Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Using the Web to supercharge concert reviews

I really enjoyed Kat Cameron's review of Dada Life on this morning, but it made me think about how much better concert reviews can be when they're published on the Web.

The review itself does what it needs to do: lets readers know what the concert was like, how the crowd reacted, what songs were played, etc. Kat did a nice job of putting the reader inside the Senator during the concert.

Here are some ways a Web version could have been a better experience for readers:

• Include a sound clip from Dada Life's website by adding a link to the review.
The rowdy crowd sang along and danced in unison to hits like “Rolling Stones T-Shirt,” “Do the Dada” and the duo’s remix of Duck Sauce’s “Big Bad Wolf.”
• Explain some of the music terms for readers unfamiliar with them (like me).
Dubstep and drum and bass producer 12th Planet performed an hour-long set to warm up the crowd before Dada Life. The Los Angeles producer played a variety of genres in his set, from trap to electro, dubstyle to DnB. His set was anything but ordinary.
• Add a photo (or a video, if you can get permission from the promoter)  that shows what the review describes:
A LED wall the length of the stage played videos of cartoons dancing to the music and occasionally displayed lyrics for a sing-a-long vibe.
• Do interviews with an iPhone or portable video camera on the sidewalk after the show asking  concertgoers for 10-15 second reviews. Post the best five or six to via YouTube.

• Post a concert photo on The Orion Facebook page during the show asking for mini-reviews from those attending: "Did you go to tonight's Dada Life concert at The Senator? What did you think?"

• Post the full review hours (instead of days) after the concert is over. Refer readers to the snapshot video reviews and the Facebook comments. Enable comments.

This is all a lot more work, but it's also a lot more fun for the writer. Pushing interactivity will boost the audience for both the review and the website, and readers will start looking for reviews on once they know how much extra effort is going into the reviews.

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