New Thing #252: iTunes Music Festival

Lumineers_MusicI'm not sure how often iTunes runs this music festival. It's probably once a year - but the last time it happened feels more recent than a year ago.

Because I distinctly remember wanting to check out some of the acts the last time around but not having the time to do it.

But when I saw the online ads for this year's (or just the latest) edition, I knew I had to make an effort to tune in for a Music Monday.

I saw a few acts in the lineup that I was interested in. But the times they aired live did not seem to be conducive to my schedule.

Then I was poking around and saw that you didn't have to watch the shows live - you could watch in full acts that had taken place already. (Which seems like it should obviously be the case, but I don't seem to remember being an option last time around.)

So on Friday night I sat myself down to a concert by The Lumineers on the computer.

Quickly, to refresh your memory - The Lumineers were one of the first bands I checked out on Music Monday as part of 365 New Things In 2013. I loved their music immediately and filed away in the back of my mind that I might like to see them live. (In fact, what drew my attention to them first, besides Ho Hey, I suppose, was that a friend had seen them opening up for Dave Matthews Band and raved about them.)

Well, this was my chance - all with the click of a button.

I guess I shouldn't have been surprised at how easy it was. But part of me always thinks that technology will come bite me at some point. Like mid-concert a pop-up would come on asking me to pay to see the rest of the concert, or the concert video would overload my computer and it would explode in a fireball or something.

But none of that happened. So maybe I'll check out some of the other live performance offerings before the month is up. (As I write this, I now wonder exactly what the 'live' means on the iTunes Music Festival. They're all "live" performances, meaning concerts. But does that mean iTunes actually streams them "live", as they happen? I'm not sure. There are times posted next to each I'm wondering if that's when they are actually playing live, or if that's just when their taped live performance is posted. I'm not sure.)

As for The Lumineers, I was worried at first - they started with Submarines, and it was kind of a slow start. But it picked up and I really enjoyed it.

They played a new song which I enjoyed, and there was a really unrehearsed feel to the set that made me think, "Wow. They must have rehearsed the heck out of this performance."

Remember when I wrote that there was a raw, back-of-the-bar-type feel to their album? It's amazing that somehow they manage to transfer that raw feeling to their live performance. At one point they move from the stage to a semi-stage in the middle of the crowd to recapture the intimate settings in which they played not that long ago.

You can see all of the other bands through the iTunes store. And there's a link to it all at - just look for this image: