YouTube: Now With 23% More Live Concert Footage

YouTube: Now With 23% More Live Concert Footage

Wesley MurchisonMonday,11 August 2014

The Snap:

Music Vault’s release of 12,000 concert videos is the greatest thing to hit YouTube since Heavy Metal Parking Lot. The new YouTube channel includes footage of concerts by such icons as Bob Dylan, James Brown, Bruce Springsteen and the Grateful Dead, along with contemporary artists The Roots, Cake and Primus.

The Download:

Culled from the archives of Wolfgang’s Vault, a warehouse of music memorabilia, the footage took two years to restore and remaster. The channel was launched in April with an estimated 2,000 hours and has grown since and continues to grow. The collection and preservation of the concert footage begins mostly in the 60s. However, the effort to include all genres and decades in some measure is sure to impress the diehard music lover whatever his or her taste.

Before there was the Internet, there was real life. But now that we have the Internet we can experience real life the way it was meant to be experienced — virtually.

Why attended a concert in person? There’s the incompetent parking attendant who doesn’t care if your car can fit in the spot. There’s the insolent security guard that harasses you to feed his ego. There’s the new girlfriend that flirts and hangs on the arm of your friend she just meant. For all this torture, there’s small consolation that you didn’t wear the band’s T-shirt to the concert when you realize your face reads: “Walk Up to the Club Like What Up I have Social Anxiety And Want to Go Home.”

Oh, the things we do for our love of music. But no more. Technology, the nerd’s best friend and an agoraphobic’s second life, has saved us again. Music Vault’s YouTube channel hosts old and new concerts of classic and contemporary acts at historic revenues for one’s home viewing pleasure.

What about the indie fan, you say? Well there’s St. Vincent and Fleet Foxes for starters. Deer Tick and Rubblebucket for seconds. And the Suckers if you’re one to overindulge. Slim pickings admittedly, but what it lacks for a wider selection in the indie arts it makes up for in music history exploration.

Finally, I can survey the Woodstock ’99 with a clean, as in free of mud, conscience. I can discover if Frank Zappa does for me live what he’s never done for me on an album. There’s even Motley Crue at Oakland Coliseum Stadium in ’87 for a good laugh. I checked, but I didn’t see Judas Priest at Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland on May 31, 1986. Who likes the Doobie Brothers? Too bad, cuz Music Vault ain’t got a one of em. None that I saw, anyway.

The quality of each video depends on the state of the footage prior to being restored. Wolfgang’s Vault CEO Bill Sagan said to Billboard “We do the best we can with the masters we’re given, but for something 50 years old that’s been sitting in a 90-degree garage — which we occasionally get — the quality is not good enough to put up.” But for the younger crowd, since a lot of the new videos came from indie websites Paste Magazine and Daytrotter, that’s no concern.

That’s not to say we indie lovers are too young for nostalgia. My tastes may have changed but my fond memory of bitter, angst ridden, miserable grunge made all the more mopey by MTV’s Unplugged series was the first live experience, if only virtually, for my pubescent existence. For a generation, the series was a seminal moment that nurtured the importance of live music in a CD dominated age. So it’s nice to see the recorded live show accessible to a new generation without all the excess production and polish. (Live music is hard work and a good concert is life changing, for both the fan and the musician.) Not to mention, it’s a great way to prove your favorite musicians have talent and are not another “studio” artist hoax. And for those bands — yes, like the Grateful Dead, but more importantly, like prog rocker’s King Crimson — that were always meant to be heard live, Music Vault is the cyber-venue for the digital age we deserve.

Take Action!

Hat Tips:

Billboard, The Simpsons, Image Credit: Flickr*


*Converted from color to black & white

Subscribe to get updates delivered to your inbox