After a year of purely remote performances, Portland’s beloved variety show Live Wire Radio is back. Late last month, Live Wire announced its fall 2021 lineup, which includes podcasters, comedians, indie rockers and more for four shows at the Alberta Rose Theater and Revolution Hall.
Before the pandemic, Live Wire produced around 26 live broadcasts per year. But when COVID hit, they had to look for creative ways to engage with their audience and guests. âWe reformatted the show and moved to a fully remote production model. Guests joined us via Zoom, and everyone checked in remotely from their homes, âsaid Laura Hadden, executive producer of Live Wire.
The fall season, which is typically Live Wire’s heaviest, with 12-14 shows, will only have four in 2021. Despite the trade-off, the scaled-down format has its advantages. âPreviously, we had to make compromises on both sides to efficiently produce 26 shows and live shows that would serve both [live and at-home] audiences, although their needs were often different, âsays Hadden. Now, the time spent hosting live broadcasts can be spent developing exclusive radio content and recorded remotely, creating a greater difference between live and on-air experiences for audiences.
For billings, which see guests chatting with host Luke Burbank on a variety of topics and ending with a musical performance, Live Wire aimed at a range of voices, bringing together guests with a diverse set of specialties and moods. âI try to balance our guests not only in terms of the medium in which they work, but also in terms of tone and personal context. We don’t hesitate to talk about tough issues on the show. But we also want to make sure that every show offers plenty of opportunities for laughter and lightness, âsaid Hadden.
Oregonian Sarah Marshall, host of the podcast, to kick off the fall lineup on September 16 You are wrong, which brings a critical lens to our collective memory on subjects like the âKiller Clownâ panic of 2016 and 2000. Following Marshall are acclaimed Seattle comedian Dino Archie and local journalist and writer Omar El Akkad. The show’s closing is a performance by indie rock band Maita.
October 14, Steven Universe Voice actor Tom Scharpling enters the scene. Portland-connected comedian Mohanad Elshieky follows, who now works as a digital producer on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. To top it off, famous Iranian poet Kaveh Akbar.
In November, comedian Atsuko Okatsuka will appear in a crossover event with the Portland Book Festiva, and will close the fall season on December 16. Comedy Bang! Snap! and BoJack Cavalier, with a musical performance by the Seattle band Deep Sea Diver.
The lines are already full, but Hadden says more guests will likely be announced before fall. With the staff keeping a changing eye on mask guidelines and vaccine requirements, she says she’s especially grateful to put things back on stage live: âWe’ve always had a deep connection to our community, but the pandemic made us appreciate their energy and support even more. than ever.