Well friends, here we are, a couple of weeks deep into quarantine. How are you holding up? I’m calling this virus “The Mood Swinger” because these ups and downs are somethin’ serious. Thankfully, artists and musicians from around the world are keeping our spirits lifted with their home-cooked creativity. Many of our faves seem to be feeling the freedom of getting back to basics. Without expectations from any paying audience, their pure love of music takes the virtual stage as many artists cover their own favorite songs from home – and it’s a real fun time. It’s cool to see musicians covering other artists and adding their own flair to the musical melting pot. From iconic classics to the newer songs of their contemporary peers, these artist covers and live streams continue to remind us how valuable unity and community are to our humanity. We’re all connected, especially in the music we share and love. Here are a few performances that made us get up and dance, or brought us to a tearful release. We’re feeling better now.
Chris Martin of Coldplay kicked things off as part of Global Citizen’s #TogetherAtHome series, a live stream on Instagram that gathered people from all over the world. Chris gave us candid performances of our favorite Coldplay songs, including my personal fave “O” from the album Ghost Stories. His whole energy was laid back and we loosened up as we laughed along with him from our couch.
James Blake came through with an hour-long IG Live performance of his original songs and a few gorgeous covers, including Frank Ocean, Bill Withers (rest in power to the legend himself) and Billie Eilish. Watch the full performance of James and his trusty piano-companion.
Our groovy guitar buddy Tom Misch covered Solange’s “Cranes In The Sky” in a sunshine-soaked performance from his backyard. It’s a soothing instrumental take on Solange’s masterpiece. More recently, Tom performed a mash-up between Luther Vandross’s “Never Too Much” and Mac Miller’s “What’s the Use?” Now this one definitely has us dancing in our pajamas.
Hiatus Kaiyote is hosting live stream concerts over on their Patreon. It’s a $5 cover to join their community, which is a really wonderful way to support these artists while all in-person concert tours are on hold. Recently, lead singer and guitarist Nai Palm performed a new song. I’m not sure of the official title, but the lyric “The Bees In My Heart Make Honey For Me” is giving me heart flutters. Tell your friends and meet up in the virtual space for their next concert.
Miss Erykah Badu is taking quarantine concerts to the next level with her Apocalypse Series. She and her band showed out in Apocalypse One, giving life to the Badu classic records we’ve come to love and count on for comfort. It’s especially sweet to see their free-flowing jam energy in full effect. Watch this clip from the first concert in preparation for Apocalypse Two, streaming live today, Sunday April 5 on https://stream.baduworldmarket.com/. Just a $2 entrance fee and it’s sure to be funky. See you there!
We’re also seeing innovative solutions to keeping music festivals alive in the COVID-19 climate. The UnCancelled Music Festival is hosting over 300 artists (including our childhood love Colbie Caillat) via live stream, every day. Tune in to the set of your choosing. MTV is also sharing artist performances on their Instagram page in a series called #MTVUnpluggedAtHome.
Check out more live streams, compiled by Rolling Stone for your viewing pleasure.