The Quarantine Gigs Round 1 – Ben Gibbard and Cassadee Pope.

Is reviewing live stream gigs a thing? Can I make it a thing? (Although, read ‘reviewing’ as general chit chat about what I’m watching as they appear).

I really enjoy bumbling on about music and gigs on this wee blog so while all of the gigs for the forseeable future have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 drama, I might use some of the endless free time I have to write about some of the live stream gigs I come across while we’re all self isolating/safe distancing/quarantined/whatever we’re calling it today.

SO without further ado…

I watched my first ever “live stream gig” last night in my current favourite gig venue; “my bed.” Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab For Cutie & Postal Service), is doing a live stream every night for the next however long using Facebook live, while simultaneously using the platform to shout about charities and companies that might need help in the midst of the crisis. I missed the first night but rumour has it he covered “Fake Plastic Trees” at the end, so I’m definitely going to have a dig around for that! He played through a set of Death Cab and Postal Service tracks and ended with a cover of ‘Ceremony’ by New Order – still giving viewers some chat and anecdotes about the tracks in between. ‘Passenger Seat’ and ‘When We Drive’ being played acoustically, back-to-back might have made my entire month, I’m not going to lie.

I didn’t know what to think when everyone started going on about streaming gigs – it’s definitely not the same as the real thing, but for now, when we don’t have any other options, I’ll take it. I also didn’t think I’d get any sort of buzz from watching a streamed gig on my tiny laptop screen with dodgy speakers, but actually, when the artist plays one of your favourite songs, or drops an unexpected banging cover (Ben’s version of ‘Ceremony’ by New Order was quite a thing), that same excitement still bubbles up!

Not even 30 seconds after I’d closed Facebook, an Instagram notification popped up that Cassadee Pope (of Hey Monday for all the oldie emo kids, and the country scene if you’ve only just come across her in the last couple of years), was doing a live stream on her story! It was less ‘formally’ set up than Ben’s mini bedroom studio, but there was something about her sitting on a couch with her dogs and getting a glass of red wine delivered by her boyfriend halfway through that made the whole thing really down to earth and real. Her boyfriend is Sam Palladio (who you’ll recognise from the Nashville tv series) and he joined her for a duet of Lauv & Juila Michaels’ “There’s No Way” and a track from the Nashville soundtrack. What I really loved about Cassadee’s stream, was that she was watching the incoming requests and comments as it was going – it resulted in her attempting a cover Underoath’s “Reinventing Your Exit,” completely off the cuff and we watched her learn the chords for it as she went – something you don’t get to watch usually at ‘real’ live shows.

I got a tweet from @MockitMusic (go follow them!) this morning saying it’d be great if there was some sort of listings for all these live stream gigs; there’s SO many happening already, and its amazing idea to collate all the information about them into one place but I’d have no idea how to go about starting something like that – so if any of you have any ideas, please give me a shout and I’ll help out in whatever way I can, a lot of us have all the free time in the world until real life (and work in the media/entertainment industry) starts back up again, so keen to stay busy however we can… just in our houses… behind laptop screens… while washing our hands.

Expect a few of these rambling blog posts for the forseeable – normal gig review/artist interviewing services will resume whenever it can (and if anyone is needing any promo or fancies a facetime interview, my inbox is still open)!


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