As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, just about every concert in the next several months has been cancelled – and if you are a live-music junky like me, then you know these are dire times. However, if we feel we are missing our fix then one can only imagine the gravity of this situation for the artists themselves.
Thankfully, art and creativity sparks even in the darkest of times. Many artists have taken it into their own hands – or homes – to offer live performances over social media while they too practice social distancing.
Artists like The Arkells are offering Flatten The Curve Music Classes over on their Instagram live everyday between 1-2pm eastern standard time. The classes occasionally have a surprise guest appearance too!
Lead singer, Max Kerman, hosts the lessons each day and has been welcoming other great Canadians into the stream, like Sam Roberts Band, Haviah Mighty, and Olympic figure skater Tessa Virtue.
Of course, all these “reunions” occur from a distance with the assistance of a trusty webcam and microphone.
Many celebrities and musicians have taken to Instagram live, Facebook live, and YouTube to interact with their fans and bring some connection into our homes and theirs. CNET has created a comprehensible list of all the livestream performances to catch while you stay at home.
As so many artists are taking part, it is very likely that your favourite artist is too, if anyone specifically interests you it’s best to search their Instagram handle and see what they have planned for their time spent in quarantine.
Livestream performances so far have been quite personal and intimate. If you can look past the occasional glitch and poorer audio quality you’re in for a private concert right at home.
Among many livestreams, one has particularly stood out as the front runner. It even gained the attention of Oprah and Michelle Obama…
DJ D-Nice, formally known as Derrick Jones has introduced “Club Quarantine” and garnered hundreds of thousands of viewers.
D-Nice started Instagram livestreaming from his LA apartment on March 17th where he spun some of his favourite records and shared some musical insights for an audience of 200. This audience included some high-profile members of the hip-hop community and by the following few nights the word had gotten around and his audience grew to a whopping 300,000 viewers.
Included in the audience were A-listers like Nile Rodgers, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Will Smith, Halle Barry, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Jennifer Lopez, Naomi Campbell, Missy Elliot, and Snoop Dog.
Even political figures joined like Bernie Saunders, Joe Biden, and Cory Booker.
Throughout his hours-long sets, D-Nice shouts out the arrival of different celebrities and encourages all his viewers to practice safe social distancing, hand-washing, and pays tribute to health care workers fighting the virus on the front lines.
On March 18th, D-Nice and Michelle Obama joined forces with the organization When We All Vote. They hosted a live set to promote voter registration for the next American presidential election. According to When We All Vote, it logged more that 400,000 texts and helped nearly 13,000 new voters register during the livestream.
Club Quarantine will be taking place again this Saturday on D-Nice’s Instagram Live at 4pm pacific standard time. If you’re unable to catch the live set, Spotify has now launched a playlist inspired by D-Nice for your own solo house party.
Entertainment talk shows have also taken to new remote measures to produce their regular programming.
Etalk hosts Ben Mulroney and Lainey Lui have been keeping pop-culture enthusiasts satiated with Facebook live videos every few days updating their viewers on the latest in entertainment news.
Some other options to stay abuzz include: Catching up on NPR’s infamous Tiny Desk Performances (starting recommendations: Leon Bridges, Harry Styles, The National, Anderson Paak). Or why not download Sirius XM while it’s free until May 15th!
Just because we are social distancing does not mean we need to feel socially disconnected.
Tune in to your favourite artist and listen to some great music (with a couple of glitches here and there), or merge the fun with some more friends on a House Party or Zoom.
Paint, draw, or simply dance around your room while blasting a playlist!
These are the kinds of personal activities we previously “didn’t have time for”, take advantage of the moment and engage with the new now and stay positive.