Like everything else to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of musicians livestreaming performances and events has escalated rapidly. Seeing a few Toronto artists start to experiment with pivoting their shows to platforms like YouTube and Facebook Live, Twitch and Zoom, I put out a call yesterday on Twitter for local artists’ online streams. The response was overwhelming.
After Dan Mangan’s livestreamed concert last night at an empty Danforth Music Hall, today alone (Tuesday, March 17) there are at least seven music-related panel discussions, karaoke sessions and concerts from local artists streaming live. Watch them below to keep the sense of community alive and social while distancing.
Scott Helman (3 pm EST)
Toronto pop artist Scott Helman is hosting an Instagram livestream this afternoon, playing songs and chatting with his fans. The songwriter has been teasing special guests via text message screenshots on his Instagram story: Johnny Orlando, country artist Hunter Hayes, members of the Reklaws and Walk off the Earth, Valley and more.
ToBi’s Locked In studio party (6 pm EST)
Toronto hip-hop/soul artist ToBi is hosting a studio party on Instagram live this evening, premiering some new music and performing some older tracks. He’s taking requests too. “I’mma preview new sounds and catch a vibe with y’all,” he tweeted. “Bring snacks you heard.”
Tune in on ToBi’s IG.
Come Together: COVID-19 Crisis (6 pm EST)
COVID-19 has had major effects on music, and many in the industry are feeling very anxious. This support group, led by Zack Borer, co-founder of mental health music organization Backline and Dr. Chayim Newman, co-founder of THRIV (Tour Health Research Initiative) will aim to address the anxieties, provide information and resources, and provide support. Dr. Newman will also lead a group meditation. Artists and industry folks (label, management, agents, promoters) are all invited.
To join, download zoom and click here to join: vevo.zoom.us/j/564438600. Or visit vevo.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID: 564 438 600. To join from a dial-in phone line: +1-646-876-9923 or +1-312-626-6799.
Kat Burns (7 pm EST)
Kat Burns, who makes music under the name KASHKA, is hosting the second of two solo livestreams this week. The musician decided to do these to “bring some joy and enjoyment to this week of absolute terror.” Her stream on Sunday focused on her synth and piano material, while tonight’s will focus on her guitar stuff. Watch it here.
Measha Brueggergosman’s Pop-Up Series (7 pm EST)
Canadian opera, gospel and jazz singer Measha Brueggergosman is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with her second livestreamed concert, this time featuring members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
“Like pretty much all of my colleagues, all of my upcoming concerts have been cancelled for the next few months,” says Brueggergosman. “There are so many sympathetic ripples crippling the livelihoods of those connected to the self-employed but I KNOW we will scale this mountain together just like we’ve done all the ones before it. So I thought… enough already! It’s time for some aggressive kindness. I want to bring healing… I want to continue to contribute even if I’m not in your face or on a stage. I want to be responsible with the time I’ve been gifted by finding innovative ways to move forward in this new reality. I want you to hear my voice even if we can’t be in the same room.”
Tune in on Facebook or YouTube. You can also contribute to her GoFundMe.
Pony & Pretty Matty’s Quarantine Karaoke (8 pm EST)
Sam Bielanski of Pony and her partner Pretty Matty, both power-pop musicians in Toronto, have decided to have a little bit of fun while social distancing, hosting karaoke livestreams on their Twitch channel. They’ve already done one (embedded below), which was chock full of Blink-182, Smash Mouth, Sheryl Crow and other guilty pleasures. They take requests, too.
“This is how we’ve been staying sane post-tour cancellation,” says Matty. “We usually do our YouTube karaoke in privacy but we want to be able to interact with people and feel a sense of creative community without being able to gather in person. Everyone is welcome.”
Tune in tonight at Pretty Matty’s Twitch channel.
Choir! Choir! Choir!’s Choir!ntine (8 pm EST)
Choir! Choir! Choir! are the people we turn to in the time of mourning or displacement, so why not pandemic-related social distancing? Tonight, the two Choir! song-leaders will host a “Social Distan-Sing-Along” live from their living room. Download the lyrics, tune in and sing along with your phone or your computer screen. They’ll be singing these songs (and probably more, based on chat and requests):
-Stand By Me
-You’ve Got A Friend
-Wish You Were Here
-Lean On Me
-With A Little Help From My Friends
-Friends (Theme Song)
Tune in here via Facebook.
Club Quarantine (9 pm EST)
Members of the queer collective Raven’s Vision and their friends have launched the Instagram page Club Quarantine and they’ll be throwing a virtual club night tonight with ongoing livestreamed dance sets. DJs include Casey MQ, Myst Milano, Andres Sierra and more. And they promise no age limit, so it’s not COVID-19-plus.
Tune in on Zoom here.