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Tech-Savvy Moonalice Rocks Free Show at Sweetwater Sunday

Grateful Dead-inspired band features Roger McNamee, the founder of private equity firm Elevation Partners, which has backed the likes of Yelp and Facebook. Show also streams live in HD.

Over the past several months, Mill Valley's and in San Rafael, both of which are backed in part by Bob Weir, have put Marin on the cutting edge by giving bands the chance to stream their shows live in high definition to fans across the world.

But although they're far from a household name, the next band taking advantage of that technology at the Sweetwater does so for every one of its shows, wherever they're playing. Moonalice, a Grateful Dead-inspired quintet featuring private equity guru Roger McNamee on guitar and vocals, streams all of its concerts and will do so again for Sunday's free afternoon show.

Moonalice plays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., on the heels of the Sweetwater's Sunday brunch featuring the Maple Street Five, a high-energy acting that mixes traditional bluegrass with gypsy jazz, folk and blues.  

Given McNamee's background - he co-founded Elevation Partners with several partners, including U2's Bono - the tech-centric approach to Moonalice's business comes as no surprise. Elevation has backed the likes of Facebook and Yelp in recent years, and the firm's $270 million investment in Facebook in 1999 is now worth about $1.1 billion, plus about $170 million already cashed out, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Moonalice utilizes a satellite dish at each show to transmit a live feed from six small video cameras to anyone with a computer or smartphone, and those streams are available as archives as well. The Journal reports that the HD streaming is just the tip of the iceberg for Moonalice, which also serves up "Twitter-casts," a link to every song in a concert set is tweeted in succession, as well as a new iPhone app, "Moontunes," which connects users to all live and archived concert clips. 

"We run the band as if we're a Silicon Valley start-up trying to invent something," says McNamee, 56, told the paper.

The 411: Moonalice performs for free from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 29 at the Sweetwater Music Hall, 19 Corte Madera Avenue. The show streams live both from the Sweetwater's website and that of Moonalice.

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NOTE: Sweetwater officials say they're releasing some tickets to the sold-out July 30-31 Hot Tuna shows to people who attend the Moonalice show Sunday.

Tony rice 6969 July 29, 2012 at 10:00 PM
The maple street five just ended with a triple encore...wow what a show!!! Sure was a great acting...Whatever that means

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