For music lovers, being able to hear a favorite band or artist’s songs is more than just a luxury — it can be a vital part of getting through a tough day (without blowing a gasket anyway). And, of course, there may be no better way for fans to experience their favorite music than by attending a live performance. But sometimes schedules, finances and other obstacles can get in the way, preventing attendance of a must-see show.
There’s good news for today’s music fans, though. While catching a performance in person might not always be a possibility, the wonders of modern technology can bring some of today’s top artists (and even yesterday’s legends) right to the living room. Fans eager to catch a great show from their couch can check out these five great resources for streaming musical performances — some strictly audio, others including both audio and video feeds:
- org: Started in 1996, the nonprofit Internet Archive is dedicated to preserving important cultural works — including millions of books, movies, websites, musical performances and more — and providing them free of charge to the public via its online library. Of most interest to fans of live music is likely to be the Internet Archive’s Live Music Archive, which contains hundreds of thousands of live musical performances, available for audio playback in digital format. Those interested in searching the collection can do so at archive.org.
- com: Headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y., this web-based music platform puts its focus on emerging music scenes, as well as up-and-coming artists and bands. Its selection of live clips includes full-length concert videos and more intimate performances, all delivered with high audio and video quality. All of the content is free (thanks to support from paid ads) and the site is a great place to discover new favorites. Music lovers can check out the performances on tap at baeblemusic.com.
- NPR Tiny Desk: A popular feature among the online offerings found on the National Public Radio website, the Tiny Desk series of concerts features an array of musical performances recorded live at the desk of Bob Boilen, the host of NPR’s “All Songs Considered,” in Washington, D.C. Visitors can peruse the nearly 1,000 available performances, most of them length-wise on the shorter side, at org.
- net: This website’s sole focus is on bringing live concerts — all shot and recorded with professional audio and video — to computers, TV screens and mobile devices of music lovers. Users can select from more than 30,000 hours of live music and 15,000 shows and the ad-free options include both archived performances and live webcasts. Fans can explore the full catalog at nugs.net.
- Wolfgang’s: This site created in 2003 using the archives of famed concert promoter Bill Graham features master recordings from a wealth of rock ’n’ roll concerts with a particularly strong focus on San Francisco Bay-area shows from the 1960s and 1970s. Music fans can explore the full collection at com.
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