Record Stores Are a Great Source of Information
In a city that celebrates and mourns with music (hello, second-line parades), the pandemic has hit especially hard. Performances with wind instruments are especially high-risk, because they expel particles of saliva and virus.
With the difficulty social distancing poses during a live show, live music in New Orleans has been severely curtailed -- but that doesn't mean it has been eliminated entirely. There's still live music to be had, in a safe, socially distanced fashion. Record stores like Mushroom New Orleans can help you know where to look. Here are a few live music spots in New Orleans to check out, masked up.
Bacchanal (600 Poland Ave.)
This Bywater gem has proved remarkably versatile in recent months. Always known for its raucous backyard lit with tiki torches, the Old World wine bar has shuttered its indoor dining area and added a huge catering tent to the outdoor seating area (which doesn't interfere with the vibe as much as one might think). Order food and booze at the takeout window, sit back, and enjoy live music from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Check the calendar for the traditional jazz-heavy schedule of acts.
The Broadside (600 N. Broad St.)
Everything you love about Mid-City's indie movie theater -- great snacks, mixed drinks and an intriguing slate of films -- has been translated to an outdoor sister venue, The Broadside. Live music by artists including Meschiya Lake and Happy Talk Band alternate with screenings of classic films, and most tickets are only $10.
Porch and Patio (512 Williams Blvd., Kenner)
A beer garden and music venue seemed like a novel concept when it opened in Kenner in 2017, but in COVID times, it seems absolutely prescient. A fall concert series brought live music almost nightly between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., with acts ranging from funk to Motown cover bands. No, it's not New Orleans, but Kennah Brah is close enough to count, and Porch and Patio offers its own distinctive cultural experience (seafood yacht, anyone?).
The Tigermen Den (3113 Royal St.)
Catching a socially distant porch concert feels as rare as getting struck by lightning ... you have to be in the right place at the right time. However, The Tigermen Den makes that process a little easier by offering newsletter notifications of upcoming outdoor shows. Sign up via their website and watch your inbox.
Greenway Plaza (3200 Lafitte Ave.)
The newest outdoor recreation area on the Lafitte Greenway features a stage that's open to anyone. Situated on the revitalized driveway of a former car inspection center, the plaza features art installations, native plants, and bike racks. There's no guarantee live music will be happening on the stage, unless you bring your own instrument, but the outdoor equivalent of an open mic night can be fun, too.
WWOZ's Outdoor Concert Series
WWOZ maintains a list of streaming and outdoor concerts. Check it out on its website ... there are plenty of concerts coming up at parks, museums, and courtyards citywide.
Did we miss any spots for safe, open-air concerts? Maybe you're hosting a porch concert that you'd like your favorite record store to help promote. Leave us a comment, or come by and let us know! We're open every day from 10 a.m. to midnight. See you soon, and stay safe!