To quote “Listen to the Music,” what the people need is a way to make them smile…
That message has been a difficult one this year, life has come to a screeching halt this year. Masks to be worn where places are operating, limited capacities in those open places. No large gatherings are allowed in most states, and that includes concerts.
I was supposed to attend a concert in April, but it was cancelled several weeks before it was set to happen (it was immediately rescheduled for October 10th, and as of this writing, it is still on as scheduled). For all the bands, singers, comedians, and talented folks to who take to the road and tour for a living, life has been turned as much upside down for them as it has for us. But, in these trying times, some have taken those talents and brought them to us in a different – and very special – way.
With Music Monday, the custom has been to highlight a song (or in recent times, an album) and tell the story of the song, chart position, the music video, and any other interesting facts I find. Today, I’m turning the tradition on its head, as 2020 has brought about something special in the music world…separated but together performances.
If this concert-less summer has taught me anything, it is that in these times, music still finds a way, and this Music Monday is to highlight some of the great moments by some of my favorite musicians, who have opened up their homes/recording studios to us and performed the songs we love, while separated from each other.
Isolation Isn’t A “Saturday In the Park”
Chicago was prepared to head out on their 51st year as a group, performing their residency show in Las Vegas in March, when halfway through their dates, they were sent home and the rest of their residency cancelled. The group has cancelled their concerts up through the fall, but it hasn’t stopped them from breaking out their instruments and performing from their living rooms and recording studios.
This month, the group has released three “in isolation” videos, proving that “rock with horns” can be done from anywhere, and in any state of dress.
Including without shoes.
The first of the videos I watched the other night was this rousing (and not nearly as loud) version of “25 or 6 to 4,” complete with someone off-camera throwing a tambourine to Ramon Yslas.
To bring it down just a little bit (the tone, not the mood – no sadness here), the group also performed the power ballad of all Chicago power ballads, “You’re The Inspiration.”
And then there is the always timely “Dialogue, Parts 1 and 2.” Put your hands together!
The best part of these isolation videos are that you can really see the individual personalities of each member really shine. You see this on stage, but here, it really shows!
From the streets of Chicago to the San Francisco Bay (and in between, the mighty Mississippi), the brothers who are not related, but named themselves after marijuana…
Old Black Water, Keep on Rollin’…
The first of these “in isolation” videos I saw was done (posted back on April 28, 2020) by The Doobie Brothers, who like Chicago, I’ve been lucky enough to see them in person. I love their fast, funky songs, but it is the moody, beautiful “Black Water” that really gets me. This one has lots of special guest singers, and even a Shaq cameo.
You’ll see what I mean.
But perhaps you just want a feel good kind of song, the kind that just invites you to kick back and relax and, as it says, let the music play. This one came almost two months later, on June 10, 2020.
One With The Earth, and the Sky…
Kenny Loggins released “Conviction of the Heart” way back in 1991, but it quickly became an anthem for Earth Day celebrations. With basically any kind of large gathering frowned upon in terms of social distancing guidelines, Earth Day celebrations were obviously cancelled, but that didn’t stop The King of the Soundtrack (and his band) from performing this trademark song.
Santa Barbara’s Earth Day Festival was done virtually, and Loggins, along with other performers, contributed their time to it. Also along for the performance are local kids…and Ryder Loggins.
Can you tell he hasn’t been in a home where his human wasn’t screaming “25 or 6 to 4”?
In June, Kenny Loggins performed in a “isolation” concert with Rick Cowling and Tariqh Akoni from the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara, California. The concert was a pay-per-view based stream. Interested viewers bought a “ticket” for $15 (that’s where it started, viewers could donate more if they wanted), with all proceeds going to the Lobero Theater and NIVA, National Independent Venue Association. It was a short (57 minutes) concert, done with limited camera presence and without an audience, but it was the “storytelling” portion of a typical Kenny Loggins concert, with a few trademarks thrown in from the “loud and on your feet” portion of his concerts.
Rick Cowling is part of Loggin’s band, but Akoni is not – he is a session musician and has been Josh Groban’s musical director, and is a friend of Loggins. The storytelling in this is incredible, and these guys just hang on to every word.
My husband and I donated $15 to watch the show. I’ve said it a few times, we are fans, and Kenny Loggins’ music is important to us (Related: #MusicMonday – June 15, 2020), and has been a big part of our relationship. We watched it from our couch, with concert selfies (including one with masks) and popcorn. It wasn’t your typical concert, but it was a concert.
It also was a good cause. Isn’t that important at the end of the day?
Social distancing and quarantine have made life different, but, as we’ve seen, different can be adaptable. Whether it is concerts or conventions, the experience is still being made possible.
Shoes are optional.
Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!