BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage – Seoul Livestream

There’s no denying that BTS have captured the hearts of millions of ARMY around the world.

I’m happy to report that BTS gained another fan after I tuned in to their BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage – Seoul livestream. The K-pop group features seven superstars – Jungkook, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, RM, Jin and V – who all were incredibly eager to return to the stage and create a euphoric atmosphere for ARMY.

In March, BTS performed at Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea over the course of three dates. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in Seoul, the capacity was restricted to 15, 000 masked, and silent, fans per night. No screaming or singing was allowed. It sounds like a dull event; however, the stadium shows were in high demand and naturally, sold out. Multiple livestream times (to cater to international time-zones) and multiple viewings were available to fans online, as well as one-night-only screenings in over 3000 cinemas around the world.

Fortunately, I was able to watch the livestream rebroadcast the following week.
(Biggest thank you to my amazing friend, and Lovers of Live follower, Jackie!)

The online stream experience was flawless – no connection issues, no loss of quality. English subtitles were available for fans, and the pre-show entertainment consisted of BTS music videos, sponsorships and even segments dedicated to raising awareness for climate change. The chat feature within the livestream enabled fans to engage with each other before, during and after the livestream, making us all feel united despite the distance. Another feature, which I’ve never witnessed in a livestream, was the “clapping” feature – a button which could be clicked and signified that as a fan, you were clapping along with the show. This button had over 11 million clicks by the end of the 3-hour event, only adding to the excitement of the experience.

Another factor that made the BTS livestream so different to others I’d witnessed during the pandemic, was the FULL stage production. With the event being held in a stadium, there was no holding back. The 20+ song set featured multiple costume changes, fireworks, pyro, confetti, state of the art screens, mesmerising lighting effects, a full band, and a troupe of dancers accompanying BTS. BTS themselves were on their finest form sounding as smooth as ever and dancing as sharp as ever.

The cinematography of the livestream was actually insane. It managed to capture the scale of the stage and stadium (including crowd shots), yet the stream felt intimate as viewers were treated to close-ups and selfie-angles of their favourite BTS members. Watching the livestream on my laptop gave me goose bumps, so I can’t even imagine how impressive it would have been to witness live within the stadium, or on a large cinema screen. The production level was next-level and very reminiscent of a movie.

In this sense, the BTS livestream reminded me of concert tour DVDS – only instead of them being filmed, edited, and distributed months after the event, livestreams are immediate.

Over the past five years, livestreams have become far more inclusive and authentic, creating experiences for fans that feel reminiscent of the culture experienced and concerts and festivals.

They’re also a great business move. The BTS online livestream ticket cost approx. $65 AUD, the cinema ticket approx. $40 AUD. That’s not including the 45, 000 tickets sold to fans who attended the concert physically in Olympic Stadium, Seoul. Via cinema ticket sales alone, BTS’ one-night-only broadcast raked in over $32 million at the Global Box Office!

With BTS proving that livestreams being screened in cinema entices fans to experience live music this way, the future of streaming is looking brighter than ever.

Over the next five years, I would not be surprised to see more BTS events being held in the same manner. I also believe other artists will follow suite.

In cinemas, fans are somewhat restricted by the seating arrangements – like a seated concert. For this reason, I also believe it would be incredible if during the next five years, such livestream events are held in live music venues – allowing space for a dancefloor and a screen to be broadcasting the livestream in question. This would only enhance the experience for fans, as crowds would mirror that of a concert, the sound system would be just as impressive and the livestream would be even more memorable and electric.

Venues, such as Oxford Art Factory in Sydney, Australia, regularly hold “On-Repeat” or themed club nights that see DJs playing specific genres or artists to a club-crowd that is eager to dance and see videos of their favourite artists being played on the stage screen. This is what inspired my prediction for future livestreams. If club nights like these are successful (and I’ve been to many, they’re so much fun) then I believe that the future of livestreams will become even more like concerts. Fans will have access to their favourite artists and bands, even when they’re performing live on a stage on the other side of the world – and the best part? They’ll be able to experience the livestream set surrounded by other fans, unified, excited, and ready to dance through every song streamed.

Livestreams have been the main tool utilised to satisfy the quench for live music throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many artists resorted to performing live from their home or an empty studio, feeling the absence of a crowd due to safety. BTS spoke of this experience on stage, repeatedly saying that they missed ARMY and were thankful to be performing to them in-person again, overcoming restrictions, because their absence made performances feel awkward and lonely. BTS said they felt like they’d returned home, and the meaning of this was not lost on viewers, as the experience felt historic.

It’s not only fans that are grateful for COVID-safe concerts, evidently artists are as well.

BTS proved to me they care about their fans, not just in terms of their music and performance value, but also their safety. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the world, and despite live music very much being back in action, there remains risk in contracting the virus at large scale events. All fans attending the outdoor, stadium concert in Seoul were required to wear masks, were repeatedly told not to scream, or sing, and instead, were given “clappers” to make as much noise as possible.

Although the livestream was dubbed with an audience screaming (much like the laugh tracks you hear in sitcoms), the sound of the clappers strangely felt just as thrilling as audience screams. It reminded you that BTS fans were in attendance and were excited. After experiencing the loss of live music, the absence of BTS on stage, the gratitude expressed and felt at concerts now is euphoric.

This format for a concert is noteworthy, as it proved that despite COVID-19 still being a concern, there are ways for live music events to go ahead in a COVID-safe manner. It’s almost reassuring in a way, knowing that if the next five years are turbulent due to the pandemic, live music can still exist in some form.

All you need are masks, clappers, and a crowd as passionate as BTS fans…oh and don’t forget the livestreams!

YEEHAW! STAGECOACH 2022 IS NOW LIVESTREAMING ON YOUTUBE

Feeling the post-festival blues after back-to-back Coachella weekends?

Well, giddy up, because country music lovers are being treated to livestreams from Stagecoach all weekend long!

Making history, the 2022 edition of California’s country music festival is the first to receive the livestream treatment – and I have a feeling it won’t be the last!

Over the next three days, YouTube will be streaming live sets from the likes of Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett, Maren Morris, Luke Combs, Orville Peck, Diplo and more.

To see these incredible artists perform in the desert, tune into the stream embedded below:

The description of the livestream video has the full line-up listed, as well as the set times for each performance.

Remember, be sure to convert set times into your local time zone, otherwise you could find yourself missing your favourite act! The livestream channel descriptions have updated set times (PT time) when experiencing delays.

COUCHELLA RETURNS – HOW TO JOIN THE ACTION FROM COACHELLA 2022 WEEKEND 2

Are you ready to experience Coachella all over again?

Weekend 2 has kicked off and to prove that Coachella 2022 is bigger and better than ever, YouTube has extra access to all the best performances and is treating fans to an extra weekend of livestreams!

And you know what? I guarantee you’ll have the best seat in the house…
That’s why I call it Couchella – enjoying all the action of Coachella, from the comfort of your couch!

While majority of the acts on the line up will be featured in “Coachella Curated” and “Bonus Sets” – highlights reels from Weekend 2 of the festival – there are plenty of full performances that will be livestreamed, including the main headliners, of course!

Over the course of the weekend you can catch entire Weekend 2 sets from Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, Swedish House Mafia, Doja Cat, Anitta and plenty more acts performing on the biggest stages in the desert.

Coachella is streaming performances and highlights live across 3 YouTube channels, giving you the choice of multiple stages to float between. Below I’ll embed the 3 YouTube channels you need to be all over. The set times for each performance can be found in the YouTube channel descriptions.

Channel 1 features the full sets from headliners, so if you’re desperate to see Harry, Billie, Doja Cat and The Weeknd + Swedish House Mafia, keep Channel 1 open!


Remember, be sure to convert set times into your local time zone, otherwise you could find yourself missing your favourite act! The livestream channel descriptions have updated set times (PT time) when experiencing delays.
Last weekend there was an approx. half hour delay.

Couchella 2022 – Day 3 of Coachella is calling, one last time

The final moments of a multi-day festival are always bittersweet. Part of you is exhausted, simply wanting a comfortable bed for a long night’s sleep, and yet another part of you never wants the euphoria from the experience to end.

If you’re not in the Palm Springs desert for Coachella 2022, you’re in luck, because you can get the best of both worlds and enjoy the final festival day from bed, or the couch…

And that’s why I call it Couchella – enjoying all the magic of Coachella, from the comfort of your couch!

In some ways Coachella has saved the best for last, with Day 3 promising to make history as Swedish House Mafia will be reuniting on stage with The Weeknd for a powerhouse conclusion to the festival. If that’s not enough to get you pumped, you’ll also be treated to incredible performances from Doja Cat, Finneas, Maggie Rogers, Kim Petras, Maneskin, Joji, Fred Again, Duke Dumont and Denzel Curry.

Coachella is streaming these performances and plenty more live across 3 YouTube channels, giving you the choice of 3 stages to float between. Below I’ll embed the 3 YouTube channels you need to be all over, as well as the set times Coachella has released for the Sunday sets.

Remember, be sure to convert set times into your local time zone, otherwise you could find yourself missing your favourite act! The livestream channel descriptions have updated set times (PT time) when experiencing delays.
If you find yourself busy when your favourite act is performing, the YouTube channel also rebroadcasts the livestream.

Enjoy the final day of Coachella, and I hope Weekend One of this iconic music festival has been just as impressive for you, as it has been for me!

Seriously, I don’t think I’ll ever get over Harry Styles performing with Shania Twain!




Couchella Continues – I’m ready for day two, are you?

How’s everyone feeling? Feet sore? Head pounding?

Despite my engagement with Coachella being from sunny, Australia and not the Californian desert, I have to admit that “Couchella” wasn’t all that accurately describing the experience yesterday. As always, we found ourselves dancing non-stop, especially to Louis the Child, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Harry Styles’ (AND SHANIA TWAIN!) Coachella sets.

And yet that’s the joy of livestreams, you can enjoy them on your laptop in bed, on your phone as go about your day, or like myself, you can broadcast the stream on a giant screen and make the event a party like no other!

Coachella 2022 sure is making up for the two years the world went without the iconic, Palm Springs music festival.
Day 1 saw enormous crowds flocking to stages to see the likes of Harry Styles (AND SHANIA TWAIN!) performing to hundreds of thousands in the desert…. and don’t even get me started on how many international fans would’ve been tuning in via livestream.

Now would probably be a good time for me to profess my undying love and gratitude for Coachella and YouTube, for making high quality livestreams available for everyone to enjoy the festival as if they were front row.

So, who’s ready for Day 2!?
I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be happier than ever by the time the sun sets…

We’re gearing up for more good times as Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Flume, Disclosure, Wallows, Conan Gray, BROCKHAMPTON, Koffee, girl in red, Rina Sawayama, Caroline Polachek and more take to the stage (and livestreams).

I wish I was able to catch Holly Humberstone and Arlo Parks’ sets, but Coachella unfortunately isn’t airing them.

Coachella is streaming performances live across 3 YouTube channels, giving you the choice of 3 stages to float between. Below I’ll embed the 3 YouTube channels you need to be all over, as well as the set times Coachella has released for Saturdays sets.

Remember, be sure to convert set times into your local time zone, otherwise you could find yourself missing your favourite act! The livestream channel descriptions have updated set times (PT time) when experiencing delays.
Yesterday, there was an approx. half hour delay.

COUCHELLA 2022 – THE COACHELLA WEEKEND BEGINS

If you can’t already tell from my previous Lovers of Live content, I love live music and having the ability to watch international concerts and festivals via livestreams. This weekend, my plans entail just that, because Coachella 2022 has officially kicked off and YouTube is giving us front row access to all the best performers at the festival!

I call it Couchella – enjoying all the action of Coachella, from the comfort of your couch!

Weekend 1 (15 – 17th April) is officially underway, which is the main livestream event. During these dates, Coachella will be streaming performances live across 3 YouTube channels, giving you the choice of 3 stages to float between. Weekend Two (22 – 24th April) will also feature a YouTube livestream, however it seems the content will differ, showing highlights and features as opposed to the live performances happening at that very moment in the desert.

You know what that means? If you want to catch your favourite artist live, STREAM THIS WEEKEND!

Starting with Day 1, I’m beyond excited to see performances from Harry Styles, Lane 8, Louis the Child, Phoebe Bridgers, The Avalanches, Anitta, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Regrettes…and so many more! One perk of livestreams is the fact that I won’t need to run between stages to catch acts that clash…I can simply switch tabs!

Below I’ll embed the 3 YouTube channels you need to be all over, as well as the set times Coachella has released for the 2022 Weekend 1 timetable.



Remember to factor in global time differences if you’re referring to the Coachella set times, as they’re in PT time!



Yungblud – Live at Alexandra Palace, London – Livestream

There’s a first time for everything, even in the world of livestreams. On October 3rd, 2021, I watched Yungblud perform his biggest headline show at Alexandra Palace in London. What made this livestream experience so unique for me? It featured a full house. 10, 000 fans. A sold-out gig, with a roaring crowd filling every inch of the venue. Thousands of phones rising in the air to capture every moment as soon as the curtain dropped on stage. Goose-bump worthy after being in lockdown for months.

It’s a testament to the versatility of Moment House, who are becoming the frontier of pandemic related livestreams, and who previously hosted the Halsey and Client Liaison livestreams I’ve reviewed. Where those streams were run on a tight, seamless schedule – beginning right on the event start time – Yungblud’s livestream felt more reminiscent of live events, with the concert beginning 10 minutes after the advertised start time. The delay only added to the excitement.

Yungblud (Dominic Harrison) is a performer that has boundless energy. From the moment the curtain dropped he stormed on stage on a mission to entertain. The crowd was treated to high kicks, non-stop jumping and an expression of both anarchy and joy that was evident in every single move made. Harrison is a master of the stage, demanding attention, and the same energy he so eagerly gives the audience. It almost felt like Yungblud was the ringleader of a circle of misfits.

The 1.5-hour gig was a celebration of an impressive catalogue of music, and community. As someone who hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing Yungblud live in person (yet) I was in awe of the response of the fans filling the packed mosh pit. The fans screamed every lyric of every song back at Harrison – even his latest release “Fleabag” which had only been in their ears for a few weeks. The fans waved rainbow flags, raised their hands in heart shapes above their heads, formed a wall of death and chanted “F*#$ COVID” along with Harrison – both lead by him naturally. The anarchy was contagious.

This was complemented by electrifying production and pyro, with flames illuminating the stage and making the scale of the show feel larger than life. There was even a point where a piano was brought out on stage for Harrison to play and yep, you guessed it – it was surrounded by flames. It looked incredible.


The sense of community and gratitude that arose from the livestream is memorable. Amongst multiple costume changes, Yungblud wore a red jumpsuit with the words “the future is bright cause we are in it” printed across the back. On the venue screens, bright neon red signs flashed in time with performances reading “look around yourselves, these people are your family, they will uplift you, they will support you, and they will love you for being exactly who you are”.

It made me tear up at home as I watched along. It made Harrison tear up on stage. The singer did not hold back from sharing his emotions with the crowd, speaking of how overwhelmed and grateful he was to be playing such an important show and to be surrounded by so many loving, accepting, and understanding fans.


Yungblud’s catalogue of music covers a vast array of emotions and the flow of the setlist was perfect… creating rise and fall, moments of chaos and moments of calm, before concluding on a high. Opening with “Strawberry Lipstick”, “Parents” and “I Love You, Will You Marry Me” created a ruckus in the venue, in the best way, which continued right through to “Anarchy”.

Harrison was at his most vulnerable during the performance of “love song” – a moment of intimacy and calm that reduced the singer to tears. Where “love song” encompasses acceptance, self-love and growth, the reassurance that we’re not alone came during the performances of “I Think I’m OKAY” and “god save me but don’t drown me out” – two of my personal favourites. Hearing “weird” live was also incredibly powerful, with the lyrics acting as the perfect antidote to COVID related lockdowns and isolation felt by fans all over the world.

Yungblud’s London gig was the first time I purchased a ticket to a pandemic-inspired livestream event that featured a live crowd. It reminded me that the world is returning to some form of normality, whilst still being capable of utilising modern technologies and opportunities for global fans. It provided livestream viewers with a heightened sense of emotion, and adrenaline, making us feel as close to the live experience as we possibly could… considering many fans were miles away from Alexandra Palace. Moment House has hosted quite a few of these livestreams now, and it’s worth purchasing the ticket… every single time.

Setlist
1. Strawberry Lipstick
2. Parents
3. Superdeadfriends
4. I Love You, Will You Marry Me
5. Anarchist
6. Mars
7. Weird
8. Fleabag
9. Medication
10. Loner
11. love song
12. I Think I’m OKAY
13. god save me but don’t drown me out
14. Charity
15. Teresa
16. Machine Gun

Read more reviews from Lovers of Live and follow the Instagram page to stay up to date on all things live music!

Client Liaison – A Night of Divine Intervention – Livestream

During the final weeks of lockdown in Sydney, “Divine Intervention” came in the form of Client Liaison and an electrifying global livestream event. Hosted on October 2nd, Client Liaison celebrated the release of their second studio album with a performance that COVID-19 couldn’t cancel. That’s the beauty of livestreams! The Australian pop duo, consisting of Monte Morgan and Harvey Miller, were joined by their band, and collaborated with the livestream platform Moment House.

The process was much like what I experienced when joining Halsey’s global livestream event. Moment House encourages fan interaction with the chat feature available during the countdown to the concert, as well as during the performance. One fan from the UK was excited the time difference enabled them to enjoy a “morning disco” while all the Aussies were tuning in from 7:30pm!

An additional feature I adored this time around was the merchandise shop, enabling ticketholders to buy Client Liaison merch bundles, all from the comfort of their own homes – and without a queue! It was a great way to further support the duo and make the experience feel akin to attending live music events.

Client Liaison performed a 50-minute set, “welcoming us to heaven” and utilising neon lighting to illuminate a stark-white set, and a truck that housed the duo and their band as they made their grand entrance. A heavenly, ethereal influence was evident during the livestream, as tall Greek-like pillars lined the performance space in what appeared to be a circular form. The “stage” setup – only a small box to give height amongst the band, was centred, complimenting the camera that intimately followed the band and regularly circled around the space.

The livestream took place within the first 48-hours of the new album being shared with the world, which added to the intimacy of the event. Hearing “Intervention” and “Strictly Business” performed live especially excited me, as I’d been listening to the new tracks in the lead up to the stream. Weaving in songs like “Elevator Up” and “Champagne Affection” also highlighted the duo’s strength in creating music that carries heart and soul, yet a fun energy, with the 80’s synth and dance beats flowing through each song in the set.

Client Liaison nail the line between sexy and soulful, especially evident when the saxophone comes out. The duo and their band weren’t afraid to dance, to move and even show off Monte’s outfit changes throughout the show. Fan favourite tracks “World of our Love” and “The Real Thing” were saved for the end of the set, with the livestream concluding after the band performed “House of Holy”.


The event was the perfect accompaniment to a Saturday night in lockdown, igniting joy and hope. At times, the livestream felt meditative, with Client Liaison leaning heavily into the “Divine Intervention” theme to accompany their aptly titled album. It provided the perfect amount of escapism and mindfulness, with lyrics like “let this be your remedy” and “with fire inside, in search of hope, remember this, you’re not alone” more relevant and comforting than ever.

At times, masked crew members were visible – a reminder that the world we know it, despite being a “World of our Love”, is navigating through a pandemic that has had a significant impact on the music industry. The livestream served as hope for the future – a future when we’re all dancing in a crowd as Client Liaison perform on a stage that is radiating love and light.

Livestreams may not be “The Real Thing”, but they sure as hell are the closest thing to a gig we can get at times, and they’re worth the ticket. Even as the world continues to open up, as live music makes a return, I highly recommend supporting your favourite artists and enjoying any livestream events they host. It’s always exciting to see their creativity shine on screen, and it’s unique to experience an intimacy, to performances, plus comfort, that you can only experience at home.

Setlist

1. Club Called Heaven
2. Elevator Up
3. Off White Limousine
4. Intervention
5. Champagne Affection
6. Strictly Business
7. Groove is in The Heart (cover)
8. World of our Love
9. The Real Thing
10. House of Holy



Halsey – ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ Livestream

To celebrate the release of Halsey’s fourth studio album ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’, fans were treated to an incredible one night only, global performance experience. Halsey welcomed fans into their theatrical world of love and power, providing a mesmerising visual journey through some of the 13 songs featured on the new album.

The livestream event ran for approximately 45 minutes and was hosted seamlessly by Moment House. Ticket purchasing was simple, with users able to select between three different performance times based on their time zone. The website featured stunning graphics of Halsey, moody music and a countdown that created an air of excitement as the event was close to beginning.

Another wonderful feature was the chat, which allowed Halsey fans to engage before, during, and after the performance. Personally, I chose to watch the livestream in full-screen mode for the ultimate concert experience, however, the chat was constantly flooded with exciting reactions to Halsey’s performance.

The “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” livestream featured an 11-song setlist that incorporated multiple stage sets, costumes, and special effects.  The production was incredible, effectively adding depth and an electric atmosphere to the powerhouse performances. LED screens, neon strobing and a breath-taking set that looked straight out of a fairy tale were highlights.

You see that? Breath-taking.
The livestream flowed between both whimsical and haunting moments, between dark and light. Through it all it was beautiful and powerful.

The transitions between such different atmospheres were effective in keeping audiences on their toes, unsure as to what world they’d be transported into next. The styling of hair, costume and makeup also added depth to the atmosphere, with Halsey changing between fits that were reminiscent of medieval ages, but also welcoming of lacy bodysuits and lingerie.

Halsey filmed the event while pregnant, though you never would have guessed until the camera panned down to reveal the fact.

Their energy levels were high, particularly evident during the performances of “You asked for this”, “Nightmare” and “honey”, which saw the singer embracing the title of the song and covering themselves in the sweet condiment. Yep, you read that correctly. Halsey was covered in honey and looked gorgeous as ever.

“You should be sad” was stripped back in comparison to the western themed music video, with the singer laying down, dimly lit. Such contrast between the array of performances made the setlist feel even more engaging, much like a regular concert feels.

The singer sounded as strong and smooth ever, with their vocals leaving goose bumps as they performed “Darling” and a haunting reimaging of “Gasoline”. “I am not a woman, I’m a God” was also a standout, with Halsey demanding attention, and power, with ease.

The event felt intimate, with Halsey starring down the barrel of the camera multiple times, making the songs feel personal and the performance feel more inclusive than anticipated.

The trouble with livestreams is the disconnect that can arise, the awareness that you’re often alone and streaming a show from your home. However, Halsey and the incredible team that worked on this production mastered the art of creating high energy, tour quality performances that also felt engaging and intimate, like you were standing on stage with the singer during every moment.


What I believe was most special to see throughout the entirety of the livestream was the confidence and the authenticity radiating from Halsey. Each performance felt like a theatrical rendition of the album tracks fans have grown to love so dearly. It felt like Halsey gave her all to every inch of detail visible throughout the livestream and her physicality and voice during performances was as strong, yet raw, as ever.

In this crazy COVID world, the livestream felt like a snippet into the kind of Halsey tour we will hopefully all attend on the other side of the pandemic. You can guarantee you’ll see me front and centre, eager to see “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” brought to life once again.

SETLIST

  1. The Tradition
  2. Lilith
  3. Easier Than Lying
  4. You Should Be Sad
  5. Girl is a Gun
  6. Nightmare
  7. You Asked For This
  8. Darling
  9. Honey
  10. I am not a Woman, I’m a God
  11. Gasoline (Reimagined)

If you haven’t already heard “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” I highly recommend you give it a listen.
Halsey becomes more authentic with each release, and it truly is one of the standout albums of 2021.

Stream it here.

Niall Horan – Live at The Royal Albert Hall

Getting your live music fix in 2020 can be a challenge. However, there are incredibly innovative ways that artists and bands are reaching their fans to perform and fill the live music void in everyone’s hearts.

Last weekend, on November 8th 2020, I experienced my first ticketed livestream event. I virtually attended Niall Horan’s ‘Live at The Royal Albert Hall’ concert and was in awe of the technology that went into creating the live music experience.
So how did it work?

The pre-recorded event ran much like a regular gig. Fans were treated to an exciting announcement, setting their alarms for the moments tickets went on sale. After purchasing tickets (which was a much less stressful experience then usual, we love unlimited capacity!) virtual tickets were emailed to fans, with instructions on how to access the exclusive concert stream. What made the event so inclusive and accessible was the option of four livestream times, catering to fans all around the world, ensuring a stream could easily work into their time zones. The stream reached over 150 countries! On the day of the event, we were emailed a private link to direct us to the stream. This is where the excitement truly began for me.

It was 8pm, reminiscent of the nights when I’d be packed in a crowd, waiting for a performance to start on stage. Waiting for the stream to begin created the same sense of anticipation and excitement. What would Niall include in the setlist!? How long would he perform for!? Would there be any surprises!? The unknowns were so refreshing.
And then the screen went black, as close to the lights going out in the venue as one can get virtually…and the concert began.

Niall performed for an hour, playing through a setlist of songs from his debut album ‘Flicker’ and his latest album ‘Heartbreak Weather’. The beauty of this was, due to Niall releasing ‘Heartbreak Weather’ just as the world began going into lockdown. Niall was unable to tour the album. I had tickets to his 2020 Australian tour and when it was cancelled, resigned myself to thinking I wouldn’t be hearing the new music anytime soon. This livestream proved me wrong.

Hearing my favourite songs from ‘Heartbreak Weather’ live refuelled my soul. There’s no other way I can say it. It felt normal, it felt right, and it made me so grateful. Something that felt so out of reach was suddenly unfolding in front of my eyes. I danced, I cried, I sang. There was even a moment during ‘Slow Hands’ when Niall didn’t sing one line of the chorus, and out of habit, I sang the lyrics as every fan would at a concert when the artist holds the microphone out to the crowd to hear them sing the lyrics back to them. It was cheeky, given the livestream nature, but so, so normal. As I wrote yesterday, live music is healing and let me tell you, I felt healed.

Niall also treated fans to a surprise guest, Ashe, who joined the former One Direction member on stage to perform their collaboration, ‘Moral of the Story’. The surprise was reminder of the new COVID world we live in, as the pair described the extreme lengths they went to when getting the LA performer to London, including a two week quarantine.

The footage of Niall and his band performing was complimented by stunning shots of The Royal Albert Hall, which helped set the mood for the evening and often, made it feel like you were actually in the venue. Personally, I also found myself feeling privileged to see such a beautiful, historic venue on display without an audience. As you can see in the videos above, the production was beautiful, lighting up the room in time with the songs being performed and creating a memorable viewing experience.

Seeing Niall Horan perform virtually was everything my live music loving soul needed. Other artists including Kylie Minogue and Billie Eillish have streamed concerts of the same format with just as much success, proving there’s not only a market for the events, but also a need. However, it isn’t just fans that need these concerts. it’s the crews.

One of the most touching aspects of Niall Horan ‘Live At The Royal Albert Hall’ was that all proceeds from ticket sales were being donated to his personal touring crew and the #weneedcrew relief fund. Niall passionately spoke of the cause, reminding fans that crew members were struggling in these COVID times, left to find supermarket jobs or other jobs of a casual nature due to the live music industry coming to a standstill. Niall wanted to ensure crews weren’t being left behind. Knowing I was supporting such an incredible cause made the live music experience even more fulfilling.

If you have the chance to witness live music in any capacity in 2020, take it. Whether it be a COVID safe event (if you’re in one of the lucky countries!) or a virtual livestream event, live music is healing. Live music is escapism and it’s needed more than ever.

If you love One Direction, check out my blog post featuring Harry Styles.