Live music and recorded music aren't just different animals — they're like comparing a walrus to a condor. The energy of a live show and the way the sound is reproduced in a concert venue makes everything feel larger than life in the moment.
Recording an album in "studio" fashion is more like making a movie scene by scene. Organization and detailed forethought are keys to success in the studio, contrasted sharply by the freedom and "feel" of the players that makes a live performance so special.
For years, I would listen to a band's latest album and really get into it, only to be disappointed by the live show — or vice versa. Some groups are made for live performance, and a recording studio just doesn't have the ability to bottle their magic.
Albums are expensive and hard to make, and they take time and dedication. And nearly nobody can afford to constantly record, so sometimes what's been published isn't even up to the artists' latest standards.
These reasons and more propelled the Colorado Daily and Daily Camera in 2012 to begin the live music video series Second Story Garage. We wanted to answer the question for the reader: "What does this band sound like live?"
A few years and about 150 recording sessions later, we look back with amazement at the results, and we hope we did well to provide that answer.
Coming up this weekend (and a little further ahead), quite a few of our recording alums have concerts in the area. Because I was sound engineer and producer of the series, I have some inside knowledge of how good everyone is, so I'm recommending these as shows you won't want to miss.
Tonight at the Fox is a bluegrass band called Cabinet that we recorded last year. They are as legitimate an Appalachian backwoods style as you'll find, and they do it well. They're also top-notch players, and lead singer "Pappy" is a champion of subtlety. Check out our videos posted on the Fox Theatre's website to see what I mean.
Also Friday night down at Denver's Larimer Lounge, hip-hop artist Time will be releasing an album. In the studio, Time was every bit of zen until the takes started rolling. Then the explosion of thoughtful rhymes and rapid-fire phrases came forth. Go for the good vibes and the positive message.
Coming up at the Boulder Theater on Dec. 3 will be EOTO. They're Michael and Jason, the percussion section of String Cheese Incident, playing wildly different music than you're used to. Call it grungy deep-beat stadium livetronica if you will. Or if you won't, I will. These guys are amazing.
A little further off, on Dec. 8, sees Elephant Revival return to the Boulder Theater. This band of gypsies above Boulder have already captured the nation's attention, heart and imagination. Go see for yourself why they're perhaps the most polished acoustic folk and Americana group in our region. Get ready to open up at their show — it's an intimate affair that is good for the soul.
While it's snowing outside, I'm going back to watching music videos. You can, too, by visiting secondstorygarage.com.