Must-watch virtual Christmas concerts: Support local artists for free
Since the season’s upon us, COVID-19 restrictions are perhaps hitting hardest. So many of us come together and celebrate in large gatherings each December. This year, lighting of community Christmas trees, door-to-door carolling, and holiday parties have all been put on hold. Live music has been hit hardest, with the Nutcracker Ballet and NYC’s famous Rockettes both being forced to exist as live streams this year.
Virtual concerts have sprung up since lockdown began in the U.S. in March, with acts like K-pop idols BTS livestreaming performances of their hits on scheduled performance dates. These have continued into the holiday season, with many acts providing performances with a Christmas theme. Country fans rejoiced in attending Carrie Underwood’s free performance of her Christmas album, “My Gift,” earlier this week, and it is still available for free (if you have an HBO Max subscription).
Here are some more virtual Christmas concerts you can enjoy to keep holiday spirits bright this year.
The Lang Lang International Music Foundation will be hosting a virtual concert with big names from Wyclef Jean to Sam Smith, as well as concert pianist Lang Lang himself, on Saturday, Dec. 12th on YouTube for free. The holiday concert is called “Reaching Dreams Through Music” and will serve to provide donations to the Lang Lang International Music Foundation which serves to make musical education better available to students of all walks of life.
A classic rock Christmas
Renowned folk star Bonnie Raitt will be performing alongside ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, amongst others for the Arhoolie Foundations “60 Years of Arhoolie” Thursday Dec. 10th at 8pm on YouTube. The concert will host an array of performances and will serve to receive donations to the Arhoolie Foundation, which works to celebrate and preserve the history of Blues music, and support its performers.
Gen X & Gen Z alike are certain to applaud the “Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays” concert Dec. 11th at 8pm. The show will stream on YouTube & TikTok and will also feature Zoomer idols Billie Ellish & Taylor Swift, among a star-studded list of performers. The concert will be accepting donations to prevent youth homelessness.
However, these big acts aren’t the only performers struggling to reach audiences this holiday season, and there are plenty of independent and smaller label acts to support with great live streams in the upcoming weeks. We might not be able to feel the bass rattling our bones in person, but we can enjoy the live action from the comfort of our homes, and best of all, it’s free!
Philadelphia’s infectious alt-country frontman Roger Harvey will be performing his annual Roger Harvey & Family Holiday Show via live-stream on December 19th at 8pm on YouTube for free.
The concert will include a slew of surprise guests, some Christmas favorites, and is accepting donations that will go to support NIVA, an organization providing support to independent venues to keep them alive during this hard time. What could be more in line with the spirit of giving?
Christmas on Twitch
Twitch has also shown itself to be a valuable resource for independent artists’ live-stream concerts this holiday season.
Allston, Massachusetts label Disposable America is hosting a livestream with its roster of catchy indie-pop acts like Honeycutt and Cave People performing festive tunes on Twitch.Tv/disposableamerica Sunday Dec. 20th at 8pm. It, too, will be accepting donations, in this case for its local food bank via Venmo.
During this holiday season indoors, we may not be able to do the “Jingle Bell Rock” in person with strangers & loved ones alike, but we can still get the live music experience at home. Tune into these shows, and if you’re feeling the Holiday spirit, donate to some great causes. Most importantly, by simply opening these shows on our devices, we can support local artists in what’s perhaps their greatest time of need!