High-energy Quarantine Concert Series a successMay 26, 2020 11:43AM ● By Stephanie De Graw
Burke Laidler aka Ofi performs with his band at the Quarantine Concert Series to raise money for MusiCares. (Photo courtesy Joseph Vernon Reidhead)
By Stephanie DeGraw |[email protected]
The healing power of music reached fans online during the Quarantine Concert Series while raising money for charity. Local and national musicians joined forces to raise funds for MusiCares in April.
“The concert was an absolute blast,” said Burke Laidler aka Ofi (pronounced oh-fee). “The energy was so different this time, obviously because there were a limited number of people allowed in the venue. But knowing fans were at home watching and expecting an 'Ofi-level performance' made us ignore the empty room and focus on why we were performing that type of concert in the first place."
Laidler said that music heals, and people need “a dose of happiness right now more than ever. We really felt everybody in there with us."
Performers usually draw off the power of the crowd, so the musicians had to find the strength within themselves. Laidler said he and his band knew they needed to sustain high energy for the entire performance as if they were in a room of 3,000 people. "We played our hearts out and danced our butts off. Our 40-minute set felt like five minutes. We had an insane amount of fun at the Q-Concert Series broadcast," he said.
Other factors that made the concerts shine were the caliber of musicians and the interviews sprinkled throughout the shows. Other performers included: Matt Scannell of Vertical Horizon, James Otto, Troubadour 77, Ofi, Suit Up, Soldier, Tom Yankton of Rascal Flatts, Charley Jenkins, Nathan Osmond, Travis Van Hoff, and Rally.
“We are very grateful to Gary Robison for having the insight to put on a show of this caliber for people bored at home that were looking to have some semblance of normalcy back in their life," Laidler said. "We do have the best fans. My livelihood, as well as many other full-time performers, was greatly affected by COVID-19, so I was extremely humbled and in awe of how many people sent so much love and donated to MusiCares.”
The isolation and boredom of quarantine lead Gary Robison, the executive producer, to realize he needed a change. Reading Facebook posts and watching the news made him depressed. "After watching endless Amazon movies, I need something else. Something that only music can provide," he said.
Robison partnered with the MusiCares Charity, which is part of the Grammy's mission to provide a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a range of financial, medical and personal emergencies.
The two-day music celebration was broadcast from the Experience Event Center as well as from some musicians’ homes. Josh Hermann, Marketing Director Experience Event Center, noted that even though the concerts didn't have an in-person audience, they still provided a live feel.
"Knowing it's live presents that feeling that we're all in it, we're simultaneously enjoying in real-time together,” Hermann said. “It has its own spirit of enjoyment, even if we're missing a component of true togetherness and that tickle to all of our senses at a live event. While the community can sometimes feel like we are sharing in a community fear simultaneously in so many ways, it's nice to interject some community passion for music and togetherness to overcome it! Just grateful to have been part of the event for that reason.”
After the concerts, fans were also able to have a VIP experience with virtual meet and greets with the musicians. For more information, visit qconcertseries.com.