Live Performers Now Streaming Shows, from their Homes to Yours: Neil Young, Coldplay, Broadway Stars, Metropolitan Operas & More

You’ve always read books in the com­fort of your own home. Though it may not be the full cin­e­mat­ic expe­ri­ence, you can also watch films there, in a pinch. Now that such a pinch has come, in the form of coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic-relat­ed quar­an­tines and oth­er forms of iso­la­tion, few art forms must be feel­ing it more than live music and the­atre. Though we’ve all watched record­ed per­for­mances now and again, we know full well that noth­ing can quite repli­cate the felt ener­gy of the live expe­ri­ence. Until we can get out and enjoy it once and again, a vari­ety of per­form­ers and venues — from rock stars and Broad­way lumi­nar­ies to inde­pen­dent the­atre com­pa­nies and the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Opera — have stepped up to pro­vide as much as they can of it online.

“The live music indus­try has seen an unprece­dent­ed fall­out in the wake of the coro­n­avirus out­break,” writes Con­se­quence of Sound’s Lake Schatz. “High­ly antic­i­pat­ed tours from Foo Fight­ers, Bil­lie Eil­ish, Thom Yorke, and Elton John have all been post­poned, and major fes­ti­vals such as Coachel­la and South By South­west have had to dras­ti­cal­ly change their plans last minute.”

In response, “artists are turn­ing to livestream­ing to stay in touch with their fans. Neil Young, Coldplay’s Chris Mar­tin, Death Cab for Cutie front­man Ben Gib­bard, and John Leg­end are stream­ing inti­mate con­certs live from their very own homes.” Young’s “Fire­side Ses­sions” launched on the Neil Young Archives site last Mon­day.

That same day Mar­tin, leader of Cold­play, “streamed a mini con­cert on Mon­day as part of Instagram’s ‘Togeth­er, at Home’ vir­tu­al series” (which will con­tin­ue next week with John Leg­end). Even more ambi­tious­ly, Gib­bard has a dai­ly stream­ing series set to launch next Tues­day on YouTube and Face­book. “Apt­ly titled ‘Live From Home,’ the dai­ly live ses­sions will see the indie rock­er take requests and even pos­si­bly duet with spe­cial guests,” writes Schatz. (You can view Gib­bard’s first Live from Home ses­sion at the top of the post.)

“Addi­tion­al­ly, punk rock­ers Jeff Rosen­stock and AJJ are both sched­uled to per­form a spe­cial con­cert that will be livestreamed on Spe­cial­ist Subject’s Insta­gram Sto­ries. That event goes down Tues­day after­noon begin­ning 7:45 p.m. ET.” Putting the show on by any tech­no­log­i­cal means avail­able is, we can sure­ly agree, very much the punk-rock way. And even apart from broad­cast­ing con­certs online, from home or else­where, “acts like Deaf­heav­en are releas­ing live albums (sans any audi­ence).” Deaf­haven, if you don’t know them, are a post-met­al band out of San Fran­cis­co; on the oth­er end of the musi­cal spec­trum, coun­try star Kei­th Urban streamed a live con­cert on Insta­gram from his base­ment this past Tues­day.

Over at the The­atre Devel­op­ment Fund (TDF), Raven Snook rounds up a vari­ety of New York the­atre insti­tu­tions now stream­ing online. These include 92nd Street Y (whose per­for­mance archive we’ve pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured here on Open Cul­ture); Broad­way­World, which has come up with “dai­ly Liv­ing Room Con­certs, a series of one-song per­for­mances record­ed by Broad­way stars in their respec­tive homes”; The Met­ro­pol­i­tan Opera, whose night­ly stream­ing of “pre­vi­ous­ly record­ed pre­sen­ta­tions” we men­tioned ear­li­er this week.

Oth­er par­tic­i­pants in this push include The Actors Fund, with its new “dai­ly performance/talk show Stars in the House” in which “Broad­way lumi­nar­ies will sing and chat from their homes,” and the Nation­al Yid­dish The­atre Folks­bi­ene, which “kicks off its Folks­bi­ene LIVE!: An Online Cel­e­bra­tion of Yid­dish Cul­ture” this week, all streamed free on its Face­book page. And be sure to vis­it the site of New York non-prof­it arts pre­sen­ter and pro­duc­er The Tank, whose new Cyber­Tank series live streams a “week­ly, remote, mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary arts gath­er­ing” every Tues­day. What­ev­er your pre­ferred vari­ety of live per­for­mance, you’re sure to be cov­ered until you can get back out to the the­atre, the club, the opera hous­es, or wher­ev­er you enjoy your live cul­ture of choice.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Met Opera Stream­ing Free Operas Online to Get You Through COVID-19

92nd Street Y Launch­es a New Online Archive with 1,000 Record­ings of Lit­er­ary Read­ings, Musi­cal Per­for­mances & More

Use Your Time in Iso­la­tion to Learn Every­thing You’ve Always Want­ed To: Free Online Cours­es, Audio Books, eBooks, Movies, Col­or­ing Books & More

Relive 16 Hours of His­toric Live Aid Per­for­mances with These Big YouTube Playlists: Queen, Led Zep­pelin, Neil Young & Much More

Going to Con­certs and Expe­ri­enc­ing Live Music Can Make Us Health­i­er & Hap­pi­er, a New Psy­chol­o­gy Study Con­firms

Pink Floyd Films a Con­cert in an Emp­ty Audi­to­ri­um, Still Try­ing to Break Into the U.S. Charts (1970)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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