Updated: May 16
If you’re reading this post, you’re probably really missing live performances. Either it’s been a while, or you’re reading this in 2020 (maybe even 2021) when concerts aren’t happening out of necessity for public safety. Have no fear. You’re not alone. As the live music industry comes to a grinding halt, many music fans are feeling lost and frustrated by the uncertainty of when concerts will return. While many states are reopening, most concert venues aren’t. So, what can a person who thrives from the joy and adrenaline that comes with attending a concert do in a time when concerts aren’t permitted? The short answer? Adapt. Here are five ways we’ve found that you can get the live experience without having to leave your home. While the ways listed are alternatives, we acknowledge that none can quite meet the incredible experience of seeing a live show. But they may at least mend some of the pain from missing the real thing.
1 | Live Streams
Just because in-person concerts aren’t happening, doesn’t mean musicians have stopped playing in real-time. With the option to perform for hundreds to thousands of people right in front of them off the table, many musicians have turned to live streaming to perform. While at first many musicians stuck to acoustic sets performing by themselves, some have expanded to include other band members playing together from their respective homes. Some bands took the experience a step further. Progressive rock band Dance Gavin Dance organized an album release show to buy tickets to access the stream. In the space of the location, it just read, “The Internet.” They had a virtual meet and greet then cut to them performing a full set in an empty room with a full stage and light set up, making fans feel like they were actually in the crowd watching it in person.
With so many smart TVs having the ability to cast from a phone or access web apps, it has made it easier to stream a live show from a big screen to help you feel like you’re actually there.
2 | Concert DVDs/Documentaries
Maybe none of your favorite artists are riding the livestream train. No worries. Another great way to experience live shows from home is through concert DVDs or documentaries. Live performances recorded in big city shows or festivals have been put on video or DVD to watch for decades. Why not pop one in and pretend you’re there? Hint: It will be a lot easier to imagine yourself there if you shut all the lights off and stand up like you’re at the show. Your roommates may look at you funny, but these are desperate times!
3 | Personal Concert Videos
Have you ever had someone roll their eyes or make fun of you for taking a video of a performance that you’re attending? Well, we’re sure all those people aren’t laughing now because those videos are now windows into what used to be. Personal concert videos are sometimes laughed at because the quality isn’t always great, and the person isn’t fully present for the show. Yet now when there are no shows to be present at, these concert videos are all there is. For someone who’s really missing live performances, all they have to do to experience some of the moments again is to pull out their phones. It’s not quite the same, but when you have so little to pull from, the smallest crumbs can be fulfilling.
4 | YouTube
This way is similar to the concert DVD way, but instead of watching a professionally edited version sold by the band, you can watch videos or performances recorded by other people. Even if you’ve never seen an artist or band, it’s very easy to search for a live concert video from them on YouTube. If you aren’t the type to take your own videos at concerts, this might be the best way to get those experiences to hold you over until concerts come back.
5 | Create Your Own
Obviously, of all the choices, this is the least realistic. But it can be the most fun! Put on your favorite artist. Crank up the stereo. Put on your concert outfit. Then jam out! Bonus points if you play a live concert album so there’s applause to help create the ambiance.
We may not be able to attend shows, but we still have our imaginations and our memories. While none of these options compare to the real thing, in a time when there are few alternatives, these are the best options. Hopefully, one of these ways helps partly fill the concert-shaped hole in your heart. Have no fear! Your next concert will come. Until then, do whatever helps you get by.