Tracker Pixel for Entry

When Will the Curtain Call Again? Performing with the Pandemic

Music | October 7th, 2020

By Michael Str!ke

michaelstrike.solo@gmail.com

Two-hundred days.

In two-hundred days I've played one show.

At the beginning of this year if someone had told me I was going to play just one show over the span of almost seven months I would've laughed them out of the room, and then put on a show in it. I had eight tours and over 100 separate shows routed and nearly booked at the start of 2020. Then in mid-March predicted nightmares had become reality, and I made the decision to cancel them all as the entire entertainment industry ground to a halt. An industry already prone to struggle and necessary vigilance took the first and most lasting hit from this global pandemic.

My story isn't unique, nor is it typical. I'm not here to judge on what the 'right way' is going forward during this time. I've canceled playing shows until the foreseeable future, and I won't condemn the artists and entertainers that haven't made that choice. I'm just here to share my small experience, and how I've seen things change from the 'normal' that we may never get back.

We've lost venues. We've lost artists. We've lost motivation, and some of us have lost our very livelihoods to this unknown future. Some bands have stayed the course; playing shows that some would consider smartly run, to others just playing out as if nothing has really changed. But change is an absolute these days; from the sweaty over packed basements of noise shows to the hallowed halls of theaters in our largest cities-- artists sit and wait out of work.

I've been lucky to be a part of a few live stream concert series that have at least been a suture for this deep wound of ours. I've read the joy of fans and fellow artists exclaimed in chat windows while being able to tune in and tune up their beloved artists that no longer blaze through their towns and cities. That human connection is still possible, if a little lacking, through that necessary beast we call the internet.

Yet, some still press on as if nothing was different. Here in North Dakota and a lot of places in the midwest, there are still plenty of people that continue as they have before. Bands travel through to play shows. Cover bands and other acts have come through where I work security, and I've seen almost-crowds reveling in that pulse that is live music. And I can't judge. I have my opinions on how I think things should've been handled, but I think it's time more of us say that we just don't really know the best way of going forward.

Music is special. LIVE music is special. Live performances of all kinds are special. It connects us more than almost any other aspect of our society. It connects us to ourselves, to each other, to that moment we so desperately try to live in, and I can't wait until we can feel safe to unabashedly make that connection again

[Editor's note: Michael Str!ke is a Fargo based musician, playing in bands such as Michael Str!ke and the God Damn Band, Mr. Meaner, and Pour Choices.]

Recently in:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.edu Gerald Briggs, the Warren County Mississippi Fire/EMS chief, was at a festival in February 2020 when a local law enforcement officer asked him if he had heard about the explosion…

By Michael M. Millermichael.miller@ndsu.edu Dwight Herr interviewed his father, Julius E. Herr of Wishek, North Dakota, in June 1979. Dwight provided a transcription and donated the “Life Story of Julius E. Herr” to the Germans…

Saturday, March 1611 a.m.Downtown FargoWear something green and celebrate spring during Fargo-Moorhead’s premier parade. Thousands of spectators line the streets, so arrive early to snag a prime spot. This community celebration…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com When one googles “What traits are desirable in a new employee,” some of the first words that pop up “from sources around the web” include “communication,” “team player,”…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comPoliticians could learn a lot by watching dung beetles work for a livingThe 400,000 species of beetles is the largest order of insects discovered on Planet Earth, so far. Insect researchers believe…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

The Aquarium, 226 Broadway North upstairs, Downtown FargoFriday, December 8, 7:30-11pmDoors 7:30 pm // Music 8 pm21+ // $10 advance // $12 DOSOver two decades, Christmas songs have appeared throughout Owen Ashworth’s recorded…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the pursuit of knowledge has directed humankind to new horizons – the ocean depths, the infinite reach of space, and the hidden secrets of cells and microbes…or to Artificial Intelligence, which…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Faye Seidlerfayeseidler@gmail.com On the first day of the month I ask people to thank a journalist they know or someone who contributes to papers in some meaningful way. When I grew up, my best friend's father was a journalist…