UMD students take part in home concert trend

Junior supply chain management major Sammy Garcia performs for an audience of stuffed animals while streaming over the platform Twitch. (Photo courtesy of Sammy Garcia)

By Nick Nimkoff

The tradition of going to a crowded arena to see your favorite artist perform seems like a pipedream these days. With COVID-19 sweeping the globe, many events have been canceled, including conventions, seasonal events and concerts, so artists have been taking concerts home via social media.

Be it One World: At Home featuring artists like Billie Eilish and Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus on “Saturday Night Live at Home,” everyone wants to keep their fans happy since they can’t put on a show for them physically.

Globally recognized artists aren’t the only ones using the power of the internet to get their music out to the world.

Sophomore philosophy and government major Benny Roman has been using his time at home to perform on Facebook and Instagram Live.

Roman said he’s been having a great time performing for the crowd he has amassed both virtually and physically. He often performs for his neighbors who enjoy free concerts from their porches.

Roman performs covers of popular songs and original music he writes in his downtime.

He enjoys the opportunity to make music since busking, a form of casual street performance, is out of the question.

“The goal is to perform each week so that then there is an obligation to be ready and have new songs to do, so I’m learning more and staying in the midst of things musically,” Roman said.

He also commented about how online performing is a good alternative but prefers a live audience and likely won’t continue after venues reopen.

Roman isn’t the only UMD student streaming performances. Junior supply chain management major Sammy Garcia, creator of Maryland Night Live — a student-led production mimicking the style of Saturday Night Live — also took the extra time at home to perform on the streaming platform Twitch.

Unlike Roman, Garcia said he was made uncomfortable by not having anyone to interact with.

“Having no feedback or direct audience is always something that’s very interesting, it kinda takes it to the most raw level of performing,” Garcia said.

He also felt having the audience detachment helped him focus purely on the sound and get into what he was singing.

Garcia said he definitely wants to do another home concert after the first one proved to be a success and after he has learned a few more songs and written more originals. His aspiration for the next concert is to have more than just singing and incorporate more instrumentals.

He found the experience informative, but like Roman, doesn’t see himself continuing to stream performances once venues open.

“I really enjoy the intimate space that the at-home concert has created and I loved how I could create and control all the variables and elements,” Garcia said. “I just loved that it was my show.”

Published by wmucradionews

WMUC Radio News is the University of Maryland's only student-run radio news program broadcasting live to 88.1 FM College Park every Monday when classes are in session from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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