MASS will be streaming a live set by Quaker City Night Hawks' Sam Anderson (center) tonight/Friday.

Local Bands/Acts Streaming Concerts 

I’m not sure how it plays with the women who see it beneath my profile picture, but the bio line I’ve used lately across all the dating app profiles I’ve downloaded is “writer + artist + musician = bartender.” I’d hope it’s just my face and not that half-witty reduction of all the creative and economic aspects of my identity into a single.

“For a lot of women, ‘bartender’ is a dealbreaker,” a recent Bumble date once told me. “It’s not only because of the weird hours and lifestyle but because most of the bartenders I know are usually kind of broke.”


Since all the bars closed, I am leaning on the “writer” and “artist” parts to make money in the coming months, leaving the “musician” part to the many talented people in this town who actually play songs as their main source of income.

All those people need the rest of y’all’s help to get by during this surreal, overheated-suspense-novel-bought-before-a-flight of a historical moment, and the main format for this is through virtual tip jars appended to the live sets that local band people and solo artists are playing over various streaming services. Facebook Live seems (at least to me) to be the most convenient and widely available channel, though I have heard of artists broadcasting their performances over YouTube and Twitch and (probably) by sending voice memos to people through texts.

If you are so inclined to help out your favorite local singer-songwriters, the best thing is to pay attention to their social media feeds to find out where and when they’re playing — I put up a “Who’s playing a live stream?” post on Facebook the other day, and it was flooded with people who were doing sets that afternoon, night, and at random times like 1:30am. MASS has been presenting a Social Distancing Concert Series, in which performers play for tips given to the Near Southside venue’s Venmo, @massfwmusic (along with which performer you’re tipping). Thus far, the SDCS has included sets from Cameron Smith (Sur Duda, War Party), Ryker Hall, Katie Robertson, Quaker City Night Hawks’ Sam Anderson, and Flickerstick’s Brandin Lea. On their own, other artists, such as Keegan McInroe, Alexandra Rhea, and Paul Slavens, have been doing daily performances on their social media pages, and DJ Soft Cherry said she plans to “pop up one night and hope she makes $10.” Hell, my brother in California sent me an excited text on Friday about watching (along with another 342 people, he pointed out) Big Mike Richardson playing a live show via Facebook from his living room. On Wednesday, he’ll be doing an all-Elton John set in his living room in honor of the man’s birthday. 

As for other livestreamed shows, you’ll have to keep up with your local song-slingers’ social media accounts for when they’re playing and how you can tip them, which should be easy considering most of us don’t have anything to do but sit around on Facebook anyway.

Since sitting around on Facebook is the closest thing to being at a bar with your friends, you should also check out House of Iconoclast’s COM·IMMUNITY Facebook group, which is a clearing house of sorts for any local creative types like artists and musicians to share their work, including any links or apps by which said creative types pay their bills. Help Fort Worth has set up a calendar of musicians who are live streaming. And if you follow local musicians on IG, most of them have probably posted their profiles for Venmo, Cash App, or PayPal, and they all would be elated and appreciative if you dropped some bucks into their proverbial guitar cases.

Since we are (hopefully) all going under lockdown soon, those dating apps are pretty pointless anyway, but if you see someone on Tinder or Bumble or who has “musician” in their profile, maybe swipe right just to see if they could use a little help keeping their lights on. — Steve Steward

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