Tom Grennan live in concert – online
“Breaking the Internet” is a term that manages to twist a negative situation into a positive PR stunt. Tom Grennan’s livestream, however, cannot be described as such, and rather displayed of a lack of awareness for how the Internet works. The singer’s intention to have all of his audience virtually and visually present as he performed was ambitious (to access the livestream, viewers had to show their video and enable their microphones), and it could have worked if there were a hundred or so of them – not over a thousand. In reality it took almost an hour to fix the technical issues, and most people ended up watching the gig on the Facebook livestream. For those who had paid for a ticket, this cannot have been great.
Perhaps because of the delay, the show never really seemed to take off. Mixed among the new songs from his upcoming album Evering Road were some older tracks including Royal Highness, Something Better and Barbed Wire. The fans seemed to enjoy new songs such as This Is the Place (based on the number of love hearts in the comments), as well as Make My Mind Up, which Grennan promised “will make you cry”. The live performance was, however, undermined by the gimmick of the singer repeatedly talking to the virtual audience who had been able to access the live stream, their faces awkwardly projected on a wall. These conversations, which resulted in him calling practically everyone a “legend”, broke up the flow of the music, turning the evening into a talk show instead of a gig. During his new song Never Be a Right Time, Grennan stopped and repeated it from the start so that his viewers could sing along. Unfortunately, those on the Facebook livestream could not hear any of the audience audio.
On the whole, the vocals were strong and the songs were good, but as a livestream performance this was poor. It would have been admissible to produce something this clunky in the first lockdown, but now, after so many artists have nailed the formula, it seemed underprepared and unrealistically ambitious. Grennan wanted to create a live gig feel online at the expense of producing a convincing concert. For those fans able to speak with him, it may have made their night, but for the remainder in lockdown who would rather not have had their faces on-screen and were put on the spot while trying to eat their dinner, it was mortifying. If this experience proves anything, it is that simpler is better for live music online.
For further information about Tom Grennan and future events visit here.
Watch the video for the single Little Bit of Love here: