Saturday, September 14, 2013

iTunes Festival

It is the 7th edition of the Festival this year, and as always, it lasts the entire month of September. Since last year I have been watching its individual shows meticulously and with great pleasure. Needless to say, I'm watching it via all my Apple devices and computers, but its best appearance of all happens on my AppleTV connected to a Samsung HDTV. The show takes place in the London Roundhouse that has been converted for the purpose to an outstanding venue to accommodate the many acts (or gigs, to use the youth's jargon). Apparently this year about 20 million people requested free tickets to attend the live shows, which is more or less normal with the stars appearing this time, as are the likes of Lady Gaga (who kicked off the Festival this year) and Elton John. I watched the latter's show twice and I'm gonna have to watch it again and again before they take it off the air (or cable, to be more accurate). A genuine virtuose, still performing like time didn't pass by. Incredible pianist and singer. And with plenty of energy, he spent 1 hour and 42 minutes on stage! Gaga's gig was also performance-wise exceptional, if you like that sort of music it is. I have been amazed by the discipline and professionalism of the artists, and their humility too, regardless their stardom status. I love such pro's. Respect!

Last year I enjoyed for the first time on a show my favorite band Mumford and Son and watched for the first time as well the w√ľnderkind Ed Sheeran, in an one-man orchestra performance. The most romantic voice and music money can buy. But also, Elbow and Emeli Sand√©. We had seen all of them during the opening and closing Olympics ceremony by the time the Festival started in September 2012. The Olympics shows had catapulted many of them internationally and established them in the ranks of the best of Britain.

So far this year I have been impressed by a 22 year old kid, Tom Odell, whose voice reminds me the lead singer of Mumford and Sons, but his style is largely impacted by Elton John and Bowie too. Extremely romantic voice and lyrics. The kid plays the piano and does his best to sound like Elton John, but he'll have to spend a few extra performance hours to come any close to the great Artist (with a capital A).

The iTunes Festival is something for all ages. The production and its TV coverage are simply impeccable and one can watch the shows via an iPad app, AppleTV and iTunes on a Mac/PC. No excuses for missing any gigs. If not 'live', at least one has the opportunity to watch the shows after the fact, multiple times to his/her heart's desire. Even deep into the following month of October... and buy the records linked to many of the gigs.