By Kiara Bean, Correspondent
The past several months have been very stressful for everybody around the globe because of the deadly COVID-19 virus. People are forced to stay in their homes and put their lives on pause. They cannot engage in their regular activities. Essential workers are allowed to perform their daily jobs on a regular basis, but other than that, activities like eating in restaurants, shopping at malls, meeting with friends, etc. are not allowed – or at least frowned upon.
The music industry has also been hit very hard. Singers and other musicians had to stop productions and cancel concerts, which is devastating not only for the musicians, but for the fans as well. For a while, a lot of musicians used the quarantine time as an opportunity to write new songs. But like any artist with an exciting new product, they want to share those songs with their fans. The music industry came up with a clever way to reach fans via virtual concerts using different streaming platforms such as Spotify and YouTube or even podcasts. These virtual concerts are accessible, enjoyable, and quickly became very popular among fans.
My family and I attended multiple virtual concerts which were organized through my mom’s job via a special invitation to a YouTube channel. We were lucky to be a part of three amazing virtual concerts performed by Jimmie Allen, Matt Stell, and Thompson Square. Each concert was very unique. Besides hearing the singers perform their songs, we also heard their different life stories.
Jimmie Allen’s concert was the first virtual concert we attended. Funny story: Jimmie was late for his own concert because he got stuck on a fishing boat. Besides singing his old hits, like “Make Me Want To” and “Best Shot,” Jimmie sang some new songs and some covers of other popular songs. He is a very entertaining person.
Our second concert was performed by Matt Stell. Matt shared stories about how he rose to fame and what he’s been doing during the quarantine. Besides other songs, he also played us his highly popular song “I Prayed for You”. He is a very genuine person who loves to help others.
The last concert we attended was a concert put on by Thompson Square. It is a husband and wife duo who originally met in Nashville where she wanted to be a solo artist. However, after they met, they decided to sing together, which seems to work pretty well for them. Their hits “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” and “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About” are played very often on country radio stations. Besides performing, the sweet couple shared their love story and how their life experiences reflect in their songs.
It was definitely an interesting experience to hear the artists perform through virtual concerts. However, there are pros and cons to this new format. It was a more convenient approach because we did not have to drive anywhere; we could just comfortably sit on the couch in our house and sing along to our favorite songs. Also, during regular concerts, we would not be able to hear all the stories from their personal lives, so the experience felt more intimate. On the other hand, one could argue that virtual concerts are “too quiet” because for some people, there is nothing better than being with thousands of people at a music venue where one can cheer and sing with the people standing next to them. Overall, it was very nice to attend those concerts and be able to escape from the daily stress and worries of our lives and just have fun listening to good music. We made some special memories during these crazy coronavirus times.