While offering safe, socially-distanced live concerts earlier in the year, Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza in Worthington and Natalie’s Music Hall & Kitchen in Grandview had to make a difficult, yet respectable decision to shut their doors again in mid-November. Like most local venues that decided to safely re-open and then close their doors to the public given the significant spike in coronavirus cases, these live entertainment institutions still wanted to be able to provide enjoyment to the community and also support local artists.
Although the decision carried the potential of hurting both local musicians and the restaurant’s employees, Natalie’s was one of the local venues that still sought to provide its loyal patrons with the joy of live music through the cold winter months.
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Columbus singer-songwriter and R&B powerhouse Gabrielle Solange was one of the local musicians who was looking forward to performing to a live audience for the first time since quarantine started. It was in mid-November when both Natalie’s locations made the decision to close their dining halls and move their slate of performances back to a virtual setting, one month before Solange’s Dec. 17 show.
Solange, who had planned to put on a special Holiday performance consisting of a large group of local musicians, had to pivot. Although she was looking forward to hosting her first holiday show as the lead musician, Solange respected Natalie’s decision to move the show to an online format.
“It humbled me and reminded me [that] it’s all about making people feel good, it’s all about me doing the best with what I have, and I think everyone’s doing the best with what they have this Christmas, and [hopefully, this show will be] a picture of that,” said Solange, a Billboard 200-charting artist.
Solange’s “A Wonderful Holiday” live stream will be available to view via Natalie’s Facebook page at 8 tonight, Dec. 17.
Putting together a show of extravagant caliber has its fair share of challenges in the COVID-19 era. Things like positioning string arrangements and coordinating with horn players became tricky because getting members together to practice would increase the size of one’s social bubble.
Solange made a decision to tone down the number of musicians participating in the virtual holiday show, which in turn made the band members feel better about getting together to practice and perform.
Natalie’s has also been doing a lion’s share of work in making sure the venue is up to COVID-19 code.