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  • Writer's pictureChristine

The Year Of (Almost) No Live Music

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

For the past three years, I’ve done my Tips2LiveBy Concert Awards post. My husband and I sit down and review all of the shows we’ve seen over the past year. We then take the shows and place them into categories. I also name my top 5 favorite concerts of the year. You can check out my post from 2019 here.

Well, I don’t have to tell you that 2020 was different. We did actually see about a dozen shows in 2020. In fact, one of the last things we did before the shut down in March was go to a concert.

But, when you normally see anywhere between 50 and 75 shows a year, seeing only a dozen shows is disappointing to say the least. So, I decided not to do an awards post this year. Instead, I’m going to share what I miss most about live music and what I hope the future holds for concerts. Keep reading!

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When the pandemic first started, live streams were my saving grace! I spent hours every night watching my favorite musicians do live streams on their social media. I had regulars – Justin Furstenfeld, Grace Potter, Adam Ezra, Adam Weiner, Edwin McCain – that were already favorites of mine. There were also lots of new discoveries like Mingo Fishtrap and Samantha Fish.

But after a couple of months, I started to lose interest. I still caught a few of the streams from time to time, but reality hit that the live streams just weren’t the same. I missed live shows!

As the summer – and the pandemic – wore on, artists started getting creative with things like drive-in concerts and full-band live streams. And while those were an improvement from the FB live feeds coming to you from their living room, they still weren’t the same.


What do I miss most about live shows? It’s not the fancy lights or special effects. It’s the energy! It’s not only the energy from the band, but the energy from the room. There is no better feeling than to be dancing and singing with a room full of fellow fans to your favorite song.

The artists also feed off that energy. And even though many of them have done a great job conveying that energy on their live streams, it’s just not quite the same.


I’m a complete and total introvert. I love sitting at home in the quiet with a good book. But while I’m not normally one that likes to be out, I love being at a show with my husband and my friends. It’s my happy place.

Some of my closest friends are friends that I made while going to concerts. Say what you will about Dave Matthews Band fans, but the DMB community is one of the best ones out there. When my father-in-law passed away recently, our DMB friends were some of the first to reach out to us and ask what they could do to help, or just send a card to let us know they were thinking of us.

Music brings people together. Sure, we may all like different kinds of music and different artists. But at the end of the day, music unites people. I miss being with my friends and just losing myself in the show.


Concerts and travel are both a huge part of our life, so when we can combine the two of them, there is nothing better.

Over the last several years, we’ve planned at least 1 or 2 major vacations – along with several long weekend trips – around live music. We’ve gone all over the country and all over Europe to see our favorite bands.

In 2020, we finally had the perfect opportunity to cross Red Rocks off our bucket list. Dispatch was playing a show there at the end of July, and the opening band was Ripe – one of our favorites. The stars aligned and the show was scheduled in between Dave Matthews Band shows, so we could make it work. And then… cancelled!

We have a whole line up of DMB shows we are planning to do this summer. The plans include us traveling to some of our usual spots. They also include us visiting some new locations. Will the shows happen? I don’t have a lot of faith they will. Maybe 2022?


I wish I had a crystal ball and could see what 2021 holds for us. Will live shows be back? If I had to take a guess, I’d say they will be back in some form, but not what we’re used to.

I think we’ll see more drive-in shows and more shows in small venues with small crowds. But I don’t think we’ll see a big stadium show in 2021.

And that hurts to think about. Music is good for your soul. And while we can do other things to try and fill ourselves up, it’s just not the same.

The best thing that happened in 2020 regarding music, was I discovered a lot of new artists. Now, I just need concerts to come back so I can see them all live!

Here’s hoping that this is a better year and that the Tips2LiveBy Concert Awards can make a comeback in 2021!

How did you survive 2020? When do you think concerts will be back? Comment below or e-mail me at

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