The Show Goes On

November 29th, 2020Posted by Nancy

John and Exene get the band back together and make some noise.

We see a fair bit of live music, mostly because we have subscriptions to three different series (one classical on Sunday afternoons, one modern music series, and one mix of everything from Bach interpretations to a tribute to Frank Zappa). In 2019, I counted 22 shows on the calendar.

Needless to say, 2020 has not looked at all the same. By March, after having seen 4 shows, everything started getting cancelled, first for Spring 2020 and then for Fall 2020 and then the entire 2020/2021 seasons. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to pull the plug on concerts that had been planned and booked two years earlier, leaving the organizations and artists without funding during a pandemic.

The first show we saw in the new world was in April. Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Slean broadcast via Zoom from her living room for a $7 fee, with donations to charity. In May, the Crow’s Theatre partnered with Gare de L’est restaurant to deliver a mostly prepped dinner and wine before a Zoom preview of a new musical based on The Master and Margarita. (We’ve since done two more shows this way, resulting in excellent meals – with leftovers – and an amazing performance of the play Ghost Quartet.)

We tried watching things on Facebook Live, but couldn’t bear the endless stream of hearts and comments. But then, in August, we discovered Mandolin, a service that works with musicians to livestream their shows from studios or clubs. It skews heavily to singer-songwriters, but that’s right up our alley, so we’ve now bought three-show packages featuring Shawn Colvin, John Doe, Richard Thompson, and Emmylou Harris. We’ll have a lot of Christmas shows this year.

We’ve also seen the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour (both the one cancelled in March and the one for the upcoming season), several flamenco shows, and a beautiful performance by Mary Chapin Carpenter from Wolf Trap. So far, we’re up to 19 performances with 5 more to come.

It’s not the same as live – but it does allow for easy bathroom breaks, a glass of wine or two, and very comfy seating. Our musical diet is lacking in the string quartets and other classical music that used to form a major part of our attendance, so that’s the next thing to investigate.

Not sure when we’ll next see a loud rock and roll band at the Music Hall though.

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