Burlingame’s Bayshore Drive-in is hosting drive-in concerts during these days of whine and COVID. Which is nice … they just had Major Lazer play, and even have some comedy acts coming up.
But … One of the editors at RIFF—obviously having concert withdrawals evidenced by the frequent Facebook posts of his children holding musical instruments much bigger than them—reached out, thinking perhaps we’d write about one of their shows or some such thing.
“No press tickets” was the three-word response from the production company, Hotbox.
That’s not very nice. We could use some nice news for the concept of live music to survive. Promoters need press and press needs things about which to write (space for this drivel is proof enough of that).
Just this week—during our eighth, ninth or 31st month (whatever) of a pandemic—the United States set a one-day record for new cases of COVID-19. Yay; we’re number one! We’re not getting back to “normal” anytime soon, if ever. People in the music industry, who rely on non-diseased people giving them money to watch them perform, are desperate. Musicians who didn’t already live with their parents do now.
I’m so lonely for something new, I accidentally found a prog-rock song the other day and didn’t immediately turn it off and try to gouge out my ears with the nearest pointed object. I told you things are bad.
And getting worse, if this week’s statistics regarding new coronavirus cases are to be believed (they are). When we should be more concerned than ever, things are re-opening. People are getting used to an acceptable risk, which isn’t very acceptable once they get sick.
No matter what the numbers say, I believe some venues start opening come February or March, when the industry would typically reawaken after holiday fatigue. I would love to say that happens because of new leadership, a miracle vaccine, or maybe one infamous prophecy of it just going away comes true.
People are just too impatient. So if venues start to re-open, they will do so with new rules–no moshing, fornicating, dancing in Midwestern towns where John Lithgow preaches on Sundays … whatever.
Everything will change to some degree. Capacities will go down, which would normally mean prices go up … if the economy wasn’t in flames. Which it likely will still be. But not for the high-end acts whose fans are already used to paying insane ticket prices.
There better be some great new music when we’re allowed to go back into venues … the ones that survive.
Creativity will be key. I just saw something about some classical musicians performing in a cemetery. That is either a metaphor or … I don’t want to know.
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We’ve been seeing the drive-in concert thing happening for a few months, which may or may not work so well come winter. Then again, it may not rain again in California for another three or four years.
Where else could musicians play that feels like an event and not someone plinking around their father’s den?
How about the tops of buildings? Worked for the Beatles. It’s outdoors, it’s big … they’d need railings. Stage diving would obviously be off limits (I hope).
Flatbed trucks … bridges … islands … helicopters?
The next few months are going to get incredibly weird. Hang on. Here’s to Bayshore Drive-in holding on.
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Follow music critic Tony Hicks at Twitter.com/TonyBaloney1967.