When the world shut down in March 2020, in-person shows were postponed (and eventually canceled), and damian israel shiner and the displayers took it upon themselves to create a new avenue of access for their fans, friends, and families. Thus, the #saturdayshortset was born. From March 20, 2020, through July 8, 2023, the displayers performed a weekly half-hour of live music, via Facebook live-streaming, beginning at 6:30 pm EST.
On July 8, 2023, the day of the 150th episode of the #saturdayshortset, WBUR 90.9 FM (Boston’s NPR station) offered a one-minute news story at varying times throughout the day in the top-of-the-hour news segment, plugging the displayers and their significant three-year effort. This video was compiled using WBUR’s audio and photos/footage from the series.
The 150th episode of the #saturdayshortset was a stellar conclusion to the series, culminating in over $500 of direct donations to The Greater Boston Food Bank and a widely attended joint online and in-person performance by the whole band.
While there were a few holiday Saturdays missed along the way, for 150 Saturday evenings over three years, viewers were entertained for free and invited to donate directly to whichever cause was being supported in any given week. Across the entire series, more than 130 different non-profit organizations received over $12,000 in direct donations thanks to this singular effort by the band.
For many weeks, throughout the series, the displayers would create TEASER VIDEOS — often covers of well-known songs, but done in a unique way, with video tricks and over-dubs for additional parts. They were a lot of fun to produce and they served to keep the fans entertained and excited about each upcoming #saturdayshortset. Here are two examples (with a complete list and links below):
Here is a list of most of the teaser videos, in order of appearance (each title is linked to the video): Friday, I’m in Love (the cure) | Dancing with Myself (the cure) | Fat-bottomed Girls (Queen) | Melt with You (Modern English) | Blister in the Sun (Violent Femmes) | Tainted Love (Soft Cell) | My Sharona (The Knack) | Nowhere Man (The Beatles) | Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye) | Feel My Face/Beat It (The Weeknd/MJ) | September (EWF) | Freedom (George Michael) | Lift Every Voice and Sing (Johnson Brothers) | Doctor, My Eyes (Jackson Browne) | No Scrubs (TLC) | Changes (David Bowie) | Sister Goldenhair (America) | Don’t You Forget About Me (Simple Minds) | How Little We Know (Sinatra) | Havana (Camila Cabello) | Shipbuilding (Elvis Costello) | The Promise (When In Rome) | The Voice (Moody Blues) | peace (the displayers) | Breaking Us In Two (Joe Jackson) | thanks (dis) | Jingle Bells - Xmas Show Ad | I’ll Be Home / Jingle Bell Rock | Angels/Gloria Mashup | New Years Day (U2) | Love is Like Oxygen (Sweet) | No New Tale to Tell (Love and Rockets) | Celebration (Kool and the Gang) | Eight Days A Week (The Beatles) | Killing Me Softly (Roberta Flack/Fugees) | Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder) | Kiss (Prince) | Try Again (Aaliyah) | Jumping Someone Else’s Train (the cure) | I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor) | Heartbreaker (Pat Benatar) | Halo/Walking on Sunshine (Beyoncé/Katrina & the Waves) | I Want You Back (Hoodoo Gurus) | I Don’t Like Mondays (Boomtown Rats) | Conviction of the Heart (Kenny Loggins) | You Make My Dreams Come True (Hall & Oats) | True (Spandau Ballet) | Toxic (Britney) | Keep Yourself Alive (Queen) | Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting (Sir Elton John) | Last Dance (Donna Summer)