Photo credit: Conde Nast
Photo credit: Conde Nast

Virtual Shows

By Astrid Ortega

The adrenaline of live shows, the bittersweet feeling walking out of the venue, the connection you feel as you watch an artist who not only you love, but everyone around you loves. It’s a feeling and memory that is missed. Due to COVID-19, many artists have cancelled their tours and postponed their shows, which has disappointed fans and concert goers. 

In the beginning of quarantine, many artists decided to do live streams for their fans. Whether it be on Instagram or Twitch, they put on mini shows for people to tune into. Artist Alex G did an Instagram live on his own page for his fans and later did an Instagram live on Pitchforks Instagram, where over 1,000 people viewed it. 

In a way, it gives an advantage to artists to be able to reach all their fans and perform for more people than they intended to but it isn’t really the same. As an example: I tuned into all of Alex G’s live streams but was still disappointed about not being able to go see him in person like I had planned to. 

That disappointment isn’t going to go away for many fans but it’s just something we have to adjust to. The music industry is trying their best to adjust as well by having more virtual concerts. It’s a new challenge for the music industry and a new challenge for music lovers. 

Pitchfork recently had a virtual festival where you could watch it at home or if you lived in the LA area, they had a drive in at Hotel Figueroa where you could watch the livestream from your car. The livestream consisted of past performances from their own Pitchfork Music Festival that happens every summer. Pitchfork deemed these past performances as the best, leading their virtual festival to be named, “The Best of Pitchfork Festival.” 

This was an exciting experience for many who loved the artists as some of the footage played was very rare and some artists had special introductions. The twist they added with the drive-in was also exciting for many who live in LA and got to have their own concerts in their car. 

88rising also had a virtual festival this May called ASIA RISING FOREVER. The livestream consisted of various Asian artists who pre-recorded their three performances in their home. Just like Pitchfork, after the livestream was done it was uploaded to YouTube. 

It’s an interesting take on how fast these performances seem to feel. You don’t get much of the anxious excitement waiting for the band to set up or the thrill of the lights turning off as the artist approaches the stage. So many aspects of live shows have disappeared as virtual shows have made it hard to even feel connected to the artist playing or get an experience out of it. 

And even as things get postponed some artists haven’t rescheduled their tours and some have rescheduled too soon that the likelihood it will happen is low. Everything is unpredictable but the good thing about quarantine is that artists have had the time to work creatively on their music so when the time comes, their shows are going to be crazy good.