The colorful tag line for ConcertLivewire.com, a Wisconsin-based music website, is “Music dorks love us.” But, judging from the wealth of exclusive content, resources and information jam-packed onto the site, not to mention the 1.5 million unique visits per month, anyone would love Concert Livewire, not just music dorks.
What makes the seven-year-old site so successful is that it’s all about popular music – mostly rock – with a serious dedication to keeping fans in the know, especially as it relates to the concert experience.
“We’re truly a music magazine,” Tony Bonyata told TicketNews during a recent interview. Tony, with his brother Phil Bonyata, founded the site. “Others give reviews of books or videos and the like, but our focus is on music 100 percent.”
Concert and album reviews are among the site’s specialties, but the site also contains tour information, interviews and features on artists and bands, and message boards where fans can rant. It also features a “ticket swap” area, where people can buy and sell tickets, and links to other ticket brokerages.
“We don’t charge any fees for the Ticket Swap, it’s strictly peer-to-peer,” Bonyata said.
A new section on site that is picking up steam is called “Basement Tapes,” where artists cut exclusive, often acoustic, versions of their songs, recorded at Woodland Audio/Video in nearby Illinois. These tracks, usually four to five per session, are given away free as MP3 downloads, which is proving to be very popular with fans.
“It’s a great promotion for bands,” Bonyata said, adding the site is looking for a sponsor for the section, and in the future it may press vinyl albums of the sessions. “It’s similar to those old radio shows where artists would come in and talk to the host and play songs right in the studio. Since so many acts tend to come through Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison (WI), we hope to grow this section with a lot of great bands.”
Among the acts already highlighted in the section include Cracker, Paleo, Hoots & Hellmouth, Dappled Cities and Hayward Williams.
Another new area of the site is called “Pioneers of Rock,” where never-before-seen photos of some of rock’s great acts, such as the Ramones, Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead are showcased.
“Unique content is what we’re always going to offer,” Bonyata said. “We’ll always be true to the music.”