Home By Southwest
It’s been about a year since South By Southwest announced it was pulling the plug on the annual festival of arts and technology, one of the first major events leading to a full-year-and-counting of cancellations and postponements. But with a year to regroup and revisit its format, SXSW is back for 2021. Starting Tuesday, March 16, SXSW Online offers five days of musical performances, film premieres, tech and business discussions and more. Keynote speaker Willie Nelson and featured speakers Queen Latifah, Wyclef Jean, Barry Jenkins and Samantha Bee, to name a few, will highlight the state of music, comedy and business in their presentations, while pass-holders can also explore virtual concerts, workshops, comedy showcases, panels and Q&As, movie features and short videos (many of which are North American or international premieres) from the SXSW Film Festival, networking sessions and more, all streaming to your mobile devices or TV sets. And other interested parties — including BrooklynVegan, Kosha Dillz, BeatBites, The Syndicate, The British Music Embassy and many more — have also created curated showcases to feature favorite and up-and-coming musical artists. Sure, you might miss the energy, the smells, the sweat and spilled beer of a full-scale music festival, but this is the next best thing.
Tuesday through Saturday, March 16-20; $325 for full-access streaming pass at sxsw.com. Some events do require reservations, so register ASAP.
312 Day with Beach Bunny
312 Day, a special day for Chicago’s Goose Island brewery, is going online with a live broadcast of Chicago music and panel discussions with industry pros on Friday, March 12. Beach Bunny heads the event with a tiny VIP concert at the Goose Island Brewhouse, which also features sets by Sen Morimoto, Ohmme and Ganser. Also catch Jaime Black of Dynasty Podcasts as he heads a panel discussion about live events moving forward with Dom Brown (of Auris Presents and Activate Chi), Juan Teague (of Juan and Only Events), Pepe Vargas (of the Latino Cultural Center), Adam Thurston (of Lincoln Hall, Schubas and Audiotree) and Molly Mobley (of Empty Bottle). The entire presentation will be broadcast throughout the venue and livestreaming at facebook.com/Do312.
7 p.m. Friday, March 12, at Goose Island Brewhouse, 1800 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago. Special 312 Day food and drink specials will be available; reservations are recommended at (312) 915-0071 or gooseisland.com.
St. Patrick’s Day concerts
Stock your kitchen with green beer and whiskey because some fan-favorite shows will be streaming straight to you this St. Patrick’s Day.
Flogging Molly: A staple of L.A.’s annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities, this much-loved punk-rock band had to quarantine split between Ireland and the U.S. during 2020’s pandemic lockdowns. Making the best of this year’s celebrations, band members decided on something completely different for them: a livestream performance from Ireland. “In over 20 years together, this is our first ever show from the Emerald Isle on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Dave King, the band’s lead singer. “Welcome to Ireland. Let’s celebrate!” On top of the raucous and joyful party streaming from Whelan’s Irish Pub in Dublin, Flogging Molly offers different streaming bundles, including a virtual meet-and-greet, an acoustic set of fan favorites and various merch packages; a portion of the ticket sales will benefit Sweet Relief’s COVID-19 Crew Fund, supporting crew members out of work during the pandemic. 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 17; tickets start at $15 at floggingmollylive.com.
Dropkick Murphys: Boston’s Dropkick Murphys brings its traditional rock for a St. Patrick’s Day show people need right now. With an arena-sized stage and full video production, the “Still Locked Down” concert is exactly the spectacle many have come to expect from the band’s annual St. Patrick’s Day blowouts — a loud, vibrant and raucous celebration. The streaming show, presented free with donations requested, will feature fan favorites as well as new songs from the band’s upcoming album. Tune in at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, at DKMstream.com.
Celtic Thunder: The famed Irish song-and-dance troupe expands its St. Patrick’s Day offerings to a week of music, chats and tradition. Each night starting Saturday, March 13, a different singer will lead fans on their own journey into the history and musical culture of Ireland, backed up by the rest of the group. Anything goes on night five, what’s billed as “surprise night” by the group. Find more information on each performance at celticthunder.com. 6 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday, March 13-17, at stageit.com/CTLive; $15 per performance.
Bob Weir and Wolf Bros: Guitarist and Grateful Dead founding member Bob Weir takes to the streams for a St. Patrick’s Day show from California’s TRI Studios, featuring Don Was, Jay Lane, Jeff Chimenti and Greg Leisz, and a load of special guests. Discounted tickets are available in advance, with merch bundles also for sale. 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 17; tickets start at $19.99 at stream.fans.live.
Alligator Records and the blues
As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, Governors State University Center For Performing Arts’ will present a night of hot Chicago-style blues with “Sweet Home Chicago — An Online Blues Celebration.” Bringing together harmonica legend Billy Branch & The Sons Of Blues, Grammy-nominated singer Shemekia Copeland, with Lil’ Ed Williams and Toronzo Cannon on guitar, the livestreaming showcase will also feature Alligator Records’ founder Bruce Iglauer sharing stories about the label and its history with the featured performers and others. The concert will also be available to ticketholders to stream on demand through April 11.
7 p.m. Saturday, March 13; $25-$50 per household at govst.edu.
• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).