The Save Our Stages Fest wrapped up yesterday after three days of major artists playing independent venues across the country, streamed via YouTube in support of National Independent Venue Association (NIVA)’s emergency fund. One of the artists was Miley Cyrus, who played her set at famous Hollywood venue Whiskey a Go Go.
Cyrus played three songs for the event, including covers of The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry” and The Cranberries’ “Zombie,” as well as a rock version of her current hit “Midnight Sky.” She performed with a full band including guitarist Andrew Watt.
She brought a growl in her voice to the show, giving rockstar energy to the songs. The covers were pretty faithful to the originals instrumentally, except for a wild solo from Watt at the end of “Zombie,” so the focus was mostly on her powerful vocal performance. She belted out the ‘Oh’s at the end of “Zombie,” putting plenty of passion into her rendition of the politically-charged 1994 classic.
The guitars add a lot of energy to the version of “Midnight Sky,” especially combined with Cyrus’ all-out performance. She practically yells out the choruses, but stays in control of the tune. There’s a bit of a glam rock feel to it, emphasized by the sparkling boots and rhinestones she wore for the occasion.
She closed the set with a comment about the cause. “We’re here at the Whiskey a Go Go, where so many of our favorite artists have begun their journey to be icons. And without venues like the Whiskey, we might have never heard of artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and thousands of other bands. So let’s do whatever we can to keep this historic landmark alive.”
Independent venues have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and are in need of support. The NIVA festival was named after the Save Our Stages Act, which ended up passing in the House of Representatives earlier this month. It’s set to give $10 billion in support for independent venues across the nation.
Cyrus has been covering a lot of songs lately, many of which have likewise been rock songs. She covered Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” on Saturday Night Live in April, The Beatles’ “Help!” at an empty Rose Bowl Stadium in July, Hall & Oates’ “Maneater” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Billie Eilish’s “my future” for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge in September. She also recently released a cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass,” recorded at the iHeart Music Festival.