Despite the many COVID-19 event cancellations, enjoying a California concert has never been easier. That’s because a number of notable Golden State musicians are now regularly streaming live shows for their fans. Stripped of the trappings of arena concerts, these intimate sessions reveal leading artists at their relaxed best.
Whether you’re ready to rock, in a classical mood, or jonesing for jazz, you’ll find remarkable performances by some of the world’s leading musicians. And in case you miss any livestreamed shows (all listed times are Pacific), most performances remain available for later viewing.
Pop, Rock, and Jazz
Pioneering rocker Melissa Etheridge is playing daily ConcertsFromHome at 3 p.m. on Facebook Live. The Grammy and Academy Award–winner (you can see the Oscar on a shelf behind her as she performs from her Los Angeles–area home) plays a selection of classic songs in sets that combine the intimacy and intensity for which Etheridge is famous.
The Bay Area–based Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and metal legends are streaming concerts from the band's archives during Metallica Mondays, which become available at 5 p.m. and remain online for a week.
The Grammy Award–winning singer/songwriter and owner of Mraz Family Farms, an avocado and fruit farm in San Diego County, performs Wednesdays at 10 a.m. during his La La La Livestream sessions on YouTube. Mraz also fields questions and even offers a brief primer on how to choose an avocado.
Katharine McPhee Foster and David Foster
Live from Southern California, actress and singer Katharine McPhee and her producer husband David Foster perform from their house. Bantering and sometimes even appearing in their bathrobes, the couple plays an eclectic mix of songs that has included “Proud Mary,” with McPhee channeling her inner Tina Turner. The shows are available around 5:30 p.m. on the couple’s individual Instagram feeds: Katharine Foster or David Foster.
A post shared by Katharine McPhee Foster (@katharinefoster) on Apr 1, 2020 at 6:19pm PDT
Onetime lead guitarist for The Black Crowes and a frequent performer with the Grateful Dead spinoff Phil Lesh & Friends, versatile musician Jackie Greene is playing occasional live sets, available on his Facebook page. The California native who grew up in the Sacramento area streams his shows from his San Francisco home, and a recent session included renditions of Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan songs.
Moonalice, a band of veteran Bay Area–based musicians, many with ties to the Grateful Dead, has been hosting livestreamed Shelter-In-Place Sessions along with multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby, who also performs as part of the duo the Doobie Decibel System. The musicians stream their sets from San Francisco’s Howling Moon Studios.
Club Quarantine with DJ D-Nice
Drawing a virtual A-list crowd, including the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Joe Biden, DJ D-Nice’s Club Quarantine dance party from downtown Los Angeles has become the place you want to be. These events on Instagram Live have drawn upward of 100,000 visitors as D-Nice spins classics from such legends as Stevie Wonder and Prince; one night the music went on for nine hours. It’s like the dance club of your dreams—and you don’t have to worry about bouncers and rope lines.
A post shared by D-Nice (@dnice) on Apr 6, 2020 at 3:50pm PDT
Fridays At Five
SFJAZZ hosts weekly showings of concerts from its archives as part of the Fridays at Five series. The one-hour performances are free for SFJAZZ members or you can purchase one-month digital memberships ($5) that are good for four shows. Upcoming events include jazz and gospel singer Lizz Wright on April 3 and the eclectic group Pink Martini on April 10.
Live From Home
San Jose Jazz presents livestreamed concerts on Mondays and Thursdays as part of its Live From Home series on Facebook Live. Shows typically last 30–40 minutes and have included performances by the likes of Bennett Roth-Newell, an acclaimed Bay Area pianist and keyboardist.
Live Nation Live From Home
For a comprehensive look at upcoming events by both California-based and national musicians, check out Live From Home, which provides a helpful updated performance schedule by date.
At Home with Gustavo
Hang with Los Angeles Philharmonic musician and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel during At Home with Gustavo, a radio series that broadcasts Tuesday–Friday from 6–7 p.m. Dudamel plays some of his favorite selections and shares musical insights with interviewer Brian Lauritzen.
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LACO At Home
The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s LACO At Home lets you stream concerts, including new special events and performances from its archives. Concerts include LACO’s November 2019 Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Mazzoli performance from Glendale’s Alex Theatre.
Pacific Symphony: At-Home-Together Online
Based in Orange County, the Pacific Symphony has produced a selection of “quarantine clips” as part of its At-Home-Together Online series. The videos feature symphony musicians playing notable pieces from their homes, including principal cellist Warren Hagerty performing Sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major and concertmaster Dennis Kim and pianist Hye-Young Kim’s version of Amanda Harberg’s poignant “Prayer.”
Spreckels Organ Society
On Sundays at 2 p.m., San Diego civic organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez plays hour-long concerts from the historic Spreckels Organ Pavilion in the city’s Balboa Park. The eclectic concerts, which range from classical music to show tunes, have a little something for everyone’s musical taste. A recent program included Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and a piece by Claude Debussy.
From the Vault
Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert
Missing your April weekends at Coachella? The documentary Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert should bring back plenty of memories. Debuting on YouTube Originals on April 10, the film features interviews with performers and clips of such now-legendary performances as Beyoncé’s 2018 show.
The museum in downtown Los Angeles has launched Museum at Home, a program that has made videos of previously unreleased concerts and interviews available. Shows including a 2018 performance by Brandi Carlile and a 2019 set with Billie Eilish and Finneas are already online, while upcoming releases include Andrea Bocelli on April 8 and Common on April 13.
A post shared by GRAMMY Museum (@grammymuseum) on Mar 31, 2020 at 4:44pm PDT
Henry Miller Memorial Library
The landmark Big Sur cultural hub has an extensive archive of clips from performances held at its outdoor stage beneath the redwoods. Among the highlights are a 2011 video of the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing “Californication” and a 2010 clip of the influential Jonathan Richman, dubbed “the Godfather of Punk,” singing an ode to Rolling Stone Keith Richards.