atmosphere of excitement. The show was more than just watching any other live stream. Even though I was initially skeptical, I must admit I did get some of those pre-concert jitters as a countdown to the show flashed on the screen. The venue, live band, and lights made the show seem like a proper event.
Sure, the experience was different than attending a real concert, but how could it not be? It certainly felt strange to be sitting at home at noon watching a live show (since the actual show was held in the United Kingdom in a different time zone), but not necessarily in a bad way. By introducing the remote aspect to the concert, it gave an opportunity for fans from all over the world to tune in and experience the show simultaneously.
Payne was provided with a screen that showed him fan comments in real time, allowing him to answer questions between songs, and achieving the goal of creating a more interactive experience. Even though the concert aspect to the show was relatively short, with Payne singing around ten songs, he took the time to take fans “backstage” afterwards. A DJ played live music as Payne had an opportunity to go through comments and answer even more questions.
Even though the atmosphere was not exactly the same as that of a live performance, these live-streamed concerts are an opportunity for a new fan experience. In this new social distancing reality, it gives fans from all over the world a chance to connect with each other and interact with their favorite artists. Even though I hope live shows can be a reality soon, The LP Show was the perfect example of effective ways we can adapt to the "new normal."