San Francisco-based LunaGroove is taking the stage tonight at the Cow Palace as the opening act for the legendary Elton John. In addition to the guitars, bass and other instruments, LunaGroove will be taking two 2GHz MacBooks onstage to handle the rhthym section.
Switching from iBooks to MacBooks, LunaGroove’s Alex Theory said it has made a big difference for him as the band continues to experiment with different sounds and music.
“These things are definitely faster,” Theory told Macworld. “As a musician I’m doing some things from the beginning, so I’ve been waiting for something with this kind of speed to be able to continue experimenting.”
Unlike some bands that simply program the computer to play sounds throughout the concert, Theory interacts with the computer onstage throughout the show. In fact, the MacBooks are at the center of stage, much like a drummer is a traditional band. With the MacBooks mounted on custom stands, Theory is able to set the pace for the show and interact with the other band members.
In looking at ways to expand the sound the band uses, Theory is interacting with the MacBooks using real instruments and triggering events, something the power of the iBooks wouldn’t allow him to do in the past.
As the rest of the band sets up their amps and dig out the guitars, Theory grabs his box of Macs and gets ready. “Sometimes I get a lot of questions from people when I setup my Macs on stage,” said Theory. “We’ve been doing this for about three years now and in that time people have become more familiar and informed with computers and music, so I get fewer questions.”
The computer aspect for LunaGroove goes beyond just making music — the band recently signed a record deal with Cyberset Records and are delving into the world of digital distribution.
“We are very excited to be working with this record label — they are really hip to online music distribution and they are working closely with iTunes,” said Theory. “iTunes downloads have been great for us.”
LunaGroove is also getting into Podcasting and the group is looking at ways they can expand what Podcasting can do for them in the future.
“Podcasting has been great,” said Theory. “Personally, I’m looking forward to doing some streaming concernts. One of our upcoming goals is to host and stream some live concerts.”
This story, "Mac-based LunaGroove takes the stage with Elton John" was originally published by PCWorld.