Much like real life, not all concerts are created equal. See enough sets and a lackluster one is inevitable—even for the fan who reserves live music experiences for arena and stadium gigs; the biggest names can have an off night, too. Now that celebrity musicians have been made to self-isolate and participate in social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of covid-19, they’re live-streamming remote performances of their hits for late night television sets, charity concerts, and sometimes just to pass the time on an Instagram story. It’s nice! Some are about as entertaining as the guy who breaks out “Wonderwall” on guitar in the middle of a party when nobody asked, and others are good. Some musicians have really taken time and consideration into making the best of a shitty situation, delivering their singles to the best of their ability. Here are a few of those.
There are two incredible things happening in this Dua Lipa performance of her hit, “Don’t Start Now,” on The Late Late Show with James Corden. 1) She didn’t have to live through the perpetual embarrassment of a Carpool Karaoke segment with Corden, which is a blessing for any pop star, and 2) She took the whole webcam experience and elevated it to heights that rival the truly great Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” set for iHeart Living Room Concert for America. Because Lipa is currently self-isolating in her London flat, she had her band, backup singers, and dancers video conference in for a truly fun-to-watch, collaborative set. In total, there are nine screens going on with Lipa in the middle (my internet connection could only dream of such a feat without immediately needing to buffer) which makes it worth a rewatch or several—there’s always something new to catch.
In a performance for iHeart Living Room Concert For America, which began streaming on Sunday with the aim of inspiring viewers to donate to Feeding America and the First Responders Children’s Foundation covid-19 campaign, Mariah Carey delivered her hit “Always Be My Baby” from the comfort of her home studio. I would love to know who filmed this because it appears that she used a professional camera and perhaps a ring light? This is YouTube celebrity level shit. Impressive. She also had pianist Daniel Moore and a few backup singers join in for the performance (but only for a few shots). She sounded great. She hit a few whistle notes. She wore a butterfly ring on her right hand. She got dressed up and put on full glam for the performance when others half-assed it. All in all: A+.
I didn’t expect a BTS performance right now, but now that I’ve seen it, all other at home concerts just feel... low energy? RM, Jungkook, V, Suga, J-Hope, Jin and Jimin appear to be isolating together, so they were able to send The Late Late Show with James Corden a toned-down rendition of their hit “Boy With Luv.” I say toned down because they are in their casual clothes (still better than 99 percent of my wardrobe) and gave themselves some pause—opting not to go into full strenuous exercise and doing what appears to be a few ad-libbed moves. Still, they completed the performance without being short of breath or sweating, which is truly wild. I’m beginning to think they are superhuman. Anyway, it’s nice to envision that this might be somewhat close to what their rehearsals look like—borderline perfect, even when keeping their pop hits lowkey. I’ve watched it, like, five times already. I’d recommend everyone else do the same.