Since the pandemic took over the world, we all had to find a way to adapt to the new normality. This also goes for musicians – with live concerts impossible many turned to the digital world. Livestream shows kept surfacing one after the other with a gradual build-up leading to some unexpected next-level performances.
In our eager anticipation for a chance to see a physical live show again, we are sharing a list of five livestream initiatives that stood out from the rest.
A honourable mention to NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts
1.Post Malone: Nirvana Tribute
April 24, 2020 | Rock
Post Malone is one of today’s most well-known mainstream rappers. Starting as a Soundcloud enthusiast and quickly climbing up to the list of top commercial performers, he is not someone you would associate with rock or grunge type of music.
However, a careful look at his work quickly unveils the rock influence and energy (f.x latest record Hollywood’s Bleeding). The artist proved it with a livestream concert with an unexpected twist.
On the 24th of April 2020, he performed a collection of Nirvana deep cuts. Pop-punk legendary drummer Travis Barker joined him for the show, which managed to earn the approval of Krist Novoselic (Nirvana bassist) and Courtney Love.
Post Malone went out of his comfort zone, but overcame the challenge and raised over 1 million USD to the UN Foundation while putting on a great show for both hip-hop and rock music lovers.
2.Andrea Bocelli: Music for Hope
April 12, 2020 | Classical
On the 12th of April, the closed for all Milan’s Duomo di Milano cathedral opened its doors for a special performance. The Italian opera tenor and international music icon Andrea Bocelli amazed viewers with incredible performances of carefully selected songs.
The concert was rightfully labelled as one of “love, healing, and hope” – the atmosphere Bocelli created was exactly what the world needed at that time. Emanuele Vianelli accompanied the tenor on one of the world’s largest pipe organs.
3.One World Together At Home
April 18, 2020 | Pop, Rock – Various artists
On the 18th of April Global Citizen and The World Health Organization hosted an impressive eight-hour livestream music event featuring the stunning number of 79 songs performed by various world-renowned artists.
The lineup included a mix of modern pop superstars and old-school rock grandmasters. Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Kesha, Celine Dion, Sofie Tukker, Rita Ora shared the spotlight with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Billie Joe Armstrong, Billy Ray Cyrus, and The Killers amongst others.
The ones who stole the show, however, were The Rolling Stones. The iconic rock and roll formation performed a beautiful acoustic rendition of You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Drummer Charlie Watts was the highlight of the performance with his air-drumming act and charming smile.
4.Gorillaz: Song Machine Live from Kong
December 12, 2020 | Alternative, Hip-hop, Rock
One of the most spectacular livestream concerts in 2020 understandably came from an extraordinary band.
The half-real, half-virtual band phenomenon Gorillaz orchestrated a performance featuring double-drumming, many back-up singers, surprising guest appearance, and a mix of physical presence with next-level animation.
The cartoon collective released what the majority of critics and fans claim to be their best album yet – Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez. As the perfect soundtrack of 2020, the album deserved a proper live debut and Live from Kong delivered.
The Cure’s Robert Smith, Joy Division/New Order’s Peter Hook, even an animated Elton John stopped by to help make the show memorable. Needless to say, the music was of the highest quality – a combination of great live performance and a continuation of the Gorillaz lore that most of us fell in love with when the band first surfaced.
5.Biffy Crylo: A Celebration of Endings
August 15, 2020 | Alternative Rock
Scottish alt-rock sensation Biffy Clyro released their latest record A Celebration of Ending in April. An album with immense refinement, stunning sound, and great lyrical content like that deserves a proper live celebration.
The band did it justice by outdoing most livestream initiatives. The show presented more of an arthouse concert film. It started with a black and white backstage pre-show with acoustic songs. What followed was an explosion of vivid colours featuring the band joined in by a full string section, a maze of mannequins, and an illuminated-cube satellite stage on Glasgow’s Barrowlands venue. Simon Neal (frontman) added a finishing touch by bursting outside for the final song.
Written by Vladimir Gospodoinov