Image: Willy Sanjuan.

Virtual, not Viral, Music Philadelphia

John Legend and Diplo are leading the way when it comes to live streaming musical entertainment.

It’s a rotten moment we’re in at present, Philadelphia, with a lot of uncertainty and mis and mixed information as to where we are going in the era of COVID-19. You don’t need me to tell you that almost all of the concerts and theatrical productions you want to attend in March are postponed or canceled, with tentative schedules to move forward in April. 

For the immediate time being, industrious artists are looking to the live stream as a way and means of connecting or even interacting with their fan base.

While I’ll write next about Philly’s theater scene, and its upcoming live stream productions, let me start on the musical tip, as so much of that is up and running at present.

Certainly, musical artists beyond those in or from Philadelphia have already been creating concert live streams, this week and last, in which to soothe their audiences. Lizzo led a flute-tooting meditation session. Yo Yo Ma played a soothing cello concerto. Coldplay’s Chris Martin did Bowie’s “Life on Mars” during his live stream showcase. Punk rockers Code Orange, Dropkick Murphys, and Yungblood all raged on the machine. Neil Young did a show that was meant to double as a Bernie Saunders rally and is promising more. The Metropolitan Opera performed Puccini’s “La Bohème” last night. Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard will host a home-made live concert, nightly, at 7 p.m. (ET) via YouTube. Willie Nelson just announced a live stream for March 19. The Indigo Girls are also doing a live stream show on March 19 and will host an interactive question and answer session with viewers.

Two artists with ties to Philly, however, are leading the way when it comes to the live stream.

DJ and producer, Diplo.

After doing a solo live stream concert/DJ live set on his own, from his bedroom in Los Angeles, Philly expatriate composer, producer, programmer and beatmaker Diplo will team up with his multi-universe, reggaeton-inspired hip hop ensemble, Major Lazer, for a replication of Miami’s canceled (due to coronavirus) Ultra Festival, which by all rights would have been going on this week. March 20’s Ultra Virtual Audio Festival will also feature Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, and Above & Beyond, at 5 p.m. (ET), and will require a satellite subscription, via SiriusXM… which you can listen to for free, for a brief time, HERE… 

Singer and songwriter, John Legend.

Another Philly expat, John Legend, performed a live-streamed solo concert last night, as part of “Together, at Home,” a series of online concerts presented by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Global Citizen. Together at Home’s joint aim is to raise millions to go towards COVID-19 relief. The concert can be found on Legend’s Instagram account, and according to the soul man, was inspired by, “My friend Chris Martin’s lovely little concert from home.”


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