Guitarist Paul Pigat (Cousin Harley) will start the new series of Virtually Live live-streamed concerts from Blue Frog Studios this Saturday (June 13) (Adam PW Smith photo)

Guitarist Paul Pigat (Cousin Harley) will start the new series of Virtually Live live-streamed concerts from Blue Frog Studios this Saturday (June 13) (Adam PW Smith photo)

Live-stream series a new concert reality at White Rock’s Blue Frog Studio

Production values added to socially-distanced shows

A new series of Saturday night online streamed concerts starting up this month at White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios just may be leading the way into a new reality for live music in the pandemic – and post-pandemic – era.

“As far as I know, we’re the first venue – anywhere – doing this,” owner Kelly Breaks told Peace Arch News.

“I’ve been watching and looking at concert announcements and, as far as I can see, no-one else is doing the same thing.”

As opposed to a current proliferation of ‘Zoom’ concerts and live shows in improvised home-studio settings, Blue Frog’s Virtually Live series – starting this Saturday, June 13, with a concert by guitarist/vocalist Paul Pigat (of Cousin Harley fame) – will offer concerts with full acts, streamed from the venue’s stage and featuring professional sound engineering, lighting and multiple-camera video.

“There are other people presenting what they say are live shows, but most of them have some pre-recording and editing, and some of the guys may actually be playing in separate cities,” Breaks said.

“We’re doing these just like our regular concerts – just without the live audience,” he added.

“This is nothing new for us – we’ve worked a long time to get where we are. It’s funny how things have come around.”

READ ALSO: White Rock studio floats plan to create free, live-stream-only concerts

The series, which also offers a draw for gift certificates from other White Rock businesses, has been made possible by some funding and promotional assistance from the White Rock BIA, as well as donations from some individuals, Breaks said, but most of the money to pay for the musicians and production staff will come by viewers pre-paying for the concerts.

And although the first promotion for the series was launched last week, public interest is already gratifyingly high, he said.

“We’re receiving dozens of calls each day.”

On Saturday, June 20, Atlantic Crossing (featuring members of Randy Bachman’s regular back-up band) will cover the hits of The Beatles, Elton John, AC/DC and Rod Stewart; while on July 4, bluesman Jim Byrnes and his band will be in the spotlight.

Breaks noted that Byrnes had originally been booked for a audience-present concert when pandemic restrictions came into force in March, but had almost immediately expressed a ‘show must go on’ attitude.

“He was the first one who said ‘why don’t we just do it online?’” he said.

Also following Byrnes’ lead will be rhythm and blues band The Kingpins, fronted by ‘Big Hank’ Lionhart and featuring Jack Lavin on bass (July 11) and Ladies Sing The Blues (July 18), featuring noted singers Joani Bye, Nadine States, Leslie Harris. Catherine St.Germaine and Amanda Dean, backed by Rob Montgomery and his all-star band.

READ ALSO: Online concerts by White rock musician aim to help hospital workers

Anti-COVID-19 social distancing and hygiene measures will be very much in place during the concerts, Breaks emphasized – and also during set-up, sound checks and take-down.

“The bands will all have to take precautions – they have to bring their own vocal mics and drummers have to bring their own drumsticks and drum chairs, and while they can use the house kit, it will have to be wiped down before and after each show,” Breaks said.

“Because our stage is 35 feet wide, we can pretty much space the performers side to side,” he added, noting that sound mixer Pat Glover and roving close-up cameraman Tom Saunders will be able to maintain at least a 12-foot distance from each other and the performers.

“The rest of the crew in the control room are distanced and also behind glass, and we’ve got robot cameras, now, that we can move and zoom in from the control room.”

Breaks said that while he’s optimistic that a return to live shows is plotting a course for a post-pandemic future, he wants to temper that enthusiasm with continuing caution and responsibility.

“We’ve got a lot of bands who want to do shows, but we’re only planning the initial series of Virtually Live until the end of July,” he said.

“We want to see what (provincial health officer) Dr. Bonnie Henry comes up with,” he added.

Lifting the current limitation on public gatherings of no more than 50 people will be the big green light for audience-present concerts to return, he said.

“With only 50 people it’s hard to produce – and pay for – a show,” he said.

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has changed the conversation about how live entertainment is marketed, Breaks said – and how it will continue to be marketed.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of managers and they’re all saying the same thing – presenting live streams will be part of the business from here on in.”

For more on upcoming Virtually Live concerts – and how to order them – visit bluefrogstudios.ca



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ConcertsLive music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Jim Byrnes (right) headlines a show as part of Blue Frog Studios new Virtually Live live-streamed concert series. (File photo)

Jim Byrnes (right) headlines a show as part of Blue Frog Studios new Virtually Live live-streamed concert series. (File photo)

Just Posted

Labour Minister Harry Bains addressing Surrey Board of Trade digital meeting Friday. (Screen shot)
Labour Minister says Surrey businesses’ resilience through pandemic ‘impressive’

‘Surrey’s effort in bending the curve has been among the best,’ Harry Bains says

Raj Singh Toor (left) with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudea after an official apology for the treatment of Komagata Maru passengers in 1914. (Contributed photo)
Request made for City of White Rock to honour Komagata Mara passengers

Raj Singh Toor confident city will rename ‘street, park or city asset’ in honour of 1914 tragedy

A memorial to Hudson Brooks grew quickly outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment following his July 2015 death at the hands of police. (File photo)
Inquest yields ‘sliver of justice’ for South Surrey’s Hudson Brooks: brother

Beau Brooks says he’s not optimistic call for increased RCMP training will bear fruit

Cloverdale robbery suspect. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Man charged in relation to four separate robberies in Cloverdale

Jake Eric Henderson allegedly committed four gas station robberies in January

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Tribunal to hear transgender inmate’s human rights complaint against Surrey Pretrial

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
B.C. dentists and bus drivers want newly-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

BC Dental Association says dentists and their teams cannot treat patients remotely

President of the BC Teacher’s Federation (BCTF) Teri Mooring is calling for teachers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by summer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Why it’s ‘urgent’ B.C. teachers get vaccinated from COVID-19 before summer

President Teri Mooring says not enough is being done to prevent virus transmission in schools

Most Read