For nearly the past 20 years, Patti Smith has celebrated her birthday, December 30th, the same way: onstage. This year, Smith intends to ring in her 74th much the same way only this time in a different venue. For only the second time in her nearly 50-year career, punk pioneer Patti Smith will perform online for a livestream concert.
“I just thought it would be nice to uphold that tradition in a certain way because it’s always a joyful moment,” Smith told Rolling Stone about the upcoming show. “I love birthdays because we’re born and life is the greatest thing we have, I just thought it would be a nice thing to share with everybody.”
While many artists of Smith’s stature have opted for extravagant, multi-million dollar production setups for their livestreams, she instead will air a modest performance recorded live in a studio. Her friend and documentarian Steven Sebring, who directed 2008’s Patti Smith: Dream of Life, will be in-studio with a few cameras. While Smith admittedly isn’t trying to recreate the live, in-person nature of a concert with this livestream, she still is attempting to make a connection with her audience.
We’re not going to try and make an approximation of a concert. I just want to do a good job. It’s really that simple. Doing it with the band, we have half a century of camaraderie. We’re all people who care about each other. I’m not going into a stream thinking about the absence of the people; I would go into a stream thinking that we’re all with each other. It’s not like I’m like a rock star and they’re like fans. We’re all people looking to have a transcendent experience to feel good, hopeful and energized. I know that’s somewhat of a challenge, but we’ll certainly do it the best we can. When people have to pay, whether that’s $2 or $10, you have a job to give whatever you have to give to the people giving you their time and resources.
This concert announcement comes on the heels of Smith’s first-ever livestream which took place on Black Friday. While not indicating how many tickets were sold, Smith said it did well enough to inspire the follow-up concert. The woman who rode the first wave of punk and New Wave in New York back in the 1970s says that she hasn’t ruled out doing even more livestreams as long as live concerts aren’t an option.
“I feel a little emotional talking about this,” she told Rolling Stone with a slight break in her voice. “But all of a sudden I realize I’m going to see all my people again; see my son. Even though I’m not going to see the people watching us, I know them. I know their energy and what they bring for me during a concert. They bring me so much energy; let’s all be there for each other so I can have a happy birthday.”
The Patti Smith birthday livestream concert will air December 30th at 9 p.m. ET on Veeps. Tickets are $10 presale and $15 day-of-show. For tickets and more information click here.
[H/T Rolling Stone]