Live-streamed sets: An adequate replacement for gigs in lockdown?

Image by dlonrax from Pixabay

It’s a Monday evening and I’m kicking back after work at the gig of one of my favourite up-and-coming artists and pop princess Ailsha Davey. Except, I’m alone, in bed wearing pyjamas. Gone is the pint from my hand replaced with a cup of decaffeinated tea (god forbid I hit the caffeine after 3 pm and end up awake past midnight).

It’s not the same I’ll admit, but the sound quality’s great, and Ailsha and her producer Luke play a blinder. It’s thoroughly enjoyable, bops are had, I sing along without fear of embarrassment and my head hits the pillow at 10 pm.

I’ll admit that the first live-streamed gig I saw at the start of the pandemic was Denise Chaila for Other Voices at the National Concert Hall. It was quite the special one not only for her banging lyrics and stage presence but also the incredible location and filmography. It took place while we were all in the dark (or in denial) about how long this pandemic would last. And to be honest, it set the bar high for online gigs to come.

I spoke to singer James Lonergan, previously the frontman of prog-rock band Synk, who went solo last year, and asked him about being on the other side- playing a gig to be livestreamed without an audience.

It varies… I’ve done one or two of the live streams on Instagram to promote certain things… I found I didn’t necessarily enjoy them too much. I did one in Sin É. I did a pre-recorded performance that was then debuted live-premiered on YouTube, and I really enjoyed that because I got to be in a venue and be on the stage again so that was really nice. I got a nice live performance and some content from it, but that’s something I would’ve enjoyed, either way, had there been a pandemic or not.

The past year made space for a lot of creativity and innovation, and it’s exciting to think of how this will translate into the real world post-pandemic (if such a thing exists). As James says,

There has been a lot of creative ingenuity born out of the monotony of the last year. Beforehand we did take for granted what the gig was and there were a lot of s*&! gigs happening. But I’m looking forward to the opportunity to create an atmosphere again.

What gigs have you attended in the last year? Leave a comment below.

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