8 new concert streams we recommend that you can watch now
Given the lack of concerts as we know them, the music world has pivoted to livestreams, tons of which happen every single day. We do our best to let you know when they're happening, but it's obviously not always possible to watch them all when they air. Thankfully, a lot of them get archived and are rewatchable whenever you please. We've rounded up a select few streamed concerts that we really love from the past month or so, which we recommend watching if you haven't already. Read on for our picks, in no particular order...
Moses Sumney - 'Live from Planet Afropunk'
A great live performance can make you fall even more in love with a great album, which is one of the many reasons that the lack of live music this year is so painful. Still, we've seen a few artists get really creative with livestreams and pull off that feat virtually -- Moses Sumney is one of those artists. For his Planet Afropunk performance, he drove a truck out to the middle of a gorgeous area in the mountains, his ace band appeared virtually via the screen on truck, and Moses gave a jaw-dropping performance. Instead of trying to replicate the concert experience, he took the opportunity to do something he'd never be able to do on stage, and the results are as stunningly unique as this year's græ. [Andrew Sacher]
Run The Jewels - 'Holy Calamavote'
Ahead of Election Day, Run The Jewels did their first live performance since releasing their excellent album RTJ4. The performance was an Adult Swim and Ben & Jerry's presented, Eric Andre-hosted livestream called Holy Calamavote, and it was intended to inspire voter turnout and raise money for the ACLU. As of this post, they've raised over $22,000 and you can still donate.
Killer Mike, El-P, and DJ Trackstar performed the new album in full, and they were joined virtually by several of the album's guests on the big screen behind them (including Zack de la Rocha, Josh Homme, Mavis Staples, Pharrell, 2 Chainz, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, and Cochemea), and in person by Gangsta Boo and Greg Nice. They did the performance in an empty venue with a full light show (and other visuals like fake snow during "Walking In the Snow"), and they really gave it their all, performing as if there was an IRL crowd to feed off of. [A.S.]
Fontaines D.C. - 'A Night at Montrose, Dublin'
Fontaines D.C.'s new album A Hero's Death is a marked improvement from their (also very good) 2019 debut album, and with the Irish group's live reputation it's been a real shame they haven't been able to be out playing it in front of crowds. They did play a livestream release show back in August where they performed the album in full, plus a few first album faves. Set up in Dublin's RTE Studios with drapes, flowers and bare bulb lamps providing atmosphere and psychedelic projections behind them, the band sound great playing some of these tracks live for the first time ever. Since the livestream aired, Fontaines D.C. have been sharing tracks from it, with more added weekly. [Bill Pearis]
Jeff Rosenstock - 'LIVE* FROM THE GARDEN**'
Jeff Rosenstock released his excellent new album NO DREAM not long after global lockdown ensued, and though he did several solo livestreams since then, we didn't get to see the Jeff Rosenstock band perform the new material together until they tore it up on Seth Meyers recently. That ended up leading to an entire full-band set, which streamed over the weekend and which can be watched and rewatched now or whenever you please. It's free, but the band is taking donations if you'd like to help support them in these tour-less times.
Like the Seth Meyers performance, 'Jeff Rosenstock Live* from the Garden**' ("*pre-recorded, **not THAT garden") was filmed at frequent Jeff Rosenstock producer Jack Shirley's Atomic Garden studio, and while most of the band was there in person, bassist John DeDomenici was (very convincingly!) there via green screen. Their nine-song set included seven of the new album's songs, plus older faves "Hey Allison!" and "Pash Rash," and like on Seth Meyers, they ripped. [A.S.]
The Suicide Machines - 'Devil's Night Spooktacular'
Detroit ska-punks The Suicide Machines put out their first album in 15 years, Revolution Spring, just as the world was going into lockdown, and they never got to support with any live shows. That's especially a shame, because not only does the album rival TSM's classics, but it's one of the best punk records released this year. And with incisive songs about police brutality, climate change, and the Flint water crisis, as well as some deeply personal material, this album has continued to resonate throughout the chaos of 2020. Though we're still bummed we can't see them live this year, their Devil's Night stream is the next best thing. They played a full set on a real stage on the eve of Halloween, with a vivid light show, Halloween decorations galore, and the band members all in creepy costumes. They sounded as good as they looked, with 26 songs including nine from the new album, killer covers of Black Flag's "Fix Me" and The Damned's "Anti Pope," and plenty of classics like "New Girl," "High Anxiety," "Break the Glass," "S.O.S.," "Islands," "Too Much," and more. It's free to watch, but the band are using the opportunity to help raise money for their hometown venue Small's Bar (donate via PayPal: Smallsbardetroit@gmail.com). [A.S.]
Teenage Halloween - 'Hallowstream'
NJ punks Teenage Halloween's Don Giovanni-released self-titled debut album is one of our favorite punk debuts of the year so far, so we were thrilled to help present their album release/Halloween party livestream. And if you missed it live, you can now watch it whenever. The band performed live in studio (recorded and filmed by RBBC Radio), and they sounded as sharp as they do on the album, really reminding you that Teenage Halloween played no tricks in the studio; the great band you hear on the album is the same one you get live.
Little Hag opened (watch their set here), and Teenage Halloween are taking donations (via Venmo: @teenagehalloween) to help support Black & Pink, "an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and 'free world' allies who support each other." [A.S.]
Desire Marea - 'NEZIMAKADE: Live at Alliance Française Ethekwini'
Genre-defying South African artist Desire Marea blends dance music, jazz, glitch, pop, noise, Afrobeat, ambience and more on this year's fantastic Desire, and he and a new band of first-time collaborators brought those songs to life with this livestreamed concert from Alliance Française in Durban, South Africa. They performed outside in the grass, with white sheets as a makeshift backdrop, and they did a terrific 34-minute set that included various tracks from the album plus one new song, "Mfula" (which comes in around the 20-minute mark). It's hard to believe this was the first time Desire's band played together, considering how much chemistry they all had and how insanely tight they sounded, and they were matched in intensity by Desire's remarkable voice. [A.S.]
Phoebe Bridgers - 'Live from Troubador (#SOSFEST)'
Save Our Stages' virtual festival last month featured over 30 artists performing from empty independent venues throughout the country, to benefit NIVA's Emergency Relief Fund, which provides aid to struggling venues. The festival already raised nearly $2 million, and they're still collecting money, through April of 2021; you can donate while you watch videos from it, including this Phoebe Bridgers set, streamed from The Troubadour in Los Angeles. Under mood lighting, and clad in matching skeleton onesies, she and her band perform a set made up largely of songs from her great 2020 album Punisher, and Conor Oberst joins them for "Halloween" and Better Oblivion Community Center's "Dylan Thomas." [Amanda Hatfield]
Browse our 'Livestream' tag for many, many more.