James Armstrong performs virtually for First Night Springfield 2020.

Welcome to our annual Remembering issue as we wrap up one year and move on to the next. Perhaps the old adage that proclaims if you can't say anything nice about someone – or in this case, some year – don't say anything at all, should apply to 2020. But there are some good things if we look hard enough, I just don't particularly want to right now. That will be a good subject for reflection in an upcoming Now Playing when we are playing out again.

First, let's remember the musicians we lost this past year, from the locally known to the internationally famous and all those in between. May they know peace in the valley and their harps be always in tune or whatever the case may be for what goes on beyond this realm. The way this year has gone, who knows who else we will have lost just in the time this goes to print and gets into your hands.

To do a little reconnaissance mission for this week's piece, I did the unthinkable, or at least something not recommended by the almost-octogenarian artist Bob Dylan, and looked back. And while reading 2019's end-of-the-year Now Playing, I discovered many mentions of bands, musicians and artists performing in a plethora of local venues just as they had done before, time-and-time again in the years, decades, eons and ages preceding the last, lost year of 2020. So I firmly believe and have the utmost faith that very soon we will be seeing live music, in-person and on a regular basis, as a thing returning along with many other formerly normal occurrences that blessed our existence before the occurrence of the global pandemic wrought by COVID-19.

Now let's take a look-see at what kind of entertainment is available on New Year's Eve 2020 in celebration of the upcoming new year. For live, in-person music, the covered and heated tent area in front of Buzz Bomb Brewing Company and Elf Shelf Books & Music, popularly known as the Adams Family Patio, has Frank Parker and Friends scheduled to play on New Year's Eve. I can't help but believe this version of Frank's long-running Jambalaya Jam will be dependent on weather conditions, so please check ahead to see what's happening.

Your safest and best bet for locally sponsored, online, live music experienced from the comfort of your couch would have to be First Night Springfield. The Springfield Area Arts Council, now entering its 45th year of existence in 2021, is responsible for organizing and coordinating this special event that brings together top-notch local performers for our entertainment pleasure. In 2020, the year that is determined to be different, the presentation is brought to you with help from the good folks at Crowdson Creative on YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook, through links found at the SAAC website (www.springfieldartco.org). The online connection adds the bonus of performances presented from all over the country, including the kickoff fireworks show from St. Petersburg, Florida, at 8 p.m., plus concerts from some of your favorite Springfield-based artists. So dial it in, then sit back and enjoy.

And while we dream of all the good things to happen in the year to come, please remember First Night is also the main fundraising event for the SAAC, so any and all donations are much appreciated and will be put to good use in supporting the arts in our area.

Happy New Year. Really. See you next year.

Illinois Times has provided readers with independent journalism for more than 40 years, from news and politics to arts and culture.

Now more than ever, we’re asking for your support to continue providing our community with real news that everyone can access, free of charge.

We’re also offering a home delivery option as an added convenience for friends of the paper.

Click here to subscribe, or simply show your support for Illinois Times.

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment