Yungblud, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Death Cab for Cutie Turn to Streaming for Coronavirus Self-Quarantine Relief
See who is putting on shows, impromptu performances and regular performance meet-ups to help get fans through COVID-19 quarantine time
After a week of festival and tour date postponement announcements across the music industry and public gathering limitations over coronavirus concerns, Yungblud had an idea to do something special for his fans.
“It started as an idea in me bedroom. I felt so trapped and if anybody knows like kind of my fanbase, it’s all about connection with each other. … It’s as important to me as going out after the shows to meet my fans as the show itself,” Yungblud told SPIN on Tuesday afternoon.
“Soon as my South American dates got canceled, I was like, ‘Right, fuck this. I’m gonna do something,’ and I was like, ‘Let’s do a live show,'” Yungblud said. “And it started as an idea that I’d just do the live show in my bedroom. And then I posted it online and shit just went crazy. My fanbase just went, ‘This is crazy,’ and it just started blowing up online and then my friends like [Machine Gun Kelly] and Bella Thorne, Oliver Tree, started hitting me up going, ‘We want to get on this.'”
Promoted over the weekend, on Monday, Yungblud put out a live show, streamed via his YouTube channel titled, Shit’s Weird Keep Calm and Carry On—part live performance, part talk show, part cooking program. “I was just like, ‘Well, I’ve always wanted to be a fucking talk show host–because I always want to do a million things at once,” he explained.
In advance of the stream, he started a hashtag topic on Twitter—#TheYungBludShow, asking fans to share their pics and moshing-from-home videos during the event. Fans, though, took their creativity to another level early creating an online, live concert vibe. “People were literally hashtagging #TheYungbludShow two days before, pretending they were camping out to get to [the] barrier, ’cause that’s what they do at my shows,” he said.
The event kicked off at 10 am ET/7 am PT on Monday and has so far been viewed almost 330,000 times. Yungblud, who released the Hope For The Underrated Youth EP last October, organized Monday’s YouTube stream as a way to keep connected.
“The world is very, very weird right now and a lot of people are very scared and a lot are frightened and we just wanted to give people an escape for a couple of hours and it was just amazing,” Yungblud said.
Other music artists have also been coming to the entertainment aid of those stuck sheltering in place, self-quarantine and social distancing–and the anxiety that goes along with those things.
Coldplay’s Chris Martin took to Instagram Live on Monday, playing songs solo (since the British band is all “stuck in different countries,” he noted) as part of something dubbed #TogetherAtHome. “And who knows, maybe tomorrow someone else will take it over,” Martin said of the just-launched series, which John Legend later announced plans to carry the torch. During Martin’s set, he took requests from fans and played portions of songs including “Yellow,” “A Sky Full of Stars,” “Clocks,” and “Viva La Vida.” Martin also shared some stories behind Coldplay songs (and at one point a David Bowie song) and very briefly teased new material (“We have a new song, which I’m not supposed to talk about, so I won’t”). The frontman noted the idea for #TogetherAtHome came about last Friday, and he suggested fans get more information on coronavirus on the Global Citizen website.
Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard announced that he’s set to do a regular series at 7PM ET/4 PM PT daily (starting Tuesday), which will stream on Facebook. “For the next few weeks I will be playing songs everyday from my home studio,” he wrote. “We’re still working out the details but I’m hoping to take some requests and maybe even have a guest or two stop by digitally. The first show will be tomorrow. It will assuredly be a little wonky and glitchy but we’re gonna do our best.”
Christine and the Queens launched a live music series on Monday via Instagram. “Let’s meet everyday around 6pm EST on my Instagram. I’ll find a way to deal with the ENNUI. Guests and weird concepts included,” Héloïse Letissie captioned her live video that included a hauntingly beautiful live performance of “People, I’ve Been Sad.” She also amused fans doing some pushups in her bespoke suit during the first installment, and at the end promised to do continue the series “every day – every day until this gets better.”
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Juste comme ça, vers 18 heures, parce que c’est assez joli de se donner un rendez-vous ensemble chaque jour pour tromper l’ennui. Concepts douteux et invités mystère sont à prévoir dans les jours qui viennent. Courage et prenez soin de vous #ensembleàlamaison Let’s meet everyday around 6pm CET on my Instagram. I’ll find a way to deal with the ENNUI. Guests and weird concepts included. Today : @bastien__d @_melissambre_ @vincent.taurelle
J Mascis posted a brief Instagram performance on his Instagram Monday and Tuesday, in honor of those in Northern Italy, where folks have been quarantined. “In solidarity to Bella Italia and all the docs, nurses and healthcare workers. Singing & Playing music at 6 pm. This is an old chant for world peace and happiness,” he wrote.
Traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebrations may have been canceled, but the Dropkick Murphys announced a livestream concert from Boston on Tuesday. “We hope you and your families are doing well during this trying time… For the first time in 24 years, we are not playing on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The current world situation is the ONLY thing that would ever stop us from doing so… So we came up with an idea we’re going to pull off this Tuesday – the night of St. Patrick’s Day… We’re going to bring a DKM LIVESTREAM CONCERT to EVERYONE – ALL OVER THE WORLD!!” the band wrote on its website, noting the stream would be available on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook Live at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT.
Neil Young, who took part in the digital rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Monday night, also revealed he has his own plans for some “Fireside Sessions.” On his Neil Young Archives the same day, he announced plans to try and do a stream, filmed by his wife, next to his fireplace. The first installment will be announced soon on the NYA website.
Bono hopped on Instagram from Dublin on Tuesday, also offering a little musical relief. “For the Italians who inspired it… for the Irish… for ANYONE who this St. Patrick’s day is in a tight spot and still singing. For the doctors, nurses, carers on the front line, it’s you we’re singing to,” he wrote.
Indigo Girls announced they’d be performing a streaming set on Thursday, March 19 at 6 pm EST on Facebook Live. “The heart-wrenching moment we made the decision to cancel our shows scheduled for March and April was the moment we knew we wanted to play a free livestream show. People are feeling scared, isolated, uncertain, and unmoored. For the public good, we all have to do our part not to gather in person, but we can still play music, and we are really looking forward to connecting with you on Facebook and playing a low-key, homegrown set of songs and talking to people directly through Q&A,” Amy Ray and Emily Saliers said in a statement.
Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody asked for requests on Twitter for the acoustic set he will perform on Instagram this Thursday. “I’ll do the most requested songs on this show and then do more shows to play the rest. Loads of love to you all,” he tweeted on the band’s account.
Charli XCX announced she too will partake in a new series of daily “self-isolating” Instagram livestreams. Guests who have been announced so far include artists like Diplo, Clairo, Rita Ora and more. Check her Instagram for set times.
Rufus Wainwright is doing a series called #MusicalEverydays, which sees him post a video of him performing a song from home daily.
“In these dire times, I want to share some music with you all from the warmth and comfort of our home in Los Angeles. Hopefully you’re at your homes with your loved ones as well. We have to stay positive and I feel that music and art are a large part of what gets us through times like these,” he wrote on Instagram on Tuesday, announcing the song series.
Not a performance, but Liam Gallagher will do a text Q&A on YouTube on Thursday on a page for his upcoming release Liam Gallagher: MTV Unplugged, due out April 24 on Warner Records.
Jack White’s Third Man Records is doing daily live-streamed performances that are being dubbed Third Man Public Access. They’ll stream every day at 12 PM CT on the label’s YouTube channel. The first installment, featuring pedal steel player Luke Schneider, is up now.