The Onstage Music Community Forum: From the Stage of Madison Square Garden to Live in the Living Room with Eliot Lewis
Welcome to the Onstage Music Community Forum
Day by day, things keep changing and not for the better. The further we move into this pandemic, the more it seems the music industry is a long, long way from getting back to anything close to normal. From lack of employment, to lack of services, to lack of answers, to the anxiety musicians and concert goers are feeling, there’s no adjusting to this new normal because we don’t know what the new normal will ultimately become. At Onstage, we are acutely aware of the impact the pandemic is having on the artistic and music communities.
So what can we do? Well, we can listen and share. Share your fears, your hopes, your ideas, your soul. This is our, or rather, your forum to voice all of it. From the artists to the roadies to the lighting and catering crews, to the promoters and managers, venue owners, poster designers and music stores…tell us what’s happening.
You never know where the next great idea may come from, so let’s have a conversation about it all. If you know of organizations that might assist, let us know. If you’re terrified you won’t make it through the day, week, or month…reach out. We are a big community, we can do this.
Send your story, thoughts, ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your social sites if you have any, current project links, photos, etc. We can promote as well as listen.
Today’s post comes from a musician who literally played the stage at NYC’s Madison Square Garden one day and then went home to self-isolate. Multi-instrumentalist Eliot Lewis had already started a spring and summer of touring with Hall & Oates, as well as his solo shows. COVID-19 had other plans. So, it was time to pivot and create a new interim career. Here’s Eliot’s story.
‘‘The day the earth stood still”
I never thought it would happen in my lifetime, but it has.
I‘m a full-time, career musician. I currently play with Daryl Hall & John Oates and all of the Live From Daryl’s House shows. When things started to get really scary in mid March, I seriously thought to myself, well, if we don’t ever get to do another show, at least my last one was at Madison Square Garden, which was my third time playing there and had always been my dream to play.
So now we all have to put on the brakes and go from 60 mph back to 0, or do we?
After the initial shock that so many of us, especially in the music business felt, an interesting thing started to happen to me. I, like many other musicians started to do live streams, but I figured if I’m going to do these, I want to have a quality audio and visual presentation, like I would do live, although it’s in my living room.
I quickly dove into what I needed to do this. I’ve always felt we need to be able to adapt to many situations life throws at us. Also, doing a weekly live stream show gave me something to focus on, like any other show, preparing and working on new songs and arrangements for my fans.
After a few weeks I also found my creativity starting to really come back, and felt the need to go much deeper into my songwriting. In fact I’ve just released something that I consider possibly my best song, being inspired by what’s going on in the world now. It’s called “When This Is All Over”
I also started to get many invitations to do cameo videos for bands, one being my former band, The Average White Band, Covid19 relief organizations, interviews,podcasts and so many other things, I think I’m busier now than I have ever been. And although there’s very little money coming in, I’m grateful I have some savings to be able to weather this storm for a little while.
I’m also setting up a way to do paid virtual concerts and looking at the various platforms that work for this and of course will keep the ticket prices literally to a few dollars because so many are struggling financially now.
I know the uncertainty of this is the cause of great stress for many, but I know we will come out of this, hopefully sooner than later.
So as a musician, in some ways I’m grateful to having been forced to stop the sort of auto-pilot routine my life has been for years, of touring with Hall & Oates and all the solo shows I do in-between.
Don’t get me wrong, I love doing that immensely, and have been incredibly fortunate to have this level of career, but now the focus is on the things that really matter, songs and content. When we get back to being able to perform live, I think there will definitely be a new and profound appreciation for those moments.
Having said that, these past few months have been a amazing time to connect and engage with with my fans that have been so loyal to me and I see that number growing every week.
So my musician friends, I recommend diving into what originally inspired you to pick up a instrument and give your fans and followers the best of what you have, it will come back ten fold. Stay, strong, positive and most important, healthy and safe out there.
New from Eliot Lewis, inspired by life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another inspirational song perfectly suited for the times