Published on August 23rd, 2013 | by Katy Evans


A Lively conservatory: relive an incredible evening of music

As you may know, Post Defiance recently celebrated its two year anniversary; it was a delightful event full of friends, fun, food, and – maybe most important – lots of captivating live music.

Tacoma is home to many undeniably talented musicians and the Post Defiance team couldn’t wait to develop an opportunity to showcase some of the best.

On August 17 we featured Tacoma’s own William Jordan, Rockwell Powers, Apartment Lights, and Lobsana – all these artists played once-in-a-lifetime sets surrounded by excited fans and gorgeous tropical plants in the W.W. Seymour Conservatory.

Apartment Lights/Grace Sullivan in the Conservatory

Apartment Lights/Grace Sullivan in the Conservatory

A lot of us in Tacoma care about live music and supporting independent and emerging artists but we continue to struggle to find reliable venues in Tacoma. We at Post Defiance knew we needed to explore ways to not only feature live music in nontraditional venues but to also find other, innovative ways to share this very special concert.

Turned out this was an event tailor-made for the brilliant developers over at Lively.

Lively, a new concert app for your smart phone, captures the live music experience and then delivers it to you in audio and video form. Lively sponsored our anniversary event and is also providing free access to all the Conservatory Concert recordings on their app (see the promo code below for access).

Of course this sounded good to me initially but it wasn’t until I dug into the recordings that I really felt the magic of this application.

Lobsana/Anna Moore in the Conservatory

Lobsana/Anna Moore in the Conservatory

The Lively recordings made the night even more special not only because I now had these accessible musical mementos, but because the recordings themselves are of seriously excellent quality.

Rockwell Powers in the Conservatory

Rockwell Powers in the Conservatory

I keep listening over and over to the moment when Grace Sullivan of Apartment Lights breaks in the middle of a heart-wrenching ballad to successfully swat a mosquito; to the goose-bump-making a cappella open of Will Jordan’s Savannah/Another Love Song; to Rockwell Powers’ unflinching political rap freestyle; and to Lobsana’s weirdly perfect vocals floating effortlessly over the happy conversation in the Conservatory.

William Jordan in the Conservatory

William Jordan in the Conservatory

I suddenly got it so I wanted to know if my new appreciation aligned with Lively’s inspiration.

I checked in with Zach Varnell – one of the partners at Lively, and a local teacher at the Tacoma School of the Arts – about why he’s now involved with Lively.

“When I was a kid my dad would tell me stories about all this amazing concerts he went to in the Bay Area in the late 60s, while he was in college. He saw Santana, Steely Dan, Dan Hicks, Hot Tuna, and the magic of what he described was so exciting. It was all about this once in a lifetime opportunity to see something special happen on stage.

“As an adult as a recording engineer, I’ve always been intrigued with trying to capture that experience. When I first was invited to talk with the Lively team, that was what excited me – to create a platform where artists themselves could capture and document their shows, provide access to them for their fans and still be able to monetize it in a small way.”

Turns out, my response to the app was definitely not singular since Zach felt the same. I was also curious how Zach saw Lively impacting shows in Tacoma:

“There are a lot of really cool concerts, performances and events that happen in Tacoma that a lot of people never hear about. Part of that problem is that we don’t really have a solid, established venue for shows, and so they pop in houses, churches, backyards, wherever they can.

“Lively can provide a way to capture these intimate and unique experiences so people from all over the country could see and hear the really interesting things happening in Tacoma with groups like The Warehouse & The Broadway Center. We’re also talking with the folks at First Night about doing something pretty cool this year.”

Last,  Zach to shared of his most memorable experiences with Lively so far:

“One of the coolest things we got to do recently was a private showcase for Universal Music Group in Seattle. We got to record nine bands that were all just recently signed to UMG’s subsidiaries like Capitol, Verve, Vanguard, and Concord. It was a huge range of music from hip-hop to jazz, an incredible to hear these artists perform songs before any of their records come out.

“We’ve got some really exciting shows in the works in the coming months that aren’t announced yet, but one of my favorite shows still was The Lonely Forest at the Crocodile back in May. It was awesome to see a sold out show at the Croc with one of my favorite bands from Washington playing a homecoming show after a long tour.

“We also did a really cool show with a band called Issues at Chain Reaction, the legendary California all-ages club, back in June. Issues is a really cool band with two brothers actually from Tacoma, Ty and Sky Accord.”

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Post Defiance Conservatory Concert on Lively, here’s your chance:

1: download Lively,
2: sign in and click “account”
3: enter the promo code: Kh@,q

Then enjoy the awesome music of William Jordan, Apartment Lights, Rockwell Powers, and Lobsana!


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About the Author

Founder and Co-Managing Editor at Post Defiance, Katy writes and fundraises for Tacoma. Follow her @katynicoud.

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