This is what the US’ first socially-distanced concert looks like

A mix of strange, lonely, hopeful and ultimately prophetic.

Breaking the trend of live-streamed, archival or otherwise online-only concerts amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Travis McCready became the first musician to play host to a live concert compliant with the US’ social distancing guidelines, taking place at Arkansas’ TempleLive venue. Take a look at some photographs from the show below:

Photographs from the concert, as you can see, paint a strange picture – although not an entirely unfamiliar one, if no one likes your band. But that’s certainly not the case for McCready, frontman of blues-rock outfit Bishop Gunn, who played to a crowd consisting of ‘pods’ of fans, all keeping a minimum of 6ft / 2m from each other. The venue, operating at a greatly reduced capacity, checked attendees temperatures as they came in, and required them to wear masks when inside. McCready was joined on stage by a backing band, his Great Dane (named Van Gogh) and a sense that the world might never be the same again. Presumably.

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TempleLive did not have an easy road to getting the gig going, either, having clashed with the state of Arkansas ahead of time, as NME reports. But after a postponement by a few days to and an updated safety plan, it was given the go-ahead.

While the photographs from the event are undoubtedly strange, we are in strange times. And as Rolling Stone reassuringly reports, sheer musicianship prevailed in the end: But by his fourth song … McCready had overcome the awkward vibe with the thing that enticed stir-crazy people to leave their homes in the first place — his voice. By the end, the gig took on the intimacy and casualness of a living-room show at your buddy’s house.”

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