[Slowhand] Concert DVDs let you watch while you listen

John Mills turbineltd at btconnect.com
Fri Feb 8 02:59:43 EST 2008

There's hope for the music industry yet. Look at the Amazon top-selling DVD
table at the bottom of the article.

Concert DVDs let you watch while you listen
03:39 PM PST on Thursday, February 7, 2008
The Press-Enterprise

>From local bands to megastar musicians, the strategy of getting tunes out to

the public through video and Internet is the new way to go.
Purchasing live-performance concert DVDs is a hot trend for music lovers.
And while the recording industry continues to spiral downward, advanced
technology and the Internet have made it easier for independent bands to
join the video movement by producing and distributing their music for very
little money.

"One of the great businesses to get into these days is concert DVDs," said
Paul Christensen, who owns Dallas-based Omega Productions, a company that
has worked on such music DVDs as U2's "Rattle and Hum." "You don't need a
Hollywood studio or a record producer," he said. "You buy a high-def camera
and some editing equipment and, theoretically, you can have your own
production house for under $10,000."

Rachel Foy, who co-owns The Wire, a live-concert venue in Upland, says bands
frequently come prepared to record their live shows for use on the Internet.
"I think bands these days look to a multimedia approach to gaining new
fans," she said. "If you think about MySpace, they're getting to see that
band in Missouri or Alabama, and get a chance to watch them perform without
leaving home."

A large increase in the DVD-production business has been due to independent
artists, Christensen said. "There's been a great increase in the number of
people wanting to (record their music). ... How many independent bands are
there? And they all need live videos. Video sells music," he said.

The big names in the industry know this as well. Those who once catered to
the MTV generation are taking it several steps further by flooding the
market with live-concert DVDs. Eric Clapton's latest "Crossroads" DVD has
sold more than 600,000 copies worldwide since its November release,
according to Martin Atkins, director of Parallel 28 Equipe, which recorded
the Clapton DVD. Parallel has also recorded concert movies for Tom Petty,
Cream and Steve Winwood. "I think (concert DVDs) are an area that's grown
because there's segments of fans who are used to paying for things," Atkins
said. "A lot of their audience doesn't mind buying something of good
quality. There's value in it."

The proliferation of big-screen TVs, surround sound and high-definition
format has driven consumer interest in concert DVDs, he said.
Foy says she enjoys watching concert DVDs for another reason. "I think it's
a way to feel connected to an artist more, especially if they have
behind-the-scenes footage and documentaries of the band," she said. "It just
adds more to the live performance of the band."

Paul Roy of www.concertdvdreviews.com has reviewed 300-400 concert DVDs and
annually rates his top 10 on his Virginia-based Web site. He ranks David
Gilmour's "Remember the Night," Clapton's "Crossroads" and Yes' "Live at
Montreux" as his top three from 2007. "The big thing for me is I like any
DVD that can replicate the show without being there," he said. "To me, a
good performance can be ruined by a weird production technique by the
director." Roy says he has seen interest in concert DVDs grow for the past
three years. "These things are starting to sell as well as CDs now," he
said. "For the same price, you can watch the concert and get the experience
of the live performance."

Amazon.com's top-selling music DVDs, with title, year and price, as of
01. Eric Clapton's "Crossroads Guitar Festival" (2007), $29.99.
02. Journey's "Greatest Hits 1978-1997" (2003), $9.49.
03. Eric Clapton's "Crossroads Guitar Festival" (2004), $22.99.
04. Pink Floyd's "Pulse" (2006), $18.99.
05. "Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire, Live at the Greek Theatre" (2006),
06. "The Best of the Rock 'N' Roll Greats in Concert" (2005), $9.99.
07. "The Eagles' Farewell 1 Tour, Live from Melbourne" (2005), $22.99.
08. "Wow Hits 2007" (2006), $14.98.
09. Heart's "Alive in Seattle" (2006), $16.95.
10. Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" (2006), $16.99.

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