17 upcoming livestream concerts you shouldn’t miss

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If there are any silver linings to sheltering in place and social distancing, one of them is the abundance of live music we can now access — and by “live,” we mean “livestream,” of course. The music industry, and the livelihoods of performing musicians in particular, have been upended since COVID-19 came to town. Solo tours have been postponed, festivals cancelled and venues where weekly residences normally happen shuttered. 

Because there’s nothing like the resilience of artists needing to make art (and feed their families), musicians have been taking their shows online via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, Stageit and other platforms that allow them to perform, interact with their fans (even if they can’t hear the applause) and raise money — either to replace their own lost income or to donate to charity. 

Singer-songwriter Matthew Sever (known to fans as Matt the Electrician) performs weekly on both IG and FB live platforms, and that pivot is working for him. His virtual concerts are technically free, but like most of his fellow musicians, he offers a virtual tip jar via PayPal and Venmo. “I  don’t think anyone knows how long any of this is going to last, but for the time being, I’m grateful to continue to have a direct and intimate connection with the people who like what I do,” Sever says.

In the end, it’s a win-win: We get to hear our fave artists perform regularly, without the hassle of parking and overly crowded venues, and musicians get to keep doing what they do — and feel the support from their fans at the same time. Here are 15 upcoming virtual concerts, from household names to artists you may have never heard before that you can catch. 

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Image Credit: Eric and Suzy Thompson / Facebook.

1. Dear Class of 2020

Perhaps the most highly anticipated livestreaming event since the pandemic came to town, YouTube Original’s Dear Class of 2020 is a virtual commencement ceremony featuring more than two dozen artists and celebrities, including Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Lizzo and Lady Gaga. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will deliver a  commencement address.

When: Saturday, June 6 at 3 p.m. EST

Where:  YouTube  

Image Credit: Dear Class of 2020 / Facebook.

2. Matt the Electrician

Austin-based singer-songwriter Matthew Sever is no longer an electrician by trade; he’s now a full-time musician whose career spans more than two decades, a dozen records and a global fan base. According to Matt’s website, his music “remains rooted in his blue collar beginnings, with lyricism that embraces the day-to-day, the mundane, the beauty of the ordinary.” His intimate shows from his garage studio almost always feature requests from fans, a Q&A session and, if we’re lucky,a duet with wife Kathie Sever and cameo from dog Stevie.

When: Every Sunday, 6 p.m. EST
Where: Facebook Live and Instagram Live

Image Credit: @MatttheElectricianMusic / Facebook.

3. Ben Gibbard

 Best known as the frontman for the indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Gibbard has cancelled his solo tour dates and is instead entertaining his fans with shows from his home every Thursday until the end of May. Each show benefits a different cause, such as Seattle-based nonprofits ArtsFund, Community Lunch on Capitol Hill and the Hunger Intervention Program. In addition to these #LiveFromHome shows, enjoy his latest song, “Life in Quarantine.”

When: Thursday, May 28 (and ongoing shows TBD), 7 p.m. ET
Where: YouTube, Facebook, Twitch

Image Credit: @DeathCabforCutie / Facebook.

4. Sara Hickman

This self-described “creative elf” is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and an Official Texas State Musician. Through her music, Sara has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for a multitude of non-profits including Habitat for Humanity, Safe Place, SPCA, the Ugandan Fistula Fund and many others. 

Hickman’s eclectic style shines through in her one-hour Friday concerts (frequently from her bathtub) that sometimes serve as fundraisers for various causes. On May 29, she’ll be performing a special happy hour concert. If you need a musical pick-me-up, this is the place to be!

When: Friday, May 29 at 6 p.m., ET (ongoing shows every Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET)

Where: Weekly concerts on Facebook, and May 29 special happy hour on Facebook

Image Credit: Cindy Light.

5. Slay At Home: A Free Heavy Metal Music Festival

Created and organized by Frank Godla of the heavy metal band Metal Injection in response to the pandemic, Slay at Home is a free virtual metal music festival that benefits MusiCares, a nonprofit that helps musicians, crew and other industry workers in financial crisis, and Global Giving, a charity foundation helping front-line workers in need during the COVID-19 crisis. The lineup includes Tesseract, Suicide Silence, Twelve Foot Ninja, Darkest Hour, O’Brother and many more.

When: May 29–30

Where:  YouTube and Slay at Home website

Image Credit: @SlayatHomeFest / Instagram.

6. The Sh*t Show with Gary Louris

Alt-country guitarist and singer-songwriter for the Minneapolis-based band The Jayhawks, Gary Louris is livestreaming to entertain fans and promote his new record, XOXO, to be released in July. He’s playing songs from old records like Smile and debuting new songs as well. Originally broadcasting from a cottage in West Saugerties, NY, Louris is moving back to Minneapolis and his show will be back in early June. 

When : Every Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET

Where: Facebook Live

Image Credit: @GaryLourisMusic / Facebook.

7. Cyrille Aimée

Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Cyrille Aimée is broadcasting live from her home every Friday. She performs with a loop station she calls Rupert de Looper to promote her new record, Just You, Just Me. Based in New Orleans, Aimée’s accolades include winning the Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition and the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition. 

When: Every Friday at 4 p.m. ET

Where:  Facebook Live and Instagram Live

Image Credit: @CyrilleAimee / Facebook.

8. Quarantine Happy Hour

This daily live happy hour features a different bluegrass or folk artist each day. Hosted by Gabrielle Macrae and Barry Southern of The Horsenecks and The Waysiders, the show donates 100 percent of the tips to the performer of the day, who often donates those tips to charity. Past artists have included Eric and Suzy Thompson, Michael Hurley, Bruce and Audrey Molsky, Travis Stuart and many, many others.

When: Every day at 6:30 EST

Where: Facebook Live

Image Credit: Eric and Suzy Thompson / Facebook.

9. Dan and Claudia Zanes Social Isolation Song Series

Grammy award-winning children’s performer Dan Zanes and Haitian-American music therapist  jazz vocalist Claudia Zanes are recording a song a day on Facebook and Instagram. They call it the Social Isolation Song Series and they’re up to 75 at the time of this publication.

When: Every day

Where: Facebook and Instagram

Image Credit: @DanZanes / Facebook.

10. Questlove presents #QuestosWreckaShow

Questlove of The Roots is DJing every night on Twitch, YouTube and Instagram, spinning tunes to benefit the COVID-19 Food Hub, a nonprofit that provides meals to NYC students who normally rely on school lunches for their primary source of nutrition. Some of his sessions even have themes, such as birthday tributes to Janet Jackson and Stevie Wonder and story time with Grace Harry.

When: Every night, 9 p.m. EST

Where: YouTubeTwitchInstagram

Image Credit: The Roots / YouTube.

11. Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn

This husband-and-wife team of banjo virtuosos are livestreaming a show every Friday night from their home. They call the virtual concert “The Banjo House Lockdown.” It’s a casual, intimate look into the couple’s musical skills and family vibe. (The whole family, including young sons Theodore and Juno, is often in pajamas and they sometimes even sing in the shower.)

When: Every Friday at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Facebook Live

Image Credit: @BélaFleck / Facebook.

12. 11. The Verzuz Effect

Created and produced by hip hop artists Timbaland and Swizz Beatz starting in late March, Verzuz is a live DJ battle series that reimagines those of the early days of hip hop. Each weekend, two artists pair up live from their own Instagram accounts and compete to see who has the better catalog (the winner is voted on by viewers). Past battles have included Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott, Ludacris vs. Nelly and Teddy Riley vs. Babyface. Check instagram.com/verzuztv to see who’s battling next.

When: Every Saturday at 7 p.m. EST

Where: Instagram Live of each artist battling

Image Credit: @VerzuzTV / Facebook.

13. Rickie Lee Jones

Two-time Grammy award-winning songwriter Rickie Lee Jones is livestreaming regularly from her home in New Orleans. She calls the shows “Live from My Living Room,” where she plays guitar and piano, sings and tells stories. After her spring and summer tours to promote her new record, Kicks, were cancelled, she’s using these virtual concerts to pay her bills, her musicians and her tour manager. 

When: Every other Friday night and the following Sunday matinee

Where: Facebook Live

Image Credit: @RickieLeeJones / Facebook.

14. Charlie Worsham

Nashville-based country artist Charlie Worsham plays every week from his porch in a livestreaming show called “Lawn Chair Don’t Care.” While Worsham plays banjo and guitar on the band Old Crow Medicine Show, he’s also a solo artist promoting his latest record, The Beginning of Things.
When: Every Thursday at noon EST

Where: Facebook Live

Image Credit: @CharlieWorsham / Facebook.

15. Jason Marsalis

Son of Ellis Marsalis and youngest sibling of Wynton, Branford and Delfeayo, drummer and vibraphonist Jason Marsalis has been busy during quarantine. He’s already performed the One Man Drums Show (entirely on drums), Music for Meditation and Relaxation (entirely on vibraphone) and on May 28, he’ll perform live with his band, Jason Marsalis & the 21st Century Trad Band: Benny Goodman Edition, at a recording studio. 

When: Thursday, May 28, 8 p.m. EST

Where: Facebook

Image Credit: @JasonMarsalisMusic / Facebook.

16. Living Room Dance Party with DJ Mel

Clear out the living room furniture and get out you fave dancing shoes. Austin’s beloved DJ Mel (also President Barack Obama’s go-to DJ) has been throwing a dance party for four straight hours every Saturday night during April and May, and each raises thousands of dollars for a different local charity, such as Autism Texas, Family ElderCare, Central Texas Food Bank and more. 

When: Every Saturday, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. EST

Where: Twitch

Image Credit: @DJMel / Facebook.

17. Jonatha Brooke

This Minneapolis-based folk/pop singer, songwriter, storyteller and playwright has been performing as a solo artist since 1994. Some of her songs have been featured on television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse. You can catch songs from throughout her career during “Kitchen Covid Concerts” on Facebook. 

When: Mondays at 3 p.m. ET

Where: Facebook

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: @Jonatha Brooke / Facebook.

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