106 live-streamed concerts and counting

Category: music 119

Jason Anderson takes a break from live-streaming performances to play for an in-person audience this Saturday at the Tipsy Muse Café.

Photo by Jocelyn Anderson.
Matt Carter

We’ve all been navigating these past few years in our own unique ways. Some of us have continued to seek some sense of normalcy by sticking as closely to our original routines as possible, while others have happily embraced the chance to shut out the rest of the world. For musicians and artists who perform for a living, well, it’s been tough. At the very least, having a creative outlet to fill the hours of time off-stage can help keep that light at the end of the tunnel glowing. So there’s that.

When Jason Anderson was forced to cancel a tour of Eastern Canada and the Northeast United States back in early 2020, he turned to social media and began playing a series of concerts virtually. At first, it was a way to see the tour through in some capacity. But it has since evolved into something greater. That was almost two years ago. And he’s never stopped. 

“I had just cancelled a tour and decided to perform the dates online as a stand-alone gesture of goodwill at the outset of social distancing,” said Anderson. “I wasn’t sure what to expect but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for how emotional and communal those performances felt and very much continue to feel. Here I am, nearly two years later, having recently played #106 from home – and they keep getting better and better.”

Within a minute of going live on Instagram, his audience begins to assemble, almost immediately. And the numbers usually grow with each new song as he casually acknowledges friends who join the show and shares stories behind the songs he’s singing. It would be hard to not feel comfortable after playing so many of these shows. 

“The shows themselves have been a surprisingly vibrant platform for connection and catharsis throughout this difficult time,” he said. “As a musician, I have felt buoyed by the sense of purpose and inspiration these streaming gigs have offered. No two setlists have been the same and every night develops in real time, an expression of the moment. 

“Above and beyond that, I am just so incredibly grateful for the community that has coalesced around this unlikely ritual. What a joy to sing for friends and fans across time zones and postal codes, all of us feeling something together while apart. Through it all, I have received tons of heartfelt messages from folks from all over telling me how much these concerts have meant to them, the impact that they’ve had, both the comfort and the hope they have drawn from them – and the feeling is entirely mutual.”

Anderson will step out from behind the camera this weekend to play a show at the Tipsy Muse Café, a venue he has played a number of times over the past year. 

“It’s awesome to be very slowly taking steps to play shows for in-person audiences here in New Brunswick and I am really, really excited for the show at the Muse this weekend,” he said. “That noted, I will keep playing online for the folks who I can’t get to yet. They’ve been there for me, and I’m going to keep showing up for them. These last two years have been so sad and surreal. I need it as much as anyone.”

Jason Anderson | Dec. 11 | Tipsy Muse Café | 7 p.m. | View Event  

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