Well, Saturday night was a big night for a bunch of people from a pretty wide-ranging area across the United States, getting to see blues, rock, soul, and gospel music great Lester Chambers and his backing band play to a live, online audience.
Were there some minor technical glitches that came from a private music studio in San Rafael, California? Yes, unfortunately, there were a few, but certainly nothing that can’t be overcome in what will most assuredly be FUTURE SHOWS much like this one, with a variety of musical artists who are otherwise relatively unknown to a wide audience.
This was a 30-plus-minute performance by Lester and his friends on the relatively new website Stageit.com, and the overall quality of the band’s performance was so tight, so passionate, so soulful, so full of fun — so many qualities all rolled up into one — that it made the online audience members (who could give interactive feedback on Stageit Chat as the show went on) desperately hungry for so much more. Even the encore didn’t seem like enough, people just wanted it to go on … and on … and on.
That was no surprise to me. After all, this involved a large group of friends getting together to just jam and have fun while doing it, in a very unique format. You could sense the energy coming all the way through the worldwide web, and it was echoed in the audience’s “real time” comments, even as the songs were being played.
Personally, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It was amazing to think that I was watching people who are old and new friends performing on my own laptop hooked up to a decent set of speakers with a subwoofer, from hundreds of miles away, and it was all happening TOTALLY LIVE! And they were performing songs that touched people’s hearts, like the large-group effort of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” to the universally known “People Get Ready,” to some of the funkier and bluesier tunes you’ll find in my playlist below.
Lester Chambers was singing with fire. He’s working on making a dramatic career comeback WITH A VENGEANCE!!! One audience member who’s been a fan of his for many years said in the chat session that it was the best he’d heard Lester since he heard him perform live with The Chambers Brothers … in 1965!!! Aside from Lester, each musician performing a solo in the show simply smoked through their riffs. It was a magical, exciting evening that seemed to end much too soon.
So, yes, there were a few glitches, Stageit.com didn’t “play nice” with a ticket holder or two in allowing them to see the show but that’s outside of this group’s control, and the group will still work hard to satisfy those ticket holders’ needs. It’s all about satisfying the “customers.” There will be a time to celebrate, and still reflect on any areas that can be improved upon for future shows.
AND THERE WILL BE MANY FUTURE SHOWS! This was just the “first stab” at something that’s still very new with a few bugs to work out, the “first brick in the foundation” of a growing musical “movement” that kind of takes that “American Idol” idea and expands upon it, with no one being eliminated by a panel of judges and a worldwide phone-in audience.
This is just VERY REAL music, in VERY REAL TIME! And it’s a thrilling concept.
This is a group of people I’m becoming proud, honored, and excited to work with more on a daily basis. Feel free to hitch your wagon on to what promises to be a fun ride!
Until or unless there are video recordings that become available soon from Saturday night’s show, please feel free to kick back and enjoy some free performances in today’s “playlist” from last year, when legendary guitarist Steve Cropper joined the Lester Chambers Blues Revue at Yoshi’s in San Francisco in a benefit show for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. This fairly captures the true spirit and energy of Saturday night’s online show.
Oh, I threw in a couple of bonus “non-Yoshi’s” videos as well! I know where to find THOSE videos for sure! After all, Lester’s music director is my “soul brother.” And we’ve gotta keep those customers satisfied! Thanks to everyone for your support!