Lack of Music During Pandemic Results to Drive-In Experience  

Drive-in concert helps to pull audience out of its musical funk

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Illustration by Ivan Becerril-Gutierrez / Clarion

Paige Zezulka, Copy Editor

For someone who listens to music every waking moment possible, it was difficult for me to go another month without seeing a live show during this pandemic. Thanks to TC Presents, my craving subsided. They brought the Midwestern state of Wisconsin a live experience full of electronic funk that nobody had experienced before.  

On Oct. 17, in the small town of Chippewa Falls, headliners Gramatik and CloZee joined together with Guggenz and Quinn Alexander to create a safe environment for live music at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds.  

To start out the night, Quinn Alexander began his set at 5:00 p.m., followed by Guggenz at 6:20 p.m. The two warmed up the crowd consisting of spaced-out vehicles with a limit of four masked people per vehicle. Cones and tape aligned the rows, making social distancing a requirement.  

As part of the crowd, my view was decent even among the several vehicles because of a wise decision to bring my friend’s truck. Also, the expensive platinum ticket we purchased guaranteed us a parking spot close to the stage.  

Due to the rule of no food and drinks allowed to be carried in, the event offered one concession stand. The concession stand brought many concerns to my friends and me because of the high risk of spreading germs during the pandemicInstead, we risked getting caught and decided to bring our own food and drinks, which was definitely worth it 

As the night got colder, the music got louder and CloZee, the French native, delivered the performance of the evening. She incorporated her classic organic sound with her new electronic pop style from her recent album, Neon Jungle. It is difficult to explain a favorite track she had played that night because the artist uses live opportunities to create one-of-a-kind mixes that you’d only hear during that special event.  

Gramatik, one of the “legends” of electronic funk music, ended the night by playing most of his newer tunes off the album Cyber Punk 2020 OST. During his performance, it began to rain, and the temperatures continuously dropped. I began to notice fewer people dancing, and more people huddled in their carsI’m not sure if it was the weather or Gramatik’s set, but I personally expected more from the “experienced” artist and wanted to call it quits.  

Although this experience made many rejoice safely from their lack of music this year, there were many downfalls to the event. It was freezing. It was raining. You had to be outside to hear the music, so you could not just hide out in your vehicle. And even with an expensive ticket, the view could have been better, but it wasn’t because of the amount of vehicles.  

I think the one major con about this drive-in concert was the fact that the concert goers were not allowed to be as social as they would have been at pre COVID-19 events. Meeting new people and coming together to share a love for a common musical interest is one of the most special things about a concert. 

With the circumstances involving the pandemic, the event was as good as it could have been. I think the damper truly was the weather.