Once Upon a Time There Were the Big Three Networks -Then Cable, Then Satellite – Welcome the iTunes Net Cast
Playing for a worldwide audience Paul McCartney performed live at Capitol Studio’s Studio A in Hollywood, California at a groundbreaking concert event netcast on Apple iTunes. The songs were standards from master song writers of the 30s and 40s, and two new standards that he wrote, from his new album, Kisses on the Bottom, which was released on February 7. This first ever internet show to promote the release of a new album is unique in several ways. Its the first ever live netcast on iTunes, its the first live broadcast of any kind that I know of to introduce a new album, and its potentially – we’ll have to wait and see the figures – the most widely viewed live concert broadcast ever. Backed by a stunning lineup, including Diana Krall and her band and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, McCartney put on an inspiring and quite enjoyable performance.
This opens a new era for Apple and iTunes which has the potential to become the first internet based mega “net” work. I don’t think they would give away an event like this for free without the possibility of cashing in. Now that we’ve been baited – we’ll have to wait and see. And a good live performance will only help music sales – I know now that I want the new CD after being exposed to it. Its great music. And the musical and video production of this show, directed by Grammy winning Swedish film and music video director Jonas Akerlund, was Emmy worthy. This test run with McCartney, the Wings man from Band on the Run and one of the biggest icons in music, is proof of the viability of the platform.
The netcast ended with McCartney thanking the musicians and asking several times if he was still “on the air”. There was some light banter by Sir Paul and then they played an encore number – of course this had to be planned. I left my iTunes open with a black screen after the netcast and in about 2 minutes a video of McCartney getting his star on the Hollywood walk of fame started playing. Paul gave credit to his Beatles from Liverpool bandmates saying, “I couldn’t have got here without them.” Expect to see more from this entertainment outlet.
Let’s not forget the great band supporting Paul—Diana Krall (piano), Joe Walsh (guitar, classical and Gibson Es-335), John Clayton (upright bass), Karriem Riggins (drums), John Pizzarelli (playing a Moll 7 string guitar) , Michael Mainieri (vibraphone), Anthony Wilson (guitar) and Alan Broadbent (conductor/arranger).