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Rock Concert Technology in 2016

Remember when record companies controlled anything and everything about the music business?
English band alt-J in concert in Rishon Lezion, August 23, 2015 (Times of Israel)
English band alt-J in concert in Rishon Lezion, August 23, 2015 (Times of Israel)

In the 1980s, when I went to my first concerts, I had a Pentax camera and would save newspapers hoping for a few good photos. When it came to recordings, we relied on the legendary Mike Millard and other tapers to record concerts with equipment hidden in wheel chairs in the front row.

Jump to 2016, and how things have changed!

I saw The Who at Madison Square Garden on March 3, 2016 with my brother. Banned cameras? Not possible — every smartphone has a 5-20 megapixel camera built in. We both took photos during the concert, and even shared them on Facebook by the time opening act Joan Jett finished playing her classic, “I Love Rock’n’Roll.”

During the show, I chatted with other fans who were sitting in better seats and we traded comments on the performance. Imagine that in the 1980s!

After the show, I went to Facebook and found dozens of quality photos taken by fans sitting in the front rows. Can’t compete with those photos!

At the souvenir stand, they sold 2GB USB drives that included a free download of the concert — in Flac (lossless) and MP3. A few days after the show, I downloaded the concert — the perfect souvenir!

I can listen to it on my stereo, in my car and even on my Digital Audio Player. DAPs (Digital Audio Players) cost between $99 and $700 and play music at a much better quality than my smartphone ever will. Why? That’s all they do — a small device fully focused on playing music.

Visit your favorite band’s website and you can download their live shows for $9.99-$20 per performance. For a fan, that’s a small price to pay for a live rock concert. There’s nothing like live.

The show must go on — and by the end of the tour — The Who’s absolute last farewell tour, I will buy 4-5 live shows. The band will eventually retire, and I will always have a cool collection of their live performances on my USB drives in my car, at home and burned onto CD.

Technology is doing wonders for music fans in 2016!

About the Author
Kenny Sahr is a startup marketing executive. His first startup, founded in 1996, was featured in Time Magazine and on 60 Minutes. Kenny moved to Israel from Miami, Florida. In his spare time, he is an avid music collector and traveler.
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