RIYADH: Because the coronavirus pandemic disrupts routines and life throughout the globe, and the collective want for regular life will increase, many have turned to the therapeutic energy of music to assist them make it via these robust occasions.
The worldwide music trade, which took a major blow this yr within the face of mass cancellations of excursions, concert events and occasions, is combating again by providing a brand new method of having fun with music and connecting with different folks via on-line concert events and livestreams.
From rap to opera, hip-hop to classical, Arabic to Korean, English to instrumental, each small-scale and restricted performances of single artists to large multi-stage choices such because the World Citizen live performance and MDL Beast Freqways, musicians are utilizing the ability of livestream to carry folks collectively.
Livestream concert events usually are not a brand new phenomenon, particularly in Saudi Arabia. “Up until two or so years ago, when we started having concerts in Saudi Arabia, we had to watch all of our favorite artists from home anyway,” mentioned Arabic music fan Faisal Alsuwaidan. “Before that, we would either watch our favorite artists on TV, or find streams of their concerts online, on YouTube or something.”
Sara Alsaif, a “huge” pop music fan, mentioned that earlier than the pandemic she used to seek out touring to attend concert events “an absolute necessity.”
“Generally at least once a year, one of my favorite musicians will be playing in Dubai. I build my whole year around those trips, and I have a special budget for them. I’ve seen Jason Derulo, The 1975, the Backstreet Boys, so many great concerts I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise,” she mentioned.
However with journey nonetheless strictly restricted and worldwide borders closed, followers of each Arabic and overseas music stay rooted in place, with large-scale occasions with huge crowds unlikely to make a comeback any time quickly.
Nonetheless, the surprising advantages of being compelled to take concert events on-line have made themselves clear for a wide range of causes, inflicting each members of the trade and the followers themselves to rethink their thought of what a live performance needs to be.
Saudi fan Abdulrahman Alammar informed Arab Information that his favourite band, The Marvel Years, was unlikely to ever go to Saudi Arabia, as they’re a comparatively small indie group from America whose success outdoors of the US is proscribed. Nonetheless, the second he heard that they had been having a livestream present, he purchased a ticket.
“It’s been my dream to attend one of their shows for more than 10 years now. I finally got a chance to see them performing live, and it was everything I hoped for — even if I was watching them through a screen,” he mentioned. Nonetheless he did get to get pleasure from a significant a part of the expertise whatever the circumstances — connecting with followers after the present.
“The livestream had a chat box we all used to comment on the songs, ask questions, and connect with each other. When fans found out it was my first concert of theirs they all sent welcoming messages and invited me to join their Discord (online chatroom platform) server. After the show we all hung out and chatted for hours. It felt just like being at a real show,” he mentioned.
Home music fan Rana Al-Salem informed Arab Information that MDL Beast’s 12-hour livestream occasion, Freqways, was precisely the form of factor
she had been hoping for throughout
“I avoided going to the first event (Soundstorm) at the end of last year because I didn’t want to deal with the crowds, and it was so far away from where I live. But the livestream meant I could enjoy all the performances at home, safe, isolated, and comfortable in my pajamas instead of having to dress up for it,” she mentioned.
The query that continues to be is: As soon as the pandemic is over, will on-line concert events turn into the brand new norm? Alsuwaidan doesn’t assume so. He considers himself fortunate to have attended just a few exhibits in Saudi Arabia earlier than the lockdown started, and says that going again to watching concert events on a display screen doesn’t maintain fairly the identical
“I can’t wait to be able to go to concerts again in person. The energy of live shows is unreal, nothing else can compare,” he mentioned.
Al-Salem says that whereas she doesn’t imagine that on-line exhibits will turn into the brand new default, she hopes they continue to be an possibility for folks like her who would favor to view exhibits at dwelling in non-public.
“Personally, I don’t know if I can ever be 100 percent comfortable traveling after this pandemic. Unless they find a cure or a vaccine, I don’t think I would want to put myself at risk like that,” she mentioned.
Alammar says that his dream of attending his favourite band’s present stays very a lot alive, and that he intends to capitalize on a chance to see them stay if he finds one.
“When all this is over, I’m attending their first comeback show; I don’t care where it is. This pandemic is really making me think about how unpredictable life is and how we have to fight for the things we want,” he mentioned.