Keeping the Beat Going While Waiting for New Orleans Music Venues to Reopen
New Orleans without a live music scene is like a beignet without powdered sugar — just not the same. And with many epidemiologists expecting that it might be a year or more before they’d consider attending a concert, we may have a long time to wait before we can stand shoulder-to-shoulder for jazz at Preservation Hall or two-step to a zydeco band at Tipitina’s.
Fortunately, music lovers don’t have to go completely cold turkey for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Plenty of artists have stepped up, live streaming their music and creating online communities. If you’re heartbroken over having to wait longer to see a live show, we’re with you. Here’s a shortlist of live streaming music events that, while they’re not quite the same, may just tide you over until Phase 2 of reopening.
Every Sunday: Major Lazer
Consisting of American record producer Diplo and Jamaican DJs Walshy Fire and Ape Drums, Major Lazer bounces from Caribbean dancehall to reggae to dance-pop without missing a beat. A number of high-profile collabs (Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz, Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams) put the group on the map since its 2009 debut and helped make it a festival favorite. Now festing at home is possible thanks to their live streams at 1 p.m. CT every Sunday. (Diplo also has a New Orleans connection–check out his bounce-inspired tune Express Yourself, featuring the late, great Nicky Da B.)
Every Thursday: Radiohead
Radiohead hasn’t toured since 2017 — and unless you were lucky enough to catch Thom Yorke’s 2019 solo tour at the Mahalia Jackson Theater, you probably haven’t experienced his eccentric vocal stylings, keyboard playing, and quirky dance moves. What better way to catch up with the band that started out as a 1990s grunge byproduct and became every music critic’s dream come true than by reliving (or living) its best live performances? Catch a different live show every Thursday at 9 p.m. CT during At Home With Radiohead on Youtube.
June 10: Pearl Jam, Ben Gibbard, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Macklemore, Dave Matthews, and More
The 1990s are back! Just kidding — we all know one of the best decades for music never really went away. Some of the progenitors of the Seattle sound are collaborating for a live-streamed concert to benefit Washington residents affected by COVID-19. They’re aiming to raise $65 million … a lofty goal, yes, but Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has pledged to match individual donations up to a total of $25 million.
June 13 – Supernova International Ska Festival
Grab your porkpie hat, and your checkerboard suspenders and get ready to skank June 13 at the 2020 Supernova Ska Festival: Quarantine Edition. Less Than Jake, The Suicide Machines, The Pietasters, and many other legendary ska bands combine forces beginning at 5 p.m. CT to raise money for music education for at-risk youth.
June 25 – Electric Blockaloo
Is it a rave if it happens inside a video game and you never leave your couch? Sure! Just turn on some laser projectors, crank the tunes, and pretend you’re in the chill room. Or the main floor, depending on what some headliners (Griz, A-Trak, Diplo) at Electric Blockaloo have on deck.
We hope these keep your spirits high and give you the incentive to dance it out. Would a trip to your favorite New Orleans record store help with that? We are open to the public in a limited capacity weekdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.! Capacity will be limited to six people at a time, and you must bring your own mask. Curbside pickup is available and encouraged. Please call (504) 866-6065 to place an order for curbside pickup or to get more information about coming to the store. See you soon!