To tackle the Coronavirus epidemic that has spread across the globe, many countries have recently adopted social distancing measures. Numerous concerts were initially suspended due to the restrictions placed on public gatherings, then all musical events were postponed or simply cancelled altogether with the introduction of lockdowns across the world. In reaction to this unprecedented situation, easily accessible music suddenly began flooding the web. Whether it is out of solidarity or simply a way to pass the time, music provides us with an outlet to express ourselves and makes our daily routine more enjoyable.
As a result, many videos of covers and compositions have been shared across social media over the last few days, and some world-renowned artists are joining the party to offer daily performances that allow their fans and newcomers to ride out the storm while listening to music.
Lockdown concerts from French artists
In France, the musician -M- released an hour-long live performance recorded in his living room. During this acoustic session, Matthieu Chedid performed a list of tracks requested by fans and members of the -M- & Nous Facebook group. The musician was accompanied by his daughter Billie during the first 20 minutes of this intimate concert and ended the hour of music with an acoustic version of his iconic song Je Dis Aime, which was co-written with his grandmother, the poet Andrée Chedid.
Jean-Louis Aubert has also posted a live set recorded from home. On his Facebook page, the former Téléphone singer and guitarist posted an hour and a half long session during which he performed songs from his solo career as well as hits from the famous French rock band. With both his guitar and piano, the artist played a series of tracks punctuated with amusing and poignant interjections that will delight his fans.
On her Instagram account, singer Héloïse Letissier, better known as Chris or Christine and the Queens, has released several videos in which she performs her own work or covers songs by other artists. Since her first video that was posted on Monday, March 16, a 15-minute mini concert streamed from Ferber Studio, the singer has regularly posted music performances with the hashtag #ensembleàlamaison (together at home). This hashtag can be used on Facebook and Instagram to find many more performances from French artists such as DJ Abdel, Mika, Vitaa and Raphaël.
Still in France, the singer and multi-instrumentalist Calogero has also posted a video. Sitting at his piano, he played a new song titled On Fait Comme Si. Officially released on Thursday, March 26, all proceeds from the sale and rights of this new song will be donated to help support hospital staff. A wonderful gesture and a call for solidarity.
Since the beginning of the lockdown, French DJs Manu Le Malin and Laurent Garnier have added the tracks All Night Long and We Still Have Music to their respective Soundcloud pages. You can therefore enjoy several hours of music from both artists for free and from the comfort of your home with a pair of hi-fi headphones or your speakers.
The famous producer and DJ Bob Sinclar live-streams an hour-long performance every day at 2pm. You can find a themed DJ set every day on his official Facebook page or with the hashtag #ensembleàlamaison. An unmissable event for fans and for everyone looking to add a little rhythm to their daily lockdown routine.
Get ready DJ set aficionados, the Beatport music download store has announced a new event on Friday, March 27 at 9pm. In order to tackle isolation, but also to support two organizations that help the world’s poorest communities, 24 international DJs will take to their turntables from the comfort of their homes for a 24-hour live show. With Carl Cox, Nina Kravitz, French composer and DJ Agoria, German techno maestro Chris Liebing, Nicole Moudaber and Eats Everything, the Beatport ReConnect event has a line-up worthy of the biggest electronic festivals.
American producer and DJ Diplo (Major Lazer, Silk City…) also live-streams themed DJ sets from his Los Angeles home five days a week on Twitch, YouTube and Instagram. Standing at his mixing table in the dark, Diplo streams sets with different styles every day. Just because the clubs are closed doesn’t mean that you have to stop dancing!
In the United States, many artists are also taking part in this project. For example, renowned musician and audiophile Neil Young has created what he calls his Fireside Sessions. During these sessions, the folk music icon sits beside his fireplace, acoustic guitar in hand, and performs some of his most iconic songs, but also some rarely-heard tracks. A rustic live session that is ideal for staying at home and being carried away by the unique voice of this music legend.
It’s in a dressing gown and sitting at his piano that American soul musician John Legend takes part in the concept launched by Coldplay’s Chris Martin with #TogetherAtHome. In this video lasting over 50 minutes, the singer is joined by his family for a private concert with a relaxed, family night feel.
Third Man Records, the record label owned by musician Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs,…) provides live sessions recorded in their studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Much to the delight of subscribers, the label’s YouTube channel is regularly updated with live concerts recorded without an audience. Country, ambient, electronic… These concerts are for all music lovers looking to pass the time by listening to music.
For those who like to rock
If you’re looking to release some of the pent-up energy from being in lockdown by means of thundering guitars, legendary rock and metal bands have exactly what you need. American giants Metallica upload an entire concert every Monday on their YouTube channel. The first concert available for fans of the band was recorded at Slane Castle in Ireland during their 2019 tour. A two hour long performance during which the Four Horsemen revisit a body of work spanning almost 40 years.
Known for their uniquely intense performances, the American band Dropkick Murphys have never missed a St. Patrick’s Day concert in their 24-year career. This celtic-infused punk rock band had no intention of cancelling their performance scheduled for March 17, 2020 in their hometown of Boston. For close to two hours, the Dropkick Murphys performed their greatest hits on stage with all of their distinctive energy. A concert that makes you want to push all the furniture back and stretch your legs.
Combining humour and saturated guitars, the parody metal band Ultra Vomit also has a full concert on YouTube. The quatuor from Nantes, France, who are known for their zany mix of genres, delivers an hour-long performance during which they play songs from their last two albums. Have you ever wanted to hear a metal cover of French singer Carlos, a hardcore punk song about the importance of protective measures and good manners, or Rammstein singing about how much they love trucks? This band should be of interest to you.
For classical music fans
The Berlin Philharmonie concert hall has opened up its digital archive to all Internet users during the lockdown. By simply creating an account on the official website and entering the code BERLINPHIL, you can access an impressive collection of musical performances held in this spectacular hall. Discover the works of the greatest composers as if you were there.
This initiative can also be found in the United States with the Metropolitan Opera House in New-York, which provides access to high-definition performances every evening at 9:30pm (local time) on the opera’s official website. The first week, which was dedicated to German composer Richard Wagner, began on Monday, March 23 and ended on Sunday, March 29, before moving on to the work of another composer. Each video is available until 6:30pm the next day.
Under the hashtag #MardiMusique on its website and social media pages, the La Scala Paris theater provides playlists of past concerts and music from regular La Scala performers recorded from their living rooms.
Radioclassique offers a selection of online performances given during the lockdown. Available on its website, the list includes a vocal performance by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and tenor Piotr Beczala, as well as videos from pianist Igor Levit.
On March 26 in an official press release, the prestigious Moscow Bolshoi Theater announced they would be releasing a series of performances from its Golden Collection. From Friday, march 27 to April 10, the Bolshoi’s official YouTube channel will offer six shows that have taken place on this iconic Russian stage. The Swan Lake ballet will be the first, followed by the opera Boris Godunov and the ballet Sleeping Beauty, among others.
New sessions and artists every day
Every day, new artists continue to add new live sessions and suggest ideas for covers and songs. Flavia Coelho, Francis Cabrel, Tryo, Christophe Maé or Keren Ann, for example, post videos at the same time every day via their social network pages. There’s no doubt about it, music is good for the soul and makes the day go by faster and musicians from all over the world have understood this. Feel free to share your music recommendations in the comments below!