The hearts and thumbs just kept bubbling upward. Brandin Lea, with just his guitar and Katie Robertson on piano, was performing to an empty room but lively virtual space. As part of the Social Distancing Concert Series at MASS, the former Flickerstick frontman was playing to help raise money for the Near Southside venue, a spot that like pretty much every other similar spot in town is trying to stay afloat during quarantine. My wife, 8-year-old son, and I caught the last half of the concert. At one point, we were one of about 500 viewers. The chatline was popping off every other second.
I don’t know if this is a viable way to put on shows in the quarantine-less future, but it is entirely enjoyable and does a lot more than just keep boredom at bay. It’s pretty cool, like a private concert, especially if the little ones look over your shoulder, something that normally can’t or shouldn’t happen in the real, adult world of local concert-going.
MASS has been doing a great job keeping the local music flowing. I can’t wait to tune in at 8pm Friday for Sam Anderson. The Quaker City Night Hawk co-frontman has been holding down a weekly residency at MASS since this madness began. He has one of the best voices not just in Fort Worth but on the planet, with the grittiness of Mitch Ryder and the smoothness of Sam Cooke. He’s worth at least a $20 donation or what you would normally pay to see the Night Hawks locally.
Lea will be back onstage at MASS at 8pm Saturday, preceded by rootsy singer-songwriter Carey Wolff at 4pm. Watch via Facebook.com/MASSFW.
It seems that the big locals are really doing their part. Via Art Conspiracy, we saw one-man funk explosion Ronnie Heart last week, and at 8pm Thursday via Artcon.org/live, we’ll be gifted with a performance by heavy psychedelic rockers The Cush. If there’s one grassroots Dallas music/art nonprofit to support now, Art Conspiracy should top the list.
There are a few other regular streaming shows around town. Every day at 3pm, folk singer-songwriter Keegan McInroe performs the Quarantine Concert Series via Facebook.com/Keeganmcinroemusic. He also hosts a song swap for U.S. musicians at 7pm Mondays and for European musos 1pm Thursdays at Instagram.com/keeganmcinroe. And Wayne Floyd hosts Weird and Wild Wednesdays with Wayne Floyd every Wednesday at 8pm via Facebook.com/Waynefloydmusic.
Fort Worth rockers aren’t the only ones streaming. Our local classical entities are also putting on shows.
The Cliburn hosts a biweekly Global Watch Party featuring a full recital or piano quintet from previous competitions, including a special message from the featured artist, via Facebook.com/TheCliburn. At 7pm on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 Cliburn Gold Medalist Haochen Zhang will perform Brahms’ Variations, Fugue on a Theme by Handel, and Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit. At noon Saturday, 2013 finalist Fei-Fei performs Scarlatti’s Sonata in D Major, K. 466, Debussy’s Danse, and Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor. And Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s new Music Lab features archival recordings and curated playlists by FWSO’s musicians and others as well as a weekly discussion with Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya. Visit FWSymphony.org/in-the-community/fwso-music-lab. –– Anthony Mariani
James Russell contributed reporting to this story.
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