By now, we’ve watched everything binge-able on Netflix, eaten the snacks that were supposed to last for two weeks, and tried (and failed) to get abs virtually.
We’re ready to let our ya-yas out.
While concert venues and bars are temporarily shut down around the world, musicians are turning to social media to uplift spirits, connect virtually, and help the rest of us let your hair down through intimate, live concerts streamed from their living rooms. Cue the DJ dance parties, trippy desert synth baths, acoustic bathrobe serenades, and the NYC Opera. These are our picks for the best live-streamed music to take your mind off everything else for a while.
iHeart Living Room Concert for America with Elton, Alicia, Billie, and More
Update: This concert happened and is now available online.
This weekend, Elton John will host the all-star iHeart Living Room Concert For America, a one-hour, commercial-free concert celebrating the nation’s resilience in fighting COVID-19. Featuring music by the Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Alicia Keys, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and a number of other stars streaming live on their cell phones, cameras, and home audio gear. Safe social distancing! The special will encourage viewers to support the charitable organizations Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation to provide relief and support for Americans. Catch it on Fox in the time slot for the canceled 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards, Sunday, March 29, from 9-10 p.m. EST, on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as on the iHeartRadio app.
Rüfüs Du Sol in Joshua Tree
As the last rays of sunlight drenched the Yucca trees of Joshua Tree National Park, Australian dance trio Rufus Du Sol, dropped the beat — performing a live, 45-minute concert completely alone in the desert. The footage, «Live From Joshua Tree,» filmed and directed by Alexander George, recently debuted as an immersive film and accompanying live album.
Nowadays Live DJ Sets
Nowadays, Fathom’s favorite indoor/outdoor all-day party haven in Brooklyn, where guest DJs spin vinyl from noon ’till six a.m. and Japanese tapas are served beneath vintage string lights and a disco ball, is hosting «Virtually Nowadays» with a livestream DJ set from 8 p.m. to midnight daily. To send an extra dose of love, visit their Patreon page, where a small donation will grant you exclusive access to the streamable original content, Mister Sunday merchandise, and early or complimentary access to their first post-coronavirus party.
Global Citizen — John Legend, Chris Martin, Ziggy Marley, and More
Global Citizen’s #TogetherAtHome concert series is raising funds for the World Health Organization with live Instagram performances by Vance Joy, Ziggy Marley, John Legend, Chris Martin, Charlie Puth, and OneRepublic (so far). Because they’re interactive with live chats, fans can request songs and even outfit choices, as seen by John Legend and wife Chrissy Teigan, who wore bathrobes and towels during his at-home piano performance.
Country singer Keith Urban went live on Instagram with his wife, Nicole Kidman, in the background. He referred to the film star as his «audience of one.»
Christine and the Queens
Christine and the Queens is staging nightly live shows from the Ferber recording studio in Paris on Instagram. «Why not meet everyday at 6 p.m. EST on my Instagram?» wrote the star in a message to fans. «I’ll find a way to deal with the ennui. Guests and weird concepts included.»
Billboard — Live At Home
Billboard has put together a full slate of online shows as part of its Live At-Home series with the help of JoJo, Josh Groban and Russell Dickerson, who all selected a nonprofit partner for their live streams, including My Friend’s Place L.A., Meals on Wheels America, and American Red Cross. If Groban’s cover of «You Raise Me Up» from inside his shower is any indication, the weekly roundup of At-Home concerts are sure to bring more uplifting and unexpected musical moments from your favorite artists.
Sofar Sounds hosts intimate concerts around the world featuring up-and-coming artists in small and secret spaces such as antique shops, outdoor gardens, and living rooms. Their listening room page includes more than 400 concerts already, including early performances by Leon Bridges, Billie Ellish, Karen O, and Bastille — before they were discovered.
Metallica is hosting #MetallicaMondays every Monday at 8 p.m. EST. They’ll be sharing their best performances on YouTube and Facebook.
Lukas Nelson & Family
Willie Nelson’s son Lukas is hosting Quarantunes evening sessions with his brother and Willie himself, encouraging those at home to turn the news off, build a garden, and jam out.
Phish announced a Dinner and a Movie series: Every Tuesday, they’ll present an archival video series at 8:30 p.m. EST on their Facebook page and select a non-profit supporting those affected by Coronavirus. First up is Phish’s show from August 31, 2012 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
German-American DJ duo Sofi Tukker are hosting a daily live DJ set at 1 p.m. for a midday dance party on their Instagram.
Diplo is live streaming a DJ set from his living room every night, paying homage to the legendary Hollertronix parties of his earlier career by doing a «Ronatronix» set made up of the house music he’s been spinning via his Higher Ground label, along with tracks from such varied artists as Billie Eilish, Busta Rhymes, New Order, and Enya. His virtual concert series, «Corona Sabbath,» is streamed weekly on Instagram and YouTube.
When we dream of where we’d rather be right now, it’s sitting in the piazza, sipping brunello di Montalcino, and bathing in the Tuscan sun at the luxury boutique hotel Monteverdi Tuscany. Until then, I’ll tune into their online music program, La Bella Musica di Monteverdi featuring musical performances recorded from the homes of the internationally acclaimed, award-winning musicians and singers, many of whom have performed at Monteverdi’s Chiesa di Sant’Andrea, the restored 700-year-old Romanesque gem of a church. The first concert of the weekly series debuts on Saturday, March 28, and is accessible on Monteverdi’s website, Facebook, and Instagram. (Read more about Fathom’s recent trip to the estate: A Hill Town Grows in Tuscany – And Everyone Is Invited.)
Marquee TV, which positions itself as Netflix for arts and culture, debuts on-demand ballet, opera, contemporary dance, and theater productions from the Royal Opera House in London, the Bolshoi in Moscow, England’s Glyndebourne, and more. The first month is free. After that, it costs $8.99 per month.
Each day while the house is closed, the Metropolitan Opera is releasing a different encore performances from the company’s free Live in HD series at 7:30 p.m. EST.
NPR Music Tiny Desk
NPR Music’s Tiny Desk concert series features informal live performances at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen in Washington, D.C., with artists including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Coldplay, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros, The Black Crowes, and Harry Styles jamming out in the makeshift studio. While the in-office performances have taken a pause, the series is hosting live concerts by artists in their living rooms and bedrooms around the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, intimate setting — just a different space.
How to Help Artists Right Now
In recent weeks, COVID-19 has devastated the music community, leaving thousands of music creators and professionals without work and an uncertain future. But there’s always a way to keep the music alive and thriving, giving it as much as it gives us. Here are a few charities supporting artists and musicians right now.
The Recording Academy (who puts on the Grammy Awards) and its affiliated charitable foundation MusiCares have established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help the music community by providing emergency relief aid, resources and advocacy for musicians’ rights.
Funds raised will go towards medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food, and other vital living expenses to artists and those in the music industry impacted due to sickness or loss of work.
This charity is providing urgent resources for the vital social service programs of The Actors Fund, including emergency financial assistance, health insurance, counseling, and the operation of The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts.
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