On Friday, June 26, 2020, Ryan Montbleau played his first live performance in more than three months in a parking lot in New Bedford, MA. The drive-in show was hosted by the Zeiterion Theatre of New Bedford as part of their drive-in summer series. Attendees in more than 70 cars were invited to enjoy the music from inside their vehicles, or to sit outside their cars wearing face masks. As cars whizzed by on the highway behind the parking lot, the excitement in the lot was palpable as many fans took in their first live concert since the start of the pandemic.
Montbleau took to the stage at 7pm, and played for two straight hours. His show was a mix of well-loved favorites from his albums — “I Was Just Leaving,” “75 and Sunny,” and “Bright Side” — and covers of eclectic songs, including “Here’s Where the Story Ends” by the Sundays, “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy, and “America” by Simon and Garfunkel. He acknowledged the strangeness of the moment, and expressed appreciation to the crowd for creating a collective experience with him. The audience rewarded his soulful music, and playful and generous spirit, with the exuberant applause of car honks.
Check out some photos of the show from contributor Gary Alpert.