The current situation with COVID-19 has left the world in lockdown, with venues closed and tours cancelled or postponed, a lot of artists have been forced to find new and innovative ways to stay connected wth their fans, such as live streaming performances from their home, going back through the archives and releasing footage of previous shows, or hosting Q&A’s and listening parties. Like many, I’ve had the extra time on my hands to watch a lot of these performances, and found it interesting to see the various ways in which bands and artists are approaching these difficult times.
This extra time has also given me the chance to dig around and watch some old documentaries that I’ve been meaning to watch, which has provided a much needed break from binge-watching the latest Netflix series. Whether it was something released during lockdown, or an old video that I’ve just caught up on, here’s a list of my top 10 music-related things that I’ve watched during lockdown- in no paricular order.
Five4Five Fest – A stay at home festival for the NHS
This past weekend saw Five4Five Fest take place, with isolation streams from the likes of Don Broco, Enter Shikari, Yonaka and Trash Boat, plus many more. Created by Tom Pullen (photographer) and Gav Gates (drummer from Stay Free) the festival, streamed across two nights, was created to raise money for NHS Charities Together. With festival merchandise on sale, a raffle with exclusive items from various bands on the line-up, and even catering (cooking with Fatherson), the festival was really well put together and something that I enjoyed following the progress of, and had a lot of fun tuning into. You can watch both nights of the festival back on YouTube, and donate via their website.
Post Malone x Nirvana Tribute – Livestream
Post Malone showed what a multi-talented musician he is with his Nirvana tribute set, performing 15 songs alongside Blink-182’s drummer Travis Barker, bassist Brian Lee and guitarist Nick Mac. Covering songs such as ‘Come As You Are’, ‘Lithium’ and ‘In Bloom’, Post played the part of legendary frontman Kurt Cobain well, shredding away on his guitar and getting the grunge growls down to a T. You can watch the full performance below.
Knocked Loose – Live In The K! Pit (Tiny Dive Bar Show)
Whilst on lockdown, and terribly missing going to gigs, I’ve been catching up on some of the Live In The K! Pit shows that Kerrang! have put on in the past, and this was one of my favourites. Fast-paced, visceral and utterly chaotic, the show is a real treat. Even if you’re not into Knocked Loose and their style of music (heavy hardcore punk), it’s worth watching for the crowd reactions alone, the mosh pit is a crazy place to be during a Knocked Loose show, crowd killing, stage diving and even a cart wheeling fan all ensue. Be sure to check this out.
Korn – ‘The Nothing’ Album Release Concert (Official Extended Film)
Last year on September 13th, Korn played an exclusive show in Los Angeles to a small number of their biggest fans, to celebrate the release of their 13th studio album ‘The Nothing’. This extended cut has behind-the-scenes footage of the concert, and interviews with the band members, who discuss the ideas behind the stage production, which follows on from the concept of the album cover with contortionists hung from the celing entagled in wires. The performance is great, and the interviews with the excited fans just make you wish you had been there too, but alas, this film will do. You can now watch the full gig here.
Foals – Total Life Forever: A Film by Dave Ma
To celebrate the 10th anniverssary of their album ‘Total Life Forever’ on May 10th, Foals released the mini-making-of-documentary, by Dave Ma, to YouTube for the first time. The fly-on-the-wall style shows the processes of making the album, with interviews and studio sessions too. Now, one of the biggest bands in the UK, its fascinating watching the early stages of the bands career, whilst watching the stems of now staple hits such as ‘Spanish Sahara’ play out. Watch the short film below-
Lil Peep: Everybody’s Everything
This fascinating documentary tells the story of Lil Peep, who was one of the leading artists to come out of a new and emerging scene, which combined a unique mix of punk, emo and trap, before he tragically died of an overdose at just 21. It tracks his journey from his childhood, to creating music in his bedroom as a form of escape, to sold out shows across the world. It’s a cautionary and heartbraking story of modern music success, with the abuse of drugs and alcohol of a troubled, but extremely talented artist under the weight of new found fame, and the pressures that come with that. Highly reccommend giving this a watch.
Available via Netflix.
Under The Influence: New York Hardcore
An old mini-documentary that I’ve just caught up on, this first epidode of Under The Infuence from Noisey/Vice tells the story of the New York Hardcore scene, from its early days as an expression against a poverty stricken New York, to its current influence on a global level. Through various interviews and archive footage, you get to understand the ideas and values that the scene had, the misconception of it just being pure aggression, but the sensibilities and philosophical outlook of many of the bands. This is a really interesting watch.
Disabled Not Defeated: The Rock Band With Learning Disabilities
If you’re in the need of something that is both heartwarming and beautiful, and let’s face it, during this time we are all in need of those, then give this mini-documentary a watch. Following a post-punk band called Delta 7, which is made up of adults with learning disabilities, the story of the band members love of music and the power of creativity is truly inspirational. The added tragic loss of one of their band-members and how the band are able to overcome his death, make the documentary even more moving.
Fortnite x Travis Scott Astronomical Concert
There has been a lot of interesting content put out during lockdown to fill the void of no gigs and festivals, and video games are starting to capitalise on this by hosting their own interactive concerts. Travis Scott teamed up with Fortnite for a short concert which was visually stunning and really interesting to watch, showing the capabilities of an animated gig with unlimited posibilies of performance, such as Travis Scott being a giant. As well as Fortnite, Minecraft have also hosted their own events, with this past weekends Block By Blockwest festival, which from the videos I’ve seen also looked bonkers, although much more suited to actually being in the game rather than just watching. Watch the full Fortnite x Travis Scott concert below.
Andrea Bocelli: Music For Hope – Live From Duomo di Milano
Andrea Bocelli perfomed this online concert back on Easter Sunday, and it was the most streamed classical concert ever with more than 28 million viewers tuning in. The hauting scenes of him performing in an empty Duomo di Milano was both beautiful and sad, with shots of empty streets across the world as a reminder of the times that we are in, as the world falls silent, to stop, pause and help stop the spread of the virus by staying in.
Thanks for reading, and hope you are keeping safe. Let me know what you’ve been watching in the comments.