Last night (Wednesday 18th April 2012) Cold Chisel put on an excellent gig in Sydney’s Hordern Pavillion to an excited crowd of punters. This concert was to launch their new album No Plans, but what made it different was that it was beamed live into cinemas around the country.
I was one of those punters sitting in a comfy lounge chair, munching on popcorn and enjoying the excellent footage on a huge screen. As Barnesy pointed out it just wasn’t right!
Musically the band were on song and put on a great show. Opening with Standing on the Outside, the set had plenty of new tracks from the No Plans album. The format of the gig seemed similar to the Light the Nitro tour shows. Charlie Drayton has really settled into the seat vacated by the death of Steve Prestwich and kept the whole thing running tight. The rest of the band really seemed to be enjoying themselves and there was plenty of energy on stage.
The quality of the vision was excellent – the screen in my cinema was gigantic. The audio wasn’t quite as good, but still very good. I felt it was a little bit compressed / squashed. Not sure how best to explain it, just not as clear as I expected. Maybe being in a cinema I was expecting it to sound like it had been through a studio when it was a live concert? There were two technical glitches where the feed dropped out for 5-10 seconds, unfortunately during key songs like Khe Sanh and Bow River!
At the cinema I went to there were about 40-50 people, but it was a big cinema and felt quite empty. There’s a reason they don’t normally beam concerts into cinemas – it’s probably expensive, and it’s just not the same atmosphere. A couple of guys were clapping along to songs and one lady was dancing for most of the concert. But being sober, sitting in a large chair and being in a cinema it was just a bit weird. What do you do at the end of a song – clap, cheer? Sure go your hardest but the band can’t hear you and if the rest of the cinema is sitting there in silence you look like a tool.
It was a great experience to be part of, I’m sure the band lost money but they did it to try something different and give punters the opportunity. But judging from the anecdotes on the Facebook fan page most cinemas were pretty empty.
Overall it was a great night of entertainment, I’d have much rather been in the crowd in Sydney but that just wasn’t possible.