Matt Bowhall performs during the March 25 show streamed from Burgie’s, a converted garage in Arbuckle, because of COVID-19 cancelations of public events. (Photos by Steve Martarano)

Sign of the Times

Sacramento band streams benefit show instead of playing before live audience

Back Web Only Mar 31, 2020 By Steve Martarano

This is the Sacramento music scene in the age of COVID-19: JonEmery & the Unconventionals had a show scheduled for March 25 at the Torch Club in Sacramento that, along with every other public gathering in California, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mike Bacon, Jr. gets ready to stream the March 25 concert.

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The four-piece, alt-country Americana band decided to go on with the gig anyway. The group performed an hour-long set as a Facebook streaming event from an almost empty Burgie’s, a house concert venue in Arbuckle operated by Steve and Jaedra Burgess.

JonEmery Dodds, frontman for JonEmery & the Unconventionals, toasts the Torch Club before an unseen crowd at the benefit show streamed from Burgie’s in Arbuckle.

Proceeds are benefiting the 10 employees of the Torch Club, who are all currently unable to work but are planning to return once the club opens. 

JonEmery & the Unconventionals play before an empty room at Burgie’s, a converted garage in Arbuckle.

“Usually this place is packed with people, but tonight it’s just us in here and you out there in Facebook land, being safe and taking this COVID-19 thing seriously,” band leader JonEmery Dodds said during the show.

Steve Burgess (foreground), one of the owners of Burgie’s in Arbuckle, streams the March 25 show via his iPhone to an audience of close to 2,000 viewers.

The event received almost 2,000 live viewers tuning in from Southern California to Idaho, Dodds says, and the Torch Club’s Dana Moret reported that viewers raised $2,000.

JonEmery & the Unconventionals, L-R: Matt Bowhall, JonEmery Dodds, JD Vargas and Mike Bacon Jr.

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Glenn Mandelkern (not verified)April 1, 2020 - 3:25pm

Once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, this livestreaming option can be added for those who can't physically for whatever the reason. Meanwhile, may live music never be rendered obsolete.

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