May 2020’s Can’t-Miss, Sort-of Live Event & Concert Calendar
by John Andreula
Edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk
Originally published on 5280Geek.com on 5-1-20.
How are the live concert and event fanatics faring out there right now?
If you’re like us you’re suffering from some serious withdrawal not being able to attend favorite conventions, nightclubs, and concert venues, despite the cravings to sees acts and creatives in person.
Stay-at-home measures will begin gradually rescinding in May, but much remains unknown as to what in-person social gatherings will look like going forward. One thing is certain, we’ll all be less open to swapping DNA with fellow show-goers in the future.
As we all attempt to reclaim some of the previous normalcy in our lives, the event scene will be one of the last to come out for an encore from its current collective social distance hiding place.
By now many are tiring of dusty CDs, vinyl records, and even online streaming services. They only take us so far in getting our proverbial rocks off. So I’m happy to tell everyone that many creatives have begun to redefine live performance. And no surprise to the tech-savvy out there, DJs are leading the charge.
Weeks ago RZA (of Wu-Tang Clan) and DJ Premier (of Gangstarr) took to Instagram Live to “compete” in a historic DJ battle. The event was put on by the two hip hop living and although no winner was declared the event was lit.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Many other artists have set-up their own live sets from their homes and studios during quarantine. Some have even decided to make their shows regular ongoing events.
DJ Z-Trip just released a new single called Space Funk, but you may not know it from his social media presence. You’ll go pretty far down his feeds before you find mention of Space Funk. That’s because he’s killing it on live multi-hour sets every Thursday night.
DJ Jazzy Jeff—yeah that DJ Jazy Jeff— has been spinning The Magnificent House Party every Saturday at 1pm MST. It doesn’t look like he’ll be letting off the gas pedal on that anytime soon either. Find that one on Instagram Live.
The Roots’ own Questlove and 9th Wonder, formerly of Little Brother fame, have each been doing multiple night marathon sets. They both claim to have more in store for thirsty listeners over the days to come.
Cut Chemist appears to be doing shows on Sunday on Instagram as well. DJ Qbert is running a Twitch page, but tracking shows ahead of time isn’t quite as simple as viewing them. Hopefully they’ll both address that in the coming days.
Speaking of turntablists, Tony Touch, the mixtape godfather currently performs four—that’s right, FOUR—days a week on Instagram. And you’re greedy if that isn’t enough for you, but yeah there’s more.
Tony Toca will be performing Club Quarantine Presents: The Originals with D-Nice, Stretch Armstrong, Rich Medina, & Clark Kent on D-Nice’s Insta page Saturday at 1pm MST. Then he’ll heat it up some more by battling fellow Flip Squad member and the other half of the Diaz Brothers, Doo Wop, Saturday night at 6pm GST on Toca’s page.
Times and details for Tony Touch’s insane livestream schedule can be found at TonyTouch.com.
DJs aren’t the only ones spreading cheer over the fiber-wires either. . .
Yesterday Janelle Monae put on a short performance for Verizon’s Pay It Forward LIVE bi-weekly event. Previous performers included Billie Eilish, Aisha Tyler, and Alicia Keys, who seems to be everywhere while under quarantine.
Pay It Forward LIVE is scheduled for every Tuesday and Thursday night at 6pm MST.
Dan Smith, lead singer of the band Bastille, has been showing off his incredible singing voice on Insta every Sunday at 2pm MST.
He also has some other tricks up his limited contact sleeve.
Wednesday nights at 2pm, Bastille Dan hosts a film club called Distraction Tactics. Next week they’ll be discussing Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece Howl’s Moving Castle.
There’s a book club in the works as well. The first book they will be discussing is True Grit by Charles Portis. Looks like we all got some homework in the weeks ahead.
Look out for Native American musician Gabriel Ayala as he performs awesome guitar music every Monday night at 8pm MST.
Those can be found on his Facebook page.
Dan Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service has also been performing every Thursday night from his home. Hopefully that will continue through May as well.
Details on upcoming shows as well as previous livestreams are available on Ben Gibbard’s Live From Home website.
Be on the look out for more musical acts to follow suit in the coming weeks.
If you’ve turned on a computer or cell phone in April you can’t have missed all the live-broadcast festivals occurring every weekend. These dense and powerful events showcased countless artists performing from their living rooms and home studios. They also raised more than a USNS Mercy’s worth of money for the WHO and first responders.
All the performers on each of the lineups may not be for everyone, but if you check out the websites ahead of time you may just be able to figure out when some of your faves are expected to go on.
The first online festival in May is The Call To Unite.
The Call To Unite will feature live performances by Portugal. The Man, Common, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Aloe Blacc, as well as the aforementioned Questlove and DJ Jazzy Jeff, and countless other musicians, celebrities, and thinkers.
The Call To Unite begins tonight (May 1st) at 6pm MST and will run for a full twenty-four hours.
And if you’re going crazy without a bona fide live show there have been a few online fests playing back-to-back live performances from previous years. The next up of these is Shaky Knees Festival.
May 1st-3rd the Shaky Knees Festival is hosting Shaky Knees TV Virtual Weekend. There will be previously recorded concerts from Beck, Cage The Elephant, Car Seat Headrest, Tenacious D, The Head And The Heart, Portugal. The Man, and many more.
There’s sure to be many more similar festivals announced in the weeks to come. . .
Finally, it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t plug a couple of our friends for their pandemic-era online offerings as well.
DJ LowKey, the legendary Denver party-rocker, hosts a weekly show loaded with unique and incredible music. It airs every Sunday at 3pm MST on Twitch. The show’s called Goodness, and it’s titled well.
5280 Geek‘s Smurf hosts a weekly podcast called Weekend Geek Update. Each episode provides the inside scoop and dirt on anything and everything in comic book, video game, TV, and movie culture.
Sign up for notifications on 5280Geek.com to get the latest episodes of Weekend Geek Update, as well all my blatherings.
And lastly, The Wanderer editor and creative adviser Kodid Laraque-Two Elk wears many hats besides scolding me for bad grammar. One of them is as the co-host of the weekly Denver radio show Indigitness Voice.
Kodid, along with her brother and her father, delve into indigenous culture and issues from around the country. They play beautiful music by modern Native American artists throughout the show as well. This past Sunday’s show featured an in-depth interview with the incredible Arigon Starr. Arigon is the creator and artist behind Super Indian Comics.
Stream episodes live for free at KUVO Jazz Sundays at 7am MST.
And be sure to check out some of Arigon’s amazing work too.
In the wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, live-event addicts can take some solace in the fact that there are still happenings that we can participate in from the comforts of our homes. Almost all of them are free for now. . .
While many artists are trying to figure out how to tread water promoting new albums and singles, or launching Patreon accounts, others, like all those featured above, are choosing to invest in their brands by hooking fans up gratis right now.
Hopefully by June we will start thinking about what going into an arena, a stadium, or a park for an event might look like. But for now, pencil one or all of the events above into your calendars.
Due to the novel and up-to-the-minute nature of live-broadcasts, there will be many shows that we weren’t aware are happening at the time of this article’s publication. If you know of any that should have been mentioned, please hip us to them in the comments below or on the Failing Upwards Facebook page. After all, this is a community, and we’re much better together, even while we’re all apart.
Until we see you out there live, keep your heads up.
Stay geeky. . .
And always be wandering.
John Andreula is a writer and wanderer in Colorado.
More of his behind-the-scenes looks at concerts & live events can be found on Insta at:
#cantmiss #mustsee #concertcalendar #concerts #liveevents #thewanderer #quartersworth #5280geek #staygeeky