Patti Smith announces virtual birthday performance
Like so many things in 2020, Patti Smith's annual birthday concert is going virtual this year. The show happens December 30 at 9 PM via VEEPS, and will be the first time she's played with her band since COVID hit. (She did play a solo show on Black Friday.) "I just thought it would be nice to uphold that tradition in a certain way because it’s always a joyful moment,” Smith told Rolling Stone.
In the interview with Rolling Stone, Patti said she didn't want this to try to feel like a concert. Instead, she and her band will play in the studio, shot by filmmaker Steven Sebring who made 2008 documentary Patti Smith: Dream of Life. “Doing it with the band, we have half a century of camaraderie," Patti told RS. "We’re all people who care about each other. I’m not going into a stream thinking about the absence of the people; I would go into a stream thinking that we’re all with each other. It’s not like I’m like a rock star and they’re like fans. We’re all people looking to have a transcendent experience to feel good, hopeful and energized. I know that’s somewhat of a challenge, but we’ll certainly do it the best we can. When people have to pay, whether that’s $2 or $10, you have a job to give whatever you have to give to the people giving you their time and resources.”
Patti also tells Rolling Stone she's been doing a lot of writing during the pandemic. “I like to write when I’m in motion. I’m a real traveler. I rarely stay in one place very long,” she says. “So to be in one place for eight months at a time is something I haven’t done really since my children have grown. And so my world has become even more internalized than usual.”
Patti's virtual birthday performance will not be available for rewatch and tickets (on sale now) will remain available through the first 20 minutes of the show. She told Rolling Stone that she's not against doing more of these, though. Stay tuned.
Smith and guitarist Lenny Kaye also took to the streets of NYC to play "People Have the Power" during the election last month.