Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

Live Music: Now Playing At A Quarantined Couch Near You

COVID-19 Couch Concerts

Bars and music venues across the country have shuttered their doors to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, but many musicians are still finding ways to perform during the pandemic through livestream shows being called "COVID-19 Couch Concerts." With gigs and tours postponed or canceled, performers have turned to impromptu live shows on the internet.

Brendan Dekievit decided to start a facebook page where artists from Montana and beyond could schedule and perform live streaming sets. He wanted one place that could act like a stage, or an internet venue.

"I just wanted to give performers an outlet still. Everybody’s kind of stir crazy. So despite the fact that they’re not able to go out and make money and perform live, they can still gain fans and stay relevant."

On the Couch Concerts page, musicians jam out from their bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. Dekievit says making all the shows live helps keep some of the vulnerability and raw feeling of being at a concert.

Lee Calvin in Red Lodge was one of the first to perform on the Facebook page after his band, Calvin and the Coal Cars had to postpone their album release show indefinitely.

"I actually got really nervous before we did it, which I don't tend to get nervous before shows anymore. And then the response was really fun. We didn't know what to expect. But we had, over the course of those two shows, several hundred people tune in and listen to us. And on top of that we had several donations and sold a few albums as well."

A screen capture from a COVID-19 Couch Concert featuring Calvin and the Coal Cars.
A screen capture from a COVID-19 Couch Concert featuring Calvin and the Coal Cars.

Calvin says he’s lost about 50 percent of his income from canceled gigs, and that’s something online donations can’t make up for. But as everyone in the music industry, from venue owners to stage techs to tour bus drivers, takes a financial hit, Calvin is looking on the bright side.

"The silver lining in this whole thing is that we do have all of these weekend nights that are all of a sudden available, and nothing else to do. I think we're gonna see a big spurt of, maybe, unplanned albums coming out over the next few months. And let's utilize that time to do what we're supposed to be doing, and that's creating music."

The audio includes snippets from the live sets by Calvin and the Coal Cars, Hardwood Heart, Tony Horton, and Buddy Duke.

Maxine is the All Things Considered host and reporter for MTPR. She got her start at MTPR as a Montana News intern. She has also worked at KUNC in Northern Colorado and for Pacific Standard magazine as an editorial fellow covering wildfire and the environment.
Maxine graduated from the University of Montana with a master's degree in natural resource journalism and has a degree in creative writing from Vassar College. When she’s not behind the microphone you can find Maxine skiing, hiking with her not-so-well-behaved dogs, or lost in a book.
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information
Related Content