Partnering with Delaware restaurants, famed party band The Snap will perform historic livestream concert Thursday night
Back in the ‘80s when The Snap began earning its reputation as one of the premier party bands in Delaware, breaking new ground meant getting into a club and playing for a fresh audience.
This Thursday night, The Snap will break new ground by being the first Delaware band to perform via livestream with all nine of its socially-distanced members playing simultaneously, each with a separate video-and-audio feed.
In other words, it’ll be a Zoom meeting like no other.
“I don’t this has ever been done before,” says lead vocalist and band co-founder Ben LeRoy. “We’ve been looking and looking and searching. That’s why it’s so cool.
“Everyone’s going be performing live, and everyone’s going be in their own space. There’s going be nine squares on the screen. It’ll be like Brady Bunch.”
Billed as a “Live Virtual Concert,” the simulcast performance is part of a collective effort to celebrate the reopening of restaurants statewide on Monday, June 1.
“The idea is just get people in the frame of reference that we’re getting ready to go to open again,” says Ryan German, owner of Newark’s Caffé Gelato, an event participant. “June 1 is the day. So we have this concert to say: ‘Hey, it’s Thursday—and guess what—on Monday you can have you can make a reservation at a restaurant.’”
Partnering with Caffé Gelato on the event are Pizza by Elizabeths in Greenville and The Starboard in Dewey Beach. On Thursday night, all three restaurants are offering two take-out dinner options, priced at $29 and $39. Both packages include a link to The Snap’s live-streaming simulcast performance starting at 7 p.m.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of musicians do solo acts on Facebook Live and put up the virtual tip jar,” German says. “But it’s been really hard for a big band to get together and do that.
“We saw that one segment with the Rolling Stones where they had the guys playing from their own houses, but that was pre-recorded and synced up. This is going to be live.”
A performance-only option also is available Thursday night: for $10, viewers will get a link sent to them via email.
“I’m going to be coming at you from my one of my favorite spaces in my own house, which is my living room,” says LeRoy, who during the phone-call interview sounded as excited as a musician about to take the stage. “This will be a Zoom-type format. So, yeah, the coordination is unbelievable.
“To deal with the [simulcast] latency, we had to make large scale adjustments.”
Helping with those adjustments and bringing all the musical components together is Light Action Productions, a Delaware-based, full-service production company that has been innovating sound-and-stage solutions for more than 30 years.
For Light Action owner Scott Humphrey, the simulcast presented a unique challenge.
“We’ve done similar things, but nothing quite like this,” Humphrey says. “There are variations of this that people have done [before]. All we’re trying to do is step it up a little bit for the broadcast. A lot of people aren’t going to this level of technology.
“You see some of these musicians [livestreaming] just using the microphones in the iPads or whatever. It’s not being mixed. We’re mixing everything down audio-wise. We’re treating it like a live broadcast.”
For Humphrey and LeRoy, this show is also another step in a long working relationship that goes back decades.
“Ben and I have known each other since 1984 or ’85,” Humphrey says with a laugh. “He was in college, and I was a guy living in my van. He was playing in a band, and I was messing around with lighting just trying to eat and survive.
“We were having a great time back then and we remained friends. And here it is, over 30 years later, we still hanging out and doing this thing. I was very excited when he called me up about this. I was like, ‘Sure, we’re all in.’”
Other than his bandmates and friends, LeRoy had another major figure in his life involved in the event: his wife.
Betsy LeRoy is the owner and co-founder of Pizza by Elizabeths. Betsy says she was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this event with Caffé Gelato and the Starboard, whose owners she had collaborated with previously via the Delaware Restaurant Association.
“We are really lucky in Delaware because we have a great restaurant association,” LeRoy says. “And we really like to help each other. We get lots of great ideas coming from all sides all of the time, and it really makes us better!”
“I would love to do more of these kinds of events.”
To view and order from the dinner-and-a-show menus, you can visit the websites of the three restaurants: Caffé Gelato (www.caffegelato.net); Pizza by Elizabeths (www.pizzabyelizabeths.com); and The Starboard (www.thestarboard.com).