Music

COVID Concerts

As bans on mass gatherings persist, musicians are increasingly turning to livestreamed shows as a substitute for traditional performances.

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When Dropkick Murphys had their St. Patrick's Day concert canceled thanks to coronavirus, the Celtic punk rockers instead broadcast a free live "Streaming up from Boston" show on Facebook and YouTube. Such online COVID concerts have become a trend. As bans on mass gatherings persist, musicians are increasingly turning to livestreamed shows as a substitute for traditional performances.

Big names such as John Legend and Chris Martin have gotten in on the action. Post Malone and Blink-182's Travis Barker played a surprisingly good socially distanced cover concert of Nirvana songs. (It was unfortunately raising money for the World Health Organization, which bungled the early days of the crisis badly.) Metallica and the Rolling Stones are posting past concert footage once a week on their YouTube pages.

The underground is at it too. Austin-based Napalm Records has livestreamed its roster of metal bands playing shows or doing fan Q&As for their "sofa series." Maryland rockers Clutch have taken to streaming unannounced 15-minute sets from their "Doom Saloon."

COVID concerts can be surprisingly enjoyable. No longer must one struggle to see the stage, wait in line for the bathroom, or pay too much for beer. Professional performers have proven adept at maintaining their stage presence in the absence of a crowd. Modern technology ensures they sound as good as your home audio equipment permits. The concept is a lifeline for small-time artists who would otherwise have little way of reaching fans or making money right now.

Still, the livestreams are a heavy reminder of just how different life is under COVID-19. Even as other aspects of life reopen, packed concerts are going to be one of the last things to come back. That's about as depressing as Post Malone's livestreamed cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

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  1. I usually go to a couple concerts a year with some friends. This summer I’ve just been listening to music on the patio with a beer or whiskey, or both. Been into some Spanish guitar music lately.

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  4. COVID concerts can be surprisingly enjoyable. No longer must one struggle to see the stage, wait in line for the bathroom, or pay too much for beer.

    Jesus Christ, Britches, did your mother have any kids that lived?

  5. Just ain’t the same as being in the front row getting punched in the chest by the bass.

    1. 2006? saw the Black Crowes in a parking lot of what is now Winstar Casino just across the Texas/Oklahoma border … the venue wasn’t finished so they played on the back of a trailer in the parking lot ala the Dead in the 60s

      I felt the bass through my ribs like on a molecular level it was spectacular.

  6. Personally I enjoyed Josh Ritter’s Silo Sessions but they weren’t concerts so much as musical hanging out.

  7. If you are a musician and you cater to Kungflu hysteria by holding some remote “concert”, I wont be listening to your music.

    The only way to get these lunatics to stop with the hysteria is to hit them in the wallet.

    No money from me.

    1. It’s not up to the musicians. When a venue is closed what is the band supposed to do? Go on Hannity and try to get a song in between the commercials? You’re a fucking idiot.

    2. What should they do, play a live venue with no people in it?

      1. all concerts are soundchecks.

        1. Watkins Glen!

          1. that soundcheck was a concert.

  8. have a stack of unused phish summer tour tickets boo hoo

    1. I’ve had two shows cancelled and two shows rescheduled. One of which has been postponed twice now. I’m losing track.

      Saw Phish in what, 98? Lemonwheel. Rode on the Ferris wheel while on shrooms. Good times!

      1. ya i bet a shroom ferris wheel is fun. we’d shroom-drive around Dallas at night w/the top down it’s pretty.

        1. Back in my day we played with a metal hoop and a stick.

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