Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Concert Venue Not So Exciting

by James Hansen

Opening this weekend and only showing for one week in select theaters, Dave Matthews Band: Larger Than Life 3D reportedly was put together to bring a new kind of concert experience to traditional movie theaters. Entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban have been talking about streaming live events – sports, concerts, and, most successfully so far, opera – in HD. Larger Than Life isn't live, so the incorporation of 3D is supposed to be the major draw here. But watching Larger Than Life, I was reminded exactly why live events are meant to be seen live and in person. As close as you put a camera and as much spaciality there is with 3D, Larger Than Life only went to remind me that what is "larger than life" in live experiences is actually being in the same place at the same time with artists you admire. The screen immediately creates a distance that simply can't be made up for with 3D glasses. In fact, it just made the concert experience seem even more artificial. If cinema wants to expand into this realm, it has to find a way to make things more interesting than a filmed concert you see on TV, except in 3D. Larger Than Life may be of interest to the biggest Dave Matthews fans, but there's nothing here we haven't seen from filmed concerts before.

Nevertheless, I have some promotional materials for the event that serve as another form of memorabilia for anyone interested in Dave Matthews. I have a few t-shirts and posters that I'll give away to four people who email with your favorite 3D cinematic experience. If you don't have one, tell me why not. Since Larger Than Life is for a limited time, so is this "contest." Emails must be received by the end of the day on December 15. Winners will be notified via email by the 17th.

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