Covid drastically shrunk opportunities to enjoy art in person this year. But if there’s a silver lining to the pause in concerts, tours and gigs, it’s so many artists making their work available to watch at home.
Whether it’s full blown concerts or bare bones sessions, the shift to screen shows artists and audiences alike are still desperate to connect with each other. And it’s resulted in the opportunity to have an amazing live experience at home – as long as you have the right tools.
Here’s six picks for pulling up the cushions and settling in for a night of live entertainment.
NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert: Tame Impala
When Covid brought a pause to US radio network NPR’s legendary series of Tiny Desk tours, the US radio network shifted the series to streaming. Always an intimate performance, the medium has translated well to the artists navigating their home set-up in order to perform. With an average of fifteen minutes to play with, we’ve seen a synth-and-samplers heavy set from Tame Impala, Flaming Lips performing in bubbles, as well as performances from Haim, Norah Jones, and Billie Eilish. It’s all available on the YouTube channel, with new sets added regularly.
Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America!
Ronny Chieng made a name for himself in Australian comedy with sold-out stand up shows and appearances on series like It’s a Date, Legally Brown, and Ronny Chieng: International Student. But it’s been his work on the US Daily Show that’s catapulted him into the comedy stratosphere. This recent Netflix comedy special cements his reputation as one of stand-ups rising stars, with his take on America’s foibles sharply observed, surprisingly sympathetic, and definitely profane. Even if you’ve been following him for a while, this is one not to miss.
Bad Seed Teevee – 24hr Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
While Nick Cave’s one-off Idiot Prayer show made grand headlines earlier this year (if you missed it, it’ll be released as a live album and concert film in November), he’s since launched a 24 hour YouTube channel dubbed Bad Seeds Teevee . Featuring a rotating roster of live performances, videos, interviews and other clips, and with new material added regularly, it’s a celebration of one of Australia’s most eclectic performers and the vivid, moody universe he’s created.
Ten Australian Amazon Original stand-up specials
Released earlier this year to coincide with the (cancelled) Melbourne International Comedy Festival, this collection showcases some of Australia’s best stand-ups at the top of their game. Consistently funny sets from performers include Tom Gleeson, Anne Edmonds, Carl Barron and Lano & Woodley, ranging from lightweight to the conceptual to the (almost) dramatic, with Zoë Coombs Marr’s hilariously convoluted Bossy Bottom and Celia Pacquola’s revealing All Talk both highlights. The series as a whole is a great snapshot of current Australian stand-up.
If by some chance you’ve not yet experienced the biggest musical sensation of the last few years, now’s an ideal time to take in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop take on the origins of the American political system. This filmed version of the massively successful (and timely) Broadway stage show was originally meant for cinemas this month, meaning the high-quality, energetic camerawork and epic but intimate performances make it an engrossing viewing experience.
Arts Centre Melbourne: Metal
Melbourne’s Art Centre is synonymous with many things: opera, classical music, ballet, theatre. And of course, heavy metal – at least now. That’s right, the feted arts institution is currently streaming a metal performance into the comfort of your home, albeit one free of black denim and devil horns. Metal is the title of a performance co-created by Lucy Guerin and Ensemble Tikoro’s Robi Rusdiana, and it screens as part of the Asia Topa program. The performance combines heavy metal with traditional throat singing and contemporary dance, and for a sonic assault it’s also quite beautiful. Tune in and prepare to be blown back in your seat.
Watch at Arts Centre.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Sony BRAVIA (“Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture”).