• Christine

The Best Music Live Streams From Tips2LiveBy!

Updated: Mar 17

At this point, we all know it’s going to be a while before we can all be together in person at a concert. For those of us that love live music, the best (and only) substitute we have right now is live music streams.


It turns out, that in addition to live music streams being a good substitute for live music lovers, live music streams have helped a number of artists find a new audience from around the world!


Many bigger artists like Coldplay, U2, Dave Matthews Band and others have made live music stream appearances. Those live streams have consisted of the artist playing a couple of songs, and they are typically done to help raise money for a worthy cause. Let’s face it. Artists like those will survive a year of no touring and will still be able to pay their rent and put food on their table.


But for smaller artists that get the majority of their income from touring, coming up with a way to still “play gigs” and make money from it is crucial. As a result, some artists have embraced the live stream and are doing a great job with it.


I spend the majority of my free time in the evenings watching live streams. Through those streams, I’ve come to love some of my favorite artists even more. I’ve also re-discovered a a few artists that I haven’t really followed closely. And, I’ve discovered some new artists that I can’t wait to see in person when shows are back.


Keep reading to find out about some of my favorites, and check them out. Maybe they will become your favorite too!


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LOW CUT CONNIE

One of the earliest adopters of the live stream was Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie. Weiner is based out of South Philly and started doing a live stream from his spare bedroom as soon as the stay-at-home orders began.

Low Cut Connie

The Low Cut Connie live stream is one of my favorites! Adam Weiner plays every Thursday and Saturday night for his “Tough Cookies”!

The very first stream featured Weiner on the piano and Will (lead guitarist from the band) on the guitar. They streamed the show using two cell phones – one that was streaming to FB and one that was streaming to Instagram. By the end of the stream, Weiner had stripped down to his black briefs and a robe and was soaked with sweat.


Weiner promised a stream every Thursday and Saturday, and the audience started to grow. The media also picked up on Weiner’s streams, and he was featured in publications like Rolling Stone and the Philadelphia Inquirer.


WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

You can expect Weiner to give you every ounce of energy he has every single show. The streams have gotten a bit more sophisticated. Weiner now has a webcam and full graphics that run during the show. He refers to his audience as “Tough Cookies”. There is a virtual tip jar and a part of the tips are donated to Philabundance, which is a charity in the Philadelphia area that provides food to those who need it.


HOW DO I TUNE IN?

Low Cut Connie’s feed runs every Thursday and Saturday nights at 6 p.m. EST. You can tune into their FB or Instagram to see the show.


BLUE OCTOBER

One of the artists that I think have done the best job of offering a combination of free and paid content is Blue October. Since it’s almost impossible for an entire band to be together right now, the Blue October streams primarily consist of lead singer Justin Furstenfeld.

Blue October

If you are looking for “real talk”, you’ll get it from Justin Furstenfeld. His Tuesday night streams focus on how he has dealt with his drug and alcohol addictions as well as mental illness.

On Tuesday nights, Furstenfeld offers a free stream on their social media. The stream is more of a podcast style. While Furstenfeld plays a few songs, he spends most of the stream talking about his recovery from alcohol and drug addiction and walking his fans through the 12 steps.


Furstenfeld has also adopted the StageIt platform. You can read more about one of the StageIt shows he’s done here.


Furstenfeld’s StageIt shows are all music and typically last around 90 minutes. While there is a fee, it’s “pay as you can”, so for just a few dollars, you can get a full length show. Many of the shows have featured Furstenfeld playing one of Blue October’s albums from front to back. The next StageIt show will feature Furstenfeld and bandmate Ryan Delahoussaye playing two of Blue October’s early albums in their entirety.


WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

Expect pure and unfiltered Justin Furstenfeld. If you are familiar with Blue October and have seen one of their shows, you know that Furstenfeld is not afraid to be honest about his struggles with addiction and mental illness. You will get even more “real talk” during these shows.


Same as Low Cut Connie, the streams have advanced as time has gone on. Justin rented an office space and set up a small studio. He has webcams, graphics and the help of his right hand man – Eric. Expect some “commercials” for their upcoming album and some of the paid content they have.


HOW DO I TUNE IN?

On Tuesday nights, tune in to Blue Octobers social media – FB, Instagram and YouTube – for the free live streams at 8 p.m. EST. There is typically a StageIt show every other Friday. And Blue October has created their own platform – GetBackUp.tv. From there, you can access all of their streams – some paid and some free – as well as lots of additional content.


ADAM EZRA GROUP

Adam Ezra was another artist that quickly adapted to live streaming. As soon as the stay-at-home orders started, Ezra started doing a nightly feed for his fans. Since then, he’s done his feed every single night – including through several days when he was sick with Covid-19 himself.

Adam Ezra Group

Adam Ezra is currently on a road trip across the country, so his nightly “Gatherings” now take place wherever he happens to be that particular day.

Ezra has named his nightly feeds “The Gathering”. And as the pandemic has gone on, The Gatherings have drawn more and more people.


As with others, the live streams have becomes more sophisticated as they have gone on. For many weeks, they were broadcast from Ezra’s home in Boston. A few weeks ago, Ezra and his girlfriend rented a van and took off on a cross country trip. Now, Ezra does his live stream from a new location across the country every night.


WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

A typical stream is just Ezra and his guitar and harmonica. He does a combination of his own original songs as well as several covers. What I love about Ezra’s feeds, is that he talks to you like a friend. You feel like the feed is just you and him and he’s hanging out and playing some music in your backyard for you.


HOW DO I TUNE IN?

Ezra broadcasts his live streams every single night at 7 p.m. EST. Tune into his FB page to catch the show.


MATT NATHANSON

Matt Nathanson is one of those artists that I’ve seen live once before and liked, but wasn’t a huge follower or fan. Well, I’ve fallen in love with his live streams!

Matt Nathanson

Matt Nathanson combines music and literature on his streams. He also always answers a bunch of fan questions.

Nathanson was also one that took to the live streams almost right away. The streams started as a weekly thing, but have become more sporadic as time has gone on. He typically does them every other week now, although it’s not consistent so you have to follow his social media to stay up to date.


Nathanson also plays a combination of his originals as well as some great covers. He typically picks a different local charity – he lives in the San Francisco area – that he supports during each stream. It’s also not uncommon to have Nathanson share a poem or excerpts from a book he’s currently reading with the audience.


WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

Nathanson is another artist that “keeps it real”. That’s the reason I regularly tune into the streams that I do. I love to see the artists and their personalities, as well as hear the music. He’s done six live streams so far.


HOW DO I TUNE IN?

As I mentioned above, Nathanson is not always consistent with his streams. Typically they happen on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. EST. Be sure to follow his FB page to know when the next stream will happen. The streams are usually aired on his YouTube channel.


MINGO FISHTRAP

This is one of my favorite finds of this pandemic. I can’t remember how I came across Roger Blevins, Jr. of Mingo Fishtrap, but from the first time I heard his voice I was hooked!

Mingo Fishtrap

Roger Blevins, Jr and Mingo Fishtrap are one of my new finds during this pandemic. I can’t wait until I can see the full band play live!

After listening to Blevins’ live stream, I started checking out the band and my mind was blown. This is one of those bands that I have on my radar to go see as soon as they are out touring again.


Blevins’ voice is amazing on it’s own, but when it’s combined with the music of the rest of his band, it’s pure fun!


WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

Like all of the artists, Blevins has gotten more sophisticated as this has gone on. He has a studio set up in his house and he now has a couple of webcams so he can show different parts of his studio. While he mostly plays music, he also includes other fun things during his stream including special guests and recipes. This past Friday, he even did a stream showing everyone how he writes songs and puts them together.


HOW DO I TUNE IN?

Blevins doesn’t seem to have much of a set schedule, so be sure to follow Mingo Fishtrap’s FB page to know when he will be live next.


EDWIN MCCAIN

Edwin McCain is another artist that I was a little familiar with before, but not a huge fan. Now, I can’t stop following his live streams! He calls his streams McCain Monday’s and he does them right from his living room of his house.

Edwin McCain

Edwin McCain streams every Monday night from his living room. If you’re lucky the stream will include some sort of family “event” as well!

McCain also partners with a charity every week to help raise money. The streams typically last an hour and McCain plays a combination of originals and covers.


WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

McCain is another artist that just keeps it real. In fact, one of my favorite streams happened several weeks ago. As McCain was playing, he noticed water dripping from his ceiling. Next thing you know, he stops playing and starts yelling up at one of his kids, asking them if they plugged up the toilet again. It doesn’t get much more real than that!


HOW DO I TUNE IN?

McCain goes live on FB every Monday night at 8 p.m. EST.


THE STRUTS

The Struts live stream is a bit different than the others I’ve mentioned so far. But it’s The Struts and they are one of my favorite bands, so I still love what they do!

The Struts

The Struts give you a new episode of Sunday Service every week on their YouTube channel.

Every Sunday, The Struts release a video on YouTube they call “Sunday Service”. The videos are usually a combination of a new acoustic version of one of their songs, clips from things they’ve done in the past and a previously unreleased song from a past live show. They often also feature messages from the band.


WHAT CAN I EXPECT?

Sunday Service is definitely more produced and a slicker version of a “live stream” than these others. So don’t expect Luke Spiller to be performing in his sweatpants and a t-shirt in his living room. But it’s still great content and a way to see and hear the band.


HOW DO I TUNE IN?

Sunday Service is released every week on The Struts’ YouTube channel.


HONORABLE MENTION

There are several other artists that are doing live streams regularly that I’ve only been able to tune into periodically. However, every time I’ve checked them out I’m impressed. I would suggest checking out Melissa Etheridge, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, and Ben Folds as some other great streams.


OTHER NOT QUITE LIVE STREAMS

There are also a number of artists that aren’t doing live streams, but are streaming past live show to give their fans a chance to enjoy some live music. Check out Phish, Dave Matthews Band, The Grateful Dead, Metallica and Disco Biscuits for a just a few bands that are putting live content out there for everyone to enjoy!


If you are looking to discover some new live streams and live content out there, I’ve found two places to be great resources. First, check out BandsInTown – either online or on the app. They list a lot of live streams, many from artists that aren’t very well known. For a list of live content from artists that are more well known, check out Live Nation. Their Live From Home page lists all of the live streams from their artists each day.


Have you been checking out any live music streams? If so, let us know your favorites! Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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#livemusic #AdamEzra #livemusicstream #BlueOctober #LowCutConnie #mattnathanson

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