Words and images by Jaime Baker
(images are screenshots from the live stream of the concert)
On March 12th, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a ban on public gatherings of 100-plus people (which was later changed to 50-plus) for events, fairs, and festivals to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).
This has brought the local music community to its knees, as events and shows are being cancelled and bars being closed by order of the Governor in the wake of the Coronavirus global pandemic that has crippled multiple countries around the world.
Gudger, on the other hand, decided to take a different approach after their show at The Southgate House Revival in Newport, KY was postponed. They announced a live stream event, dubbed Gudger – Live From The Quarantine – Live Music from the Safety of Your Own Home! from their home studio, Amish Electric Chair Studios. Fans could attend the concert virtually via Facebook during this time of social isolation by simply watching the live stream from their mobile devices or home computers in order to stay safe from spreading and/or contracting the illness.
I started the live stream and immediately saw the familiar Gudger logo on the screen, and then drummer/vocalist Aaron Eddleblute appears wearing a gas mask and hazmat gear (which was amazing), and I knew at that moment that this was going to be an awesome event!
The camera zoomed out to reveal guitarist Derek Eddleblute with hazmat gear and a face mask covering his nose and mouth, with bassist Neil Tuuri also wearing a hazmat suit and a face mask on the top of his head.
The set began with Hourglass from their sophomore album “Gudger II”, and because everything was going directly through the sound board, the blend was perfect. Comments of “Thank you!” and “This is great!!” started to spring up from the fans with “like” and “heart” reactions blossoming from the bottom of the live feed.
Moving into Pestilence from the collaborative “Hell or Ohio” album, more and more fans began joining the live stream in appreciation of being able to get some live music into their lives.
During Death from Above you can hear Aaron say, “I gotta fever, and it needs more cowbell!” This caused the comments to begin getting more active. From people commenting that their dogs were moshing to the music, to others offering to buy virtual drinks for friends, the fans certainly seemed to be enjoying this event from the safety of their own homes.
There were many people just simply thanking the band for doing a live stream, as they had a busy lifestyle and couldn’t make it to shows as often as they liked. At last count, the video has had over 7.3K views.
I was able to speak with Aaron about the stream, asking him how they came up with the idea for this.
“It was seriously like me and Neil were on the same brainwaves on this whole thing,” he said. “I thought Thursday morning on my way to work that it would be a cool idea. And before I had the chance to propose it to the dudes, Neil sent us a group message with the same idea. After that we were trying to pull all of our resources together the best we could and get a rough concept together in time for Saturday.
“With social distancing being an important tool to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, we’re hit with the unfortunate reality that live music is going to take a huge hit in Ohio for the foreseeable future,” he continued.
“We had a show booked in Newport, KY that was canceled, as well as our short run we had scheduled next week in Wisconsin. So knowing that people were going to be confined to their homes, we thought it was kind of a ‘next best thing’ deal, and if anything, it would at least be a short distraction from the situation.
“Our main goal was to exceed the limit of people allowed to gather in one place due to the COVID-19 restrictions that are put in place for Ohio. I was stoked to know that we met our goal!”
I then asked Aaron about the upcoming album. “We are in the home stretch as far as recording goes, we just have to finish up the last of the vocals, and a few more bells and whistles, and then it’ll be into mastering. We do not have a solid release date as of right this second, but I can tell you that it will be out this year. No name either, although I have been kicking around a few. You’ll have to wait and see!” I’m positive it will be worth the wait!
With technology being advanced as it is today, and the ability to stream live on social media and YouTube as well as other platforms, more bands will hopefully follow suit like this so that they can keep the music alive here in Ohio. This appears to be the safest and most genius way to accomplish that goal.
From all of us at Music in Motion Columbus, we want everyone to be safe, rock on, and wash your hands!
For more information on how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus or what to do if you feel you have been exposed or infected, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website HERE. Also, you can visit the World Health Organization website HERE.
For more information about public health orders in Ohio, visit the Ohio Department of Health website HERE.
- Pestilence (Hell or Ohio)
- New Song (No Name)
- Spark It Up
- Death from Above
- 17 Years
- Rise of the Cyclops
- Dig Deep (new record teaser)
To watch the live stream on Facebook in its entirety, please follow this link.