In the spirit of that, every concertgoer will have a front-row seat for Jim Brickman’s “Comfort & Joy at Home LIVE!” virtual tour, which will be performed via Zoom at 7 p.m. Dec. 4.
“With the tour, we decided to do something that was not just the same old thing and just put up a virtual concert that people around the world can tune into once — but provide a one-night experience that benefits the North Central College Fine & Performing Arts,” Brickman said. “Anybody in Naperville, or from anywhere, that wants to watch will help out, and proceeds will still go to North Central College Fine & Performing Arts.”
Brickman, a Grammy-nominated best-selling solo pianist, hopes to conjure as close to a live concert experience as possible.
“So we created a Zoom Room concert opportunity for people to join online and be able to gather together virtually,” Brickman said. “I’ll be performing live and see each concertgoer on Zoom. Audiences will watch from home and be able to laugh along, sing along, clap along.”
Building a physical connection to his remote audience will be key as well.
“Not only are we doing it on Zoom, but with every ticket on Zoom or meet-and-greet, you will get a Christmas stocking full of gifts that is delivered to your door the week before the concert, so the stocking has a CD, some hot chocolate, some jingle bells, a program to the show, a ticket for that night’s event and an entire experience to go along with the show,” Brickman said. “That’s really the creation — to make it as complete and tactile as possible without being there.”
Goodies aside, it’s the musical experience that ultimately will make people tune in.
“One of the things that is always true about my shows is that I feel like people want to hear the hits, so I’m lucky enough to have had hits that people know, so I’ll be doing those,” Brickman said. “But also Christmas, of course — hymns and carols of Christmas, just like when I’m there.”
Some of Brickman’s original songs he’ll be performing include “The Gift,” “Sending You A Little Christmas,” “Angel Eyes” and “If You Believe.”
“I think my favorite thing about this is creating a unique experience,” Brickman said. “We’re performing on a beautiful stage in my Cleveland studios that replicates the same kind of stage you’d see at the live show, with all the lights, Christmas trees, great sound and all the trimmings.”
Obviously a virtual concert brings its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to technology.
“Of course the timing of reactions from the audience and trying to replicate the energy the live audience brings,” Brickman explains. “But there’s also opportunity in that because you’re seeing my show close-up — as close to me and my hands on the keys as you ever do live.”
As mentioned, a portion of the concert’s proceeds will support North Central College Fine & Performing Arts program, which has been largely shuttered during the pandemic.
“They have been so kind to me over the years, and I really felt like it was important during this time to support local theater,” Brickman said. “Like in Naperville, for example, where you have such a vibrant arts community, I want to help out and also remind the audience that it’s going to take a while to get back to those experiences and that a lot of these arts organizations are suffering.”
There are three package levels for concertgoers to choose from, ranging from $40 to $125. The top-tier includes interaction with Brickman in the Zoom Room, a stocking full of Christmas gifts delivered to your door and an “After Show” party with Brickman. Tickets are only available at jimbrickman.com/naperville/.