Almost my whole life revolves around music and I consider live music a healing experience. So as you could imagine, the lack of live events due to COVID-19 has taken its toll on me. Thankfully live music has temporarily evolved with our circumstances and transitioned to live streams. Though I find it hard to commit to viewing them because one of my favorite parts of live shows is the energy exchange within the crowd as well as between the crowd and performer. The FOMO of the events happening as they could have is a sad reminder of the tragedies that have unfolded in my personal life and the world due to COVID-19. With that being said, many artists are so in love with and dedicated to their music that it still ignites that magical healing energy inside of me watching them stream a set. This is a list of seven sets in no particular order that helped me forget my problems for an hour or so and brought me a therapeutic release when I needed it most.
- Chet Porter’s Underwater Set
Chet Porter’s music has always conjured the atmosphere of a nature walk through a serene jungle for me. When I heard he would be playing an underwater set for Proximity’s Digital Mirage 2 stream I knew I would be tuning in for some peak Chet Porter vibes. After all, it couldn’t possibly feel anymore submerged in nature than underwater. One part of me knew it would be a one of a kind Chet Porter set, another part of me wanted to know how the fuck he was going to pull it off. Despite the criticism and being told he was trying to accomplish the impossible, he executed it perfectly. His commitment to pulling off something so ridiculous while staying true to his artistry and personality made this set enjoyable to watch and listen to.
- Elohim for Ekali’s Awakening Live Stream
With the lack of energy exchange that makes live music so sensational to me, I find myself falling more in love with artists who you can tell love what they do. When someone does love what they do, they’re going to have a good time doing it whether they’re in front of thousands of people or alone. Elohim’s set on Ekali’s Awakening Live Stream felt like I was at a jam sesh with a friend. I found myself getting lost in the music, singing along, and dancing along with her. Elohim oozes talent and pure love as she sings and hammers away at her synthesizers while sending affirmations to the listeners. If you told me this was performed at Coachella I would have believed you, the level of performance was up to par with a live one but it’s just the way that Elohim is in love with her craft.
- San Holo at Secret Sky 2020
San Holo has dedicated a large portion of his branding to being honest about how you’re feeling. He describes how he’s doing in percentages of how blessed he’s feeling and acknowledges that it’s very rare to be 100% blessed all the time. He implores viewers to “watch for an extremely vibrant % boost ↑%!!!!” and that it did for me. San Holo’s artistic brilliance isn’t something that can be thought of, it’s a genuine and authentic part of him. His music is one of a kind full of positivity, self-love, and pure energy. His ability to curate a set that is equal parts energetic and emotionally recharging is why I knew I had to tune in. It was a pleasure to listen to and watch as I tried to figure out what was happening with all these candles.
- Madeon DJ Set at Secret Sky 2020
Madeon is another artist whose devotion to their craft is inspiring so much I knew I needed to tune in to experience it. His live sets are a special treat and a regular part of his circa COVID-19 performances, making his DJ sets even more of a treat. The set starts as if he’s standing in his room, then suddenly the walls start melting. I had to pause for a moment and ask myself, “Am I tripping???” The setlist that was chosen for this stream is what has made me fall in love with it. The set is funky, it’s packed to the rim with unique jams, and has the occasional bass-heavy hitters. I’ve easily listened to this set 50 times and it has become something that has brightened my day frequently during the quarantine.
- G JONES at Secret Sky 2020
If there was going to be a G Jones set streamed there was no doubt in my mind I was going to watch it. His musical genius is just one part of what makes watching his sets a no brainer. G Jones is a genuinely original artist who has gathered inspiration from many great sources and made it entirely his own, something considerably rare in my opinion. I knew that even though I have seen many G Jones sets and then listened to them on repeat after, this would be something entirely new with the very same songs. He has a talent for taking his own music, putting it in a blender, and finding something in it that we haven’t heard before and giving it a new life. I distinctly remember mumbling “WHAT?!” to myself throughout this live stream. Watching this stream took me out of my head and had me hung on every beat wondering what would be next.
- Porter Robinson at Secret Sky 2020
Yes, another Secret Sky set sorry, not sorry! The lineup was immaculately hand-picked by someone so committed to being unwaveringly authentic to yourself artistically, Porter Robinson. His music is always eons ahead of its time and Worlds Live will always be one of the most incredibly curated live shows in my opinion. Partly because it’s a sonic masterpiece but also because it tells a story and has taken on a life of its own. Porter Robinson has been transparent about how he needs to create things that are honest pieces of perfection and the turmoil that can bring. Nothing Porter Robinson will present will be halfway thought through or sloppily thrown together, it will be turned over and picked apart inside and out by himself until it’s perfect for the world. While the process is grueling, it’s created some of the most ingenious music over the last decade in popular dance music. For this reason, I knew the Secret Sky 2020 lineup was going to be something special and I tuned in from start to finish. His set was an emotional highlight of the night which felt like a regular night at a festival he would play at. I cried, I danced, I laughed, I stared in awe, and most importantly I felt present and far from my problems with everything going on.
- Alison Wonderland at Digital Mirage 1
Alison Wonderland is always unabashedly her goofy self, which always adds another fun layer to her sets. They are consistently overflowing with original tunes, throwbacks, bangers, and jams. She has a way with the decks where she knows exactly where to take you and how to take you there, she is always in complete control of the energy and vibes. Alison Wonderland sets are always ones I need to see because her DJ skills are up to par with her musical talent, it’s always a pleasure and journey from start to finish. I can rely on an Alison Wonderland set to take me out of my body and fuck me up on a spiritual level.
*Featured Image via Weird Problems*