In anticipation of Jamie Lin Wilson’s pay per view virtual show at Mercury Lounge on Friday, December 4, 2020, I caught up with the singer songwriter to discuss both the challenges she’s faced and the triumphs she’s had playing shows in the midst of a pandemic.
Mercury Lounge Live: I notice that you’ve been playing a few live shows during this pandemic. Have there been any creative solutions venues are using to maintain the viability of live music in this time? How important are these shows to the music economy?
Jamie Lin Wilson: I have played a handful of shows since September and all those venues have had to adjust. For one, the capacity of the venues has gone down, so most ticket prices have had to go up in order to try to help everyone make some money. I know some places here in Texas started having food so they were able to open back up when the bars were closed; but the biggest change has been that most venues only sell groups of tickets instead of individuals. You wanna go to a show by yourself? You have to buy a table of 4. The Mercury has been great for getting back into the game and rolling with the punches.
MLL: You’ll be playing a pay-per-view show at Mercury Lounge in Tulsa December 4th. You’ve also hosted a fair bit of your own virtual music performances. Is this a result of a shifting in your approach to get music to your fans during this time? How is the dynamic different from that of a live show?
JLW: When it all went down in March, I immediately went to live streaming. It's been a go-to for "off” nights on the road for years, so when traditional touring stopped, it was a natural progression. I've always liked it, since I can't really go everywhere, live streaming brings "everywhere" to me. It was a challenge working out kinks so that I could have a designated space in my house, since I usually did it from hotel rooms, but that was just a few trips to Radio Shack and a few phone calls to my internet provider. There are plenty of things that we all had to get used to, like how to show appreciation (no applause), how to engage the audience enough that they want to keep watching, and how to monetize it. Luckily, the fans were willing to do whatever to keep the entertainment coming through the lock-down phases.
MLL: Is there a crowd favorite in your virtual shows? Feel free to elaborate on why you think a certain song or songs stick out and captivate people.
JLW: People always seem to request the personal songs, whether it's at a live show or online. "Old Oldsmobile" and "Death & Life" are favorites, and I think that it's just because the more personal the song, the more relatable it is. That was a strange thing for me to grasp.
MLL: You’ll be back in Tulsa for New Year’s Eve and the Hangover Ball at Cain’s Ballroom. What can people expect and what are some reasons they should go?
JLW: Yes! New Year's Eve & Hangover Ball are coming up! I'm excited for the NYE show because I'll be playing with an all-Okie band. Jake Lynn (Jason Boland's drummer) has put an all-star Okie band together for me and I'm so excited about it. I'll be there with The Departed, so it's bound to be a great (albeit EARLY) way to kick out 2020.
The Hangover Ball is always a great time! We get to swap songs with our buds and ring in the New Year right. The crowd is always so fun and there are plenty of sing-alongs.
MLL: You’ll have a limited edition merch bundle available via the purchase of a ticket to your show at Mercury Lounge. Tell us a bit about that!
JLW: The Merc has designed such a cool shirt and poster, with one of my favorite photos from Melissa Payne Photography, to go along with the show! What a great idea and a good reference to your first question! The Mercury Lounge has been so creative in finding ways to support artists AND the bar, and the special edition merch is just one of them. I'm very honored to have been included in these shows and thankful to all Oklahomans for their support always. I do love Oklahoma. I can't wait to be back at the end of the month.
Jamie Lin Wilson performing "Little Too Rough" from her upcoming multi camera, hifi pay per view event, now on sale at www.MercuryLoungeTulsa.com.