Musicians are providing us with an intimate live performance, from their home to ours.
Whilst the world is in lockdown, it may seem as though gigs and live music are a distant memory for many of us. However, even in these strange times, there is one shining beacon that is continuing to bring joy to music lovers, and it is a phenomenon that is sweeping across the music scene.
Live stream sessions, are becoming increasingly popular, with hundreds if not thousands tuning in to watch their favourite artists performing on social media platforms, such as Instagram.
Musicians are providing us with an intimate live performance, from their home to ours. We are given possibly the closest insight into their lives, that we may ever have. Combined with the fact that these performances are so beautifully DIY, there is just something so raw and real about them, that makes them wonderfully special.
We see first-hand those little swirls of nervousness, chit-chat with fans, nods to watching family members, stumbles in their performances and laughter. The songs we love are stripped back to their bones, often we can be gifted to an acoustic rendition we may never have heard before. Personally, I feel as though we’re experiencing music in what could be its purest form. It is as though we are hearing the songs we love, in their original demo format, and there is just something so blissfully rewarding about that.
Even though these shows are being brought to us over our phone, tablet, or laptop screens. So far, I have yet to notice any terribly bad sound quality or severe lagging issues. I guess it is a little nod to how good our modern-day technology really is; often taken for granted, but it is in times like these we realise how important it is.
During a period of isolation, live stream gigs are creating a sense of togetherness. Music fans are interacting over live chats, sharing their favourite songs, moments, and memories together. All whilst enjoying a unique performance from their favourite musicians.
Album Listening Parties, Social Media Account Take-Overs, Q&As… the list goes on. It is remarkable how many wonderful, innovative ways we as humans are finding, to enable us to still hold on to that sense of community we share, by continuing to discover and create.
Their existence is bringing so much joy and happiness to our new found world, whilst also helping to combat those feelings of loneliness that many are incurring. High praise is certainly deserving to the artists contributing. Despite this being a period which will certainly go down in the history books as something terrible, in an obscure way it is also helping me to see how much goodness there really is in this world, solely from our overwhelming love for one another and that sense of community we still strongly share, even though we’re apart.
I thought I’d share with you 3 of my favourite live stream sessions so far
I’ve lost count of how many I’ve watched already, but those that follow really stood out as being something extra special to me personally.
This is definitely my little craving for a gig review coming out in some shape or form!
La Blogothèque treated myself and fellow Blaenavon fans to a wonderful gift hosting this live stream session. I cannot even put into words how beautiful it was. Following lead vocalist Ben’s hiatus from live music, this would in some rather peculiar sense, become his debut return. What a return it was. To say the performance Ben provided was exquisite, would be a severe understatement. Only feelings and raw emotion can aptly describe just how special the hour-long set was.
Ben opened the live stream with ever-polite greetings to eagerly awaiting fans and began his performance with a song from their unexpected album Demoitis, which was released in December of 2019. From the offset, we were graced with the most gorgeous acoustic performances of Blaenavon tracks, both old and new. To tell you the truth, I found myself crying from start to finish. The performance was so much more than music alone, it was also a wonderfully brave welcome back for Blaenavon. Ben’s nerves flurried in parts, and his voice shook as he spoke with his mother who looked on with immense support. However, I can assure you with no uncertainty, that his vocals and instrument playing never once faltered throughout. Ben is an incredibly talented musician, he has remarkable vocal capabilities, and his keen ear and care in perfecting each note played to his audience is truly admirable.
I already was an adoring fan of Blaenavon before La Blogothèque, but this live stream really brought home to me just how much of a gifted, brave, and wonderful human being Benjamin Gregory is.
Matt Maltese has very generously hosted a number of live stream sessions for fans during lockdown, and he isn’t looking likely to stop anytime soon. Most recently, Matt has been live streaming at 6pm every Friday evening, treating us to songs from each of his albums. The last of these particular sessions will take place on Friday 8th May, where Matt will be performing tracks from his latest album Krystal. However, it’s clear to see how much he is enjoying his at home gigs, so I’d expect to hear a lot more from him in the not so distant future.
If you’re wondering what to expect from a Matt Maltese live stream, well put him in front of a keyboard and he’ll show you. Matt is absolutely soaring during his live sessions, and they really are great fun to be a part of. Not only are his vocals fantastic, but Matt is able to blend melancholy and madness beautifully, with his dark sense of humour scattered throughout. Matt shares stories of why he wrote each song, and gives a little insight into his own thoughts and emotions during the live performances, as well as always taking the time to read through his fans messages and questions.
Isaac Gracie is one of those artists that I regularly kick myself for not having seen live. Therefore, when I saw the announcement that he would be performing a live stream session, I practically rejoiced. It was that lovely, woozy feeling you get when you are just about to attend what you know will be an incredible gig. Easily a musician I have adored for years now, Isaac’s vocals always bring me so much joy. Hearing him sing the songs I have played to death so many times on my vinyl, was undoubtedly going to be something rather special, and of course, the live stream session lived up to my incredibly high expectations and more.
Performing songs from his debut self-entitled album, and earlier EPs. Isaac’s ‘Songs from my Bedroom’ session was cleverly titled, as that was of course exactly what we were receiving, but any fan of Isaac Gracie will know that it was also an ode to his very first release from way back in 2015. As well as performing his own songs so beautifully, not content with just that, Isaac also opted to perform a couple of covers too. Featured was an absolutely gorgeous cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ and a lovely nod to Jeff Buckley through ‘Lover, You Should’ve Come Over’.
Isaac Gracie is a musician who could turn his voice to any song and deliver it mesmerisingly well.
There you have it, that was a little insight into 3 of the live stream sessions I have enjoyed the most during lockdown.
Rest assured there will probably be a lot more, and surely others I have failed to mention already. There’s just so much brilliant music out there at the moment, and I want to send a huge amount of love to all of the musicians for doing these brilliant live gigs either for free, for charity or in aid of independent venues. The outpouring of support and generosity has shown me so much faith in humanity during these really difficult times.
Please feel free to leave a comment below if you joined in on any of the live streams I have mentioned, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them. Otherwise, please let me know who you’ve enjoyed listening to. I’m always open to discovering new music!
As always, thank you ever so much for taking the time to read my writing. Now more than ever, it honestly means the world, and I appreciate you an awful lot.
Stay safe everyone xx