Can live stream concerts be as good as the real thing? Our blogger Hannah finds out at the Keane live event in London…

Many musical artists and performances such as ballets and operas have been shown performing prerecorded in cinemas all over the world for years. However, Musicscreen is unique in the UK in that they stream live performances to cinemas worldwide as they are happening. The most recent show was by Keane performing their ‘Best of’ album live from the Goya Theatre in Berlin on November 6th. This show was streamed to over 450 venues worldwide, many of which sold out.

The performance by the band and the technical team was superb, with a beautiful venue and a small, personal gathering of a few hundred. We viewed the show from cinema seats in Central London. The audience in our theatre was relatively calm, obviously not sure what to expect, but as the show began with a prerecorded interview with the band, the clapping and cheering began. It seems that some of the effect of the crowd on the screen was reaching those around us. However, the atmosphere remained reasonably subdued throughout the entire show, albeit with half the theatre singing and cheering along with the audience in the venue for a few of the songs.

Whilst this description may sound slightly underwhelming, that was one of hundreds of theatres. There are masses of photos and videos online from other theatres worldwide including Argentina and Monterrey, with completely packed out venues, audiences on their feet, singing along to the screen. Some can even be seen with their own banners similar to those waved by fans in the live venue. It is clear that these fans felt the same effect as those in the Berlin venue.

It is arguable that the technical side of the production gets in the way of the cinema audience getting the full effect of a live show; not all of the senses are engaged as they would be with an artists performing in the same room. However, when that artist is on the other side of the world it seems to be more than satisfactory as a compromise.

Whilst the experience in our cinema screen in London was excellent, if slightly subdued, this should not be taken as a general reaction to streaming live performances. What I think can be learned from this example is that the pros are cons of streaming live are the same as any live venue – so long as you can get a full audience of fans that are excited to be there, they are the ones that create the effect of really being ‘present’.

Hannah Andrews, 23, London

Game Design Graduate/Artist/Sales Assistant.