As published in City Pages on April 20,2020.

We’re all used to music livestreams by now.

Local musicians now stream live music every night of the week. These temporary replacements for IRL shows, usually set up in the artists’ homes, offer a special kind of intimacy. But don’t you miss getting out to an actual club for live music?

Well, that’s obviously not gonna happen any time soon. But tonight you’ll have an opportunity to “visit” the stylish Nicollet Avenue venue Icehouse—virtually, of course—for Bridging the Gap, a benefit for Twin Cities service-industry workers who’ve lost their income as a result of the pandemic. It’s your chance to see something you haven’t for a while: local musicians performing from an actual stage at a local venue.

“We had approached Icehouse a couple weeks ago, after the shutdown first took place,” says Parag Shah, founder of the hospitality software company Vemos, which is hosting the event. “I called [Icehouse co-owner] Brian [Liebeck] and said, ‘What do you think about putting together a virtual concert?’”

Liebeck was on board, and he assembled tonight’s lineup, which includes 4onthefloor’s Gabe Douglas (who’s become a hardy regular on the local livestream circuit), soul modernist PaviElle, drummer Dave King, electronic music masters Dosh and MAKR, and DJ Fundo.

Each of these musicians will stream a solo set direct from the Icehouse stage. “We wanted to have real production values,” Shah says of the decision.

The event was originally set to take place on April 11, but was rescheduled. Under the circumstances, the logistics, as you might imagine, pose unique challenges. “No two performers will be in the venue at the same time, and we’ll wipe down the stage thoroughly between sets,” Shah explains. It’s all in compliance with the stay-at-home order: The organizers were able to get the approval of Governor Walz’s office for the event.

Tickets are $11, same as our current minimum wage, and proceeds will go to the North Stands, a fund established for hospitality workers. Vemos and Icehouse have also partnered with four area breweries—Utepils, Falling Knife, Bent Paddle, and Indeed— to offer package deals, if you like some beer to go with your show. (The breweries’ take goes to the Silver Linings Fund.)

“The concert venue space is going to be one of the last public spaces to go live again,” Shah says. “So for now we’re going virtual.”

And here’s one advantage virtual shows have over club events: There’s unlimited capacity. This is one show we can promise you won’t sell out.

Bridging the Gap
With: Gabe Douglas, PaviElle, Dosh, Dave King, DJ Fundo, MAKR
Where: Stream here.
When: 6 p.m. Monday, Apr. 20
Tickets: $11