DC music scene awakens from pandemic hibernation

Ruby Mason and Annette Leber

Imagine drums pumping out a steady beat and a melody blaring from a guitar. But instead of being surrounded by hundreds of other fans, you’re sitting next to your mom on the couch watching through a TV screen. 

This has been the reality of concerts as the pandemic has put live music on hold until now, forcing fans to attend concerts virtually.

Despite this drawback, music has remained an important aspect of people’s lives. The upside of being stuck in the house with nothing to do is that many have been able to expand their musical taste. Junior Olivia Biggs describes how “I’ve found more artists that I enjoy and in turn, lined up more concerts.”

However, the experience of live music is unmatched. Biggs explains that “it’s just fun to be with friends and sing badly along with a bunch of other people, and when artists perform live, I love listening to the little changes they make in the songs and how they sing.” 

Some venues have been coming up with different ways to allow people to still watch live music. Black Cat, a music venue on U Street that has been operating since the 90s, has continued the spirit of music through the formation of their own band, The Owners. 

The spacious venues have not been abandoned during the pandemic. While The Anthem wasn’t hosting performances they have served as a vaccination site and the 9:30 Club has hosted food bank donations throughout the year. 

However, as people are getting vaccinated, these venues will be able to open again for their intended purpose of showcasing music performances. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that restaurants and bars would be allowed to open fully on May 10th and “multi-use facilities” could reopen on June 11. 

While many venues, like the 9:30 Club, haven’t announced any shows until August, the Songbyrd Music House in Adams Morgan has already started to book performers, and Union Stage is planning two shows by White Ford Bronco. •