holiday livestreams &
specials to get into
the yuletide spirit
The winter holidays may look a little different this year, but we can still count on the power of music to amp up our cheer.
By AXS Staff
A s 2020 comes to an end, we take stock of the struggles endured, lessons learned, and…concerts missed? Although it hasn’t been a great for, well, leaving the house, our favorite artists have still delivered, with both humble and top-of-the-line livestream productions as well as some of our favorite releases yet, all in the spirit of keeping the music playing.
As we ease into the holiday season, this pattern endures as numerous holiday music specials make their way onto streaming services and livestream platforms. From highly-anticipated, big-production specials to star-studded virtual festivals to more intimate interactive offerings, there’s something for every fan to tune into this season. Check out AXS’ picks below to turn up the volume on your holiday cheer.
My Gift: A Christmas Special from Carrie Underwood
Thursday, Dec. 3 – HBO Max
In celebration of her first ever full-length Christmas album, My Gift, the country superstar presents a special performance that blends beloved traditional favorites with new original material. In jaw-dropping attire, Underwood is accompanied by her band, a live orchestra and choir, and John Legend for a a stand-out duet of “Hallelujah.”
Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special
Friday, Dec. 4 – Apple TV+
With a special lineup of guest superstars including Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson and more, the reigning Queen of Christmas’ special has her solving a holiday cheer crisis. Combining musical performances, dynamic dancing and groundbreaking animation, Carey’s holiday spectacular is set to make the whole world merry.
Dolly Parton & Friends: Pandora Live Holiday Special
Friday, Dec. 4 – Pandora
Recorded in a Nashville studio majestically decorated for the holidays, Parton, along with Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Brett Eldredge and Carly Pearce, performs classic holiday tunes backed by her longtime band. The special virtual celebration also includes exclusive interviews with the guest artists, and a special “Dear Dolly” segment.
Amazon Music presents Holiday Plays: Kiana Ledé
Tuesday, Dec. 8 – Amazon
Following Miley Cyrus on Amazon Music’s brand-new, three-part holiday concert series filmed at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, the rising R&B artist performs a new version of her breakout single, “Ex,” as well as her brand-new Amazon Original cover of “The Christmas Song.” Ledé also reads letters from fans live and participates in a Q&A with host Lil Nas X.
Pandora Live Featuring Carrie Underwood, My Gift
Tuesday, Dec. 8 – Pandora
The Grammy Award-winning superstar performs songs from her first ever full-length Christmas album, My Gift, live from Nashville’s historic Oceanway Studios. Underwood also takes viewers into the making of the album and discusses her family’s holiday traditions, new and old.
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2020
Thursday, Dec. 10 – CWTV.com
The annual holiday concert goes virtual this year with a star-studded line-up including Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Shawn Mendes and more. Fans not only get to enjoy incredible performances, but also get the chance to step into the homes of today’s top artists as they share their holiday traditions.
Andrea Bocelli’s Believe in Christmas
Friday, Dec. 11 – Details with ticket purchase
The opera icon enchants fans of all ages with his global livestream, filmed at Italy’s Teatro Regio di Parma. Directed by Franco Dragone (Cirque Du Soleil), Bocelli performs songs from his latest album Believe with full-orchestra accompaniment and special guests.
Lindsey Stirling presents Home for the Holidays
Friday, Dec. 11 – Details with ticket purchase
In lieu of broadcasting a normal stage concert, the violinist aims to bring fans “extra joy this holiday season” with an all-new theatrical show including dancers, multiple sets and costume changes. A variety of ticket packages are available, with basic access starting at $20.
The Stars Come Out to Sing at Christmas
Tuesday, Dec. 15 – Various
To raise needed funds, the Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity gets the stars out to sing for a star-studded evening of Christmas carols, festive messages and spectacular musical performances. The virtual event, hosted by Nile Rodgers, brings Christmas to fans at home, with special appearances from artists including Roger Daltrey of The Who, Florence Welch and OneRepublic.
Amazon Music Holiday Plays: Foo Fighters
Tuesday, Dec. 15 – Amazon
The Foo Fighters close out Amazon Music’s three-part holiday concert series with a rocking performance filmed at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Performing in front of handcrafted stage designs with hydraulic snow machines, the band performs a mix of new music, fresh takes on catalog classics and holiday covers, and participates in an exclusive Q&A with host Lil Nas X.
The Allen Stone Holiday Concert
Wednesday, Dec. 16 – Details with ticket purchase
The soulful rocker spends the evening singing holiday classics from afar. Fans also have the opportunity to hang with Allen after the show during the virtual after-show party, where he’ll play more songs, talk about his family holiday traditions, and answer fan questions. Stone is also selling exclusive march and a live audio download of the performance.
Matt Nathanson Holiday Show Livestream Extravaganza
Thursday, Dec. 17 & Friday, Dec. 18 – Details with ticket purchase
The “Come on Get Higher” singer delights fans with a two-night holiday show featuring different sets each night. Fans can expect holiday classics as well as jams from his new holiday album Farewell December. Nathanson also offers up some seasonal merch, including socks, ornaments, holiday cards and more.
Barenaked Ladies Presents: A Very Virtual Christmas
Friday, Dec. 18 – Sessions
To make this year suck a little less, the ‘90s rockers have dreamed up a classic variety show experience to celebrate with fans. Featuring sketch comedy written by the band, performances of tracks from their holiday album “Barenaked For The Holidays,” and a few fun surprises, the band is also selling brand new holiday merch, including a jigsaw puzzle, Rubik’s Cube, ornaments and requisite ugly sweaters.
Josh Groban First-Ever Holiday Concert
Saturday, Dec. 19 – Details with ticket purchase
The operatic pop star stages his first-ever holiday concert with performances of Christmas favorites from his David Foster-produced holiday album Noel, as well as new takes on beloved holiday classics. The full-length virtual concert rounds out his three-date livestream tour, which included a Broadway revue and a celebration of the release of his new album Harmony.
The Darkness Presents Lockdown Live: Streaming of a White Christmas
Saturday, Dec. 19 – AXS
Because “nothing says joy and surprise like the Darkness, rocking live in your living room,” the UK rockers gift fans the “Premier Cru streamed concert of the year,” live from London’s indigo at the O2. Viewers can look forward to a selection of their biggest hits, fan favorites and recognizable Christmas classics. A recording of the performance will be released as a live album in April 2021.
Chilly Gonzales Presents: A Very Chilly Christmas Special
Wednesday, Dec. 23 – Moment House
Alongside his new Christmas album “A Very Chilly Christmas,” the pianist/rapper celebrates the holidays with an action-packed special. Updating the classic Christmas variety show, the program sees Santa Claus embark on his therapy journey. Gonzales, along with Feist, Jarvis Cocker and many more, provide the musical support to help Santa heal.