Musician stages drive-up concerts, performs in back of pickup truck to bring joy during pandemic

·4 min read
Musician Tanner Howe and his father perform from the back of a pickup truck to bring music to people amid coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Tanner Howe)
Musician Tanner Howe and his father perform from the back of a pickup truck to bring music to people amid coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Tanner Howe)

A California musician is bringing the joy of live music to people from the comfort of their own front yards as he performs from the back of a flatbed pickup truck.

As a musician and part-time waiter, Tanner Howe of Huntington Beach, Calif., has been feeling the sting from the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic two-fold.

“All of my music gigs have been canceled and the restaurant where I work...has been shut down because of the virus,” he tells Yahoo Life.

Howe explains that he has been singing since he was a child in his family’s band and to this day, he and his father still play together. The singer and his band have performed at Disneyland, the House of Blues and other local venues in Southern California. He says that though times have been difficult, he is thankful to be quarantined with his immediate family, but admits that it has been hard to not be able to see his friends or relatives.

Since he could not perform as he usually does, he would instead bring the show to the people he loved. His parents, siblings and girlfriend were all supportive, and during the week of April 11, they helped to bring his idea to life.

“We initially planned on only visiting four houses; my grandparents and some local family friends in the Long Beach and Orange County area. As we drove down the street, we had people waving and cheering so we decided to make a few more stops,” he says.

Howe’s girlfriend, Alyssa Clark, alongside his brother and sister-in-law, Hunter and Candise, captured the sweet moments as Howe sang with his father on guitar and his mother drove the truck. In the video, which was posted to YouTube, the family can be heard performing songs like “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake as people danced, laughed and sang along as they drove by.

“We felt it was important to play songs that would lift people up and make people smile. The reaction was incredible! The joy that we were able to bring to people with this drive up concert was seriously overwhelming,” he says. “I got emotional singing to my grandparents and their neighbors because I could tell how much it meant to them. It really was so amazing to see how many people we were able to make smile and have a good time.”

The musician is glad that so many people enjoyed the music, and he and his family plan on continuing the concerts.

“This is a scary time and many people are feeling lonely and sad especially because a lot of us are not able to see our loved ones,” Howe says. “It's so awesome to see from the comments I’ve received that we have been able to make a lot of people happy, even if it’s just for a moment. Music really has the power to bring people together and I love that. I just want to encourage people to stay safe and keep positive. I want people to know that they are not alone and we will get through this together.”

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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