Snarky Puppy performs at the North Beach Bandshell.
Photo by Stella K
March is typically Miami’s busiest month of musical programming, but the threat of the novel coronavirus has transformed the city's high season into an industrywide death rattle. The domino effect began with the postponement of Ultra Music Festival, followed by a well-intended message from Miami Beach that it was "business as usual" for visiting spring breakers. A travel ban from Europe to the United States was announced shortly thereafter, halting the influx of DJs who travel from around the world to annually soundtrack Miami Music Week shows and events.
Following the announcement of curfews imposed on nonessential Miami businesses, the lights have gone out for the foreseeable future at many of the Magic City's hottest spots. But just because venues have gone silent doesn't mean artists and concertgoers have to as well: While many people ignored medical and political officials' pleas to implement social-distancing measures over the weekend, a sect of music aficionados indulged in what will surely be the first of many so-called couch tour evenings from the comfort of their homes. Stocked up with snacks and wine, nightlife patrons traded sweaty dance-floor misadventures for livestreams broadcasted by their favorite artists, who are having just as difficult a time during this madness as anyone else.
New Times has rounded up five of its favorite livestreamed sets from last weekend. Get cozy, because these sorts of shows might be the only way we'll be able to enjoy live music for the foreseeable future.
Maceo Plex - After Dark
House and techno sound sculptor Maceo Plex was originally slated to debut the multisensory experience of M³ — an amalgamation of his primary musical moniker and aliases Maetrik and Mariel Ito — with electronic music promoter Insomniac Events’ underground brand Factory93 at the El Pueblo Historical Monument in Los Angeles. Instead, he and fellow dance-floor pro Doc Martin teamed up to DJ a three-hour private set dubbed Maceo Plex - After Dark.
Jeremy Olander Presents Vivrant at the Lockdown
Swedish DJ and producer Jeremy Olander has showcased his Vivrant imprint at a variety of unique locations, including but not limited to a proper castle and even the wide-open sea. But the house-music purveyor took a different tack last Saturday and instead urged fans to listen in while they "stay home and have fun." The impressive five-hour livestream offered appearances from the label head himself, along with Axel Boman, Joel Mull, Molø, and Dana Bergquist.
Jong Metropole Plays Snarky Puppy
Members of the Grammy-winning jazz and funk ensemble Snarky Puppy — which many local music fans know as the brains behind the North Beach-based GroundUp Music Festival — had been scheduled to play alongside longtime collaborators Jong Metropole over the weekend. A unique joint effort among the Metropole Orkest, the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, and the National Jazz Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, the Amsterdam-based Jong Metropole trains young musicians dedicated to pursuing a career in classical music. However, since travel restrictions and worldwide health crises prevented the collaborative groups from coming together, the orchestra instead arranged for livestreamed tribute performance to the jam band straight from their studio.
Rampage Radio - Live from Pendulum Studios
Even one of the largest drum 'n' bass-oriented music festivals in the world, Belgium's Rampage Open Air, wasn't immune from the harm posed by the novel coronavirus. The hard-hitting music gathering has been postponed until September 2020, but in the meantime, Australian electronic-rock outfit Pendulum Trinity hosted a livestream of performances by acts that had been scheduled for the fest. Broadcasting from Pendulum Trinity's London studio on Rampage Radio, the four-and-a-half-hour video presented sets from Matrix and Futurebound as well as Delta Heavy and Koven. It was a much-needed dose of whomps and wobbles at a time when the world is short on them.
Live From Out There Stream Series Kickoff With Bands Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Goose
Entertainment company 11E1even Group and pay-per-view streaming site nugs.tv partnered to launch the livestream series Live From Out There, offering digital music content during the COVID-19 outbreak. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which provides assistance to musicians and music industry workers who have suffered a loss of income owing to the pandemic. The series began with a concert by jam bands Pigeons Playing Ping Pong and Goose, which recently had to postpone the Southeast dates of their shared Presto Tour. Although the full gig is no longer available on Facebook — there are, however, still shows airing at nugs.tv — let's hope more artists will keep up the good work of organizing livestreams for worthy causes.
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Jaime Sloane is a Denver-based freelance journalist who specializes in music coverage and storytelling. Since graduating from University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications in 2014, her work has been published in the print and online versions of Grammy.com, Miami New Times, DJ Mag, SF Weekly, and DJ Times.