If the day looks like it just won't end or you simply don't want to shell out Rs 300 for entry at a pub or club, here's a novel way to tune in to what's happening.
Blue Frog's latest venture, Frog TV, allows you to watch live gigs, backstage soundchecks, DJ interviews and even videos of past performances with a simple click. "This is our way of working towards making music more accessible," says Lilian Ricaud, a French web strategist, who started work on this project in June.
This is a relatively new concept in India. Across the world, stadium superstars such as Madonna and U2 have streamed many of their sell-out concerts for free, online. Closer home,
started hosting its monthly series of live web-concerts in June. As the newest entrant to the world of live streaming, Frog's latest project is encouraging for both the artistes and their audiences.
"It's a new platform and the possibilities are big and promising. Web concerts allow a wider reach for the artistes, wherein their international fan base too can log in and check out gigs," says singer Suman Sridhar, whose gig was broadcast last night.
And for those who wish to enjoy music within the warm, familiar confines of their home, Frog TV is the perfect solution. "The hours I spend travelling for a gig are more than the length of the gig, so it's kind of unfair," says music enthusiast and Vashi-resident Mihika Shukla.
To be updated every week, the website presently boasts of 43 videos from bands including Indian Ocean, Nina Van Horn and Soulmate. With the high costs of streaming live, the only glitch seems to be the economics of putting together for free streaming the performances of star musicians such as Joshua Redman and Mike Stern, who command an entry fee of over Rs 1,000 for their gigs.
Little wonder then that these maestros are inexplicably missing from the playlist. "Everything from the tracklist to the idea of broadcasting the music online is done with the approval of the artiste," says Emmanuelle de Decker, head of music programming at Blue Frog. "While most artistes agree to being streamed over the Web, some may not want to." However, for some, nothing can come close to the headrush of being packed into a club with a slew of screaming fans.
Not the real thing
"You can't match the real experience online. The vibe and energy of the place and the crowd cannot be captured with a video recording," explains Ricaud. "So it's safe to say fans will never stop wishing they were at the venue."
Next up, Ricaud and his team will start work on tutorials on the website. He says, "It's still a work-in progress. But the idea is to ask music prodigies to impart lessons on their signature styles for their web audience." So take your pick and log in.