To give people at home the opportunity to enjoy live music while maintaining social distancing, the Kirkland Performance Center brings us KPC at Home, a series of videos showing past live performances at KPC. While I enjoyed watching these throwback performances from the comfort of my own home, the two videos I watched inspired me to go see live music once quarantine ends.
The band Long Live Rock’s performance of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” exceeded my expectations. Each band member contributed to the performance and made the concert sound like a record. For example, the guitarist played difficult riffs throughout the song with ease, and the vocalist sang confidently and skillfully throughout the entirety of the extremely vocally challenging song. My favorite part was the falsetto at the climax of the performance, where the lead vocalist’s voice filled with passion as he put his full effort into the most difficult part of the piece. The band definitely had technical skills strong enough to play “Dream On” accurately, but they also had good stage presence, especially the vocalist, who engaged the audience by walking to the very front of the stage and moving his arms with the rhythm.
The home viewer can also enjoy the production quality of the performance, which made it much easier to appreciate the talent of the band. The bright lighting drew attention to the musicians, and no instrument overshadowed another, allowing the song to sound extremely polished. All in all, this band was amazing, and I look forward to potentially seeing them live in the future.
I also enjoyed another KPC at Home video, a medley of Tom Petty songs performed by the band Petty Differences. I most enjoyed their cover of “Free Falling” because of how well the band members used audience engagement to draw their viewers into the performance. The lead vocalist led audience participation by demonstration: soon after the vocalist started swaying his arms, everyone stood and swayed their hands in the air, singing along to the song. I could feel the energy of the crowd just by watching the video. That energy clearly came from Petty Differences’s liveliness, and I could tell that the band thoroughly enjoys creating music: each member completely engaged with the song by interacting with the audience, making the performance exciting to watch.
Another strength of Petty Differences came from how the band made use of having multiple vocalists sing in harmony with each other. By blending vocalists with different vocal ranges and styles, the band created a more interesting sound. And I could appreciate this sound due to the wonderful production quality, another one of the many elements in this video that worked in Petty Differences’s favor. The bright and colorful lighting suited the energy and liveliness of the performance. I only wish that I had been to this performance myself.
I am overjoyed to see these songs performed through KPC, which helps keep rock alive by introducing it to the next generation. Additionally, although I enjoyed them for different reasons, I thoroughly appreciated both performances I watched. I loved Long Live Rock’s performance of “Dream On,” because the similarity of their performance to the actual record gave me a nice feeling of nostalgia: I watched a live performance exactly like the song I have listened to so many times. On the other hand, Petty Differences dared to deviate from the record and had multiple singers take the spotlight. This choice showed the band’s unique interpretation of Tom Petty, and I liked hearing the old music presented in a new way. These two bands, although very different, definitely both do these amazing songs justice, so I thank KPC for giving me these incredible performances to watch during my time at home. I highly recommend these videos to every music lover out there.
KPC at Home events are currently available to watch online. For more information see here.