Where is Everybody?
I go to a lot of shows. I like all kinds of music and love the vibe when a talented group reaches a lively, receptive audience. Most days and certainly every weekend, I have too many shows to choose from. So where are the crowds?
I had a ball at Music Friday in Lancaster 5/18 and Binn’s Park was packed with happy people of all ages to see The Slackwater News and The Dirty Bourbon River Show. Leo DiSanto drew a crowd on Market Street. Music For Everyone created music happenings all over town that night and Lancaster responded. Yay! But there was room for at least 1,000 more people and these events are FREE!
I get out of town to see shows too. Recently, I visited The Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport to see BuzzUniverse. Last Thursday I crossed the moat to see Mike McMonagle play The Cove in York. I even bailed on Music Friday to see The David Mayfield Parade stomp it up and down at Abbey Bar. Saturday night I took my wife out to see our pals Lovebettie at Liquid 891 in Harrisburg. These four shows featured original, sparkling talents in delicious, great-sounding venues. I have the videos to prove it. What all four needed was about 100 more people there to witness these unique expressions of love.
So what are you going to say when there are no more shows? Oh, you downloaded the songs? The difference between having the song and hearing it performed live is equal to the difference between reading a play and seeing a play performed. It’s the difference between watching porn and making love. It’s the interaction between performer and audience that makes the moment and makes it memorable. You remember your vacations, not taking pictures on your vacation.
So get out there. Do it for the kids. The musicians, sound guys, bartenders, baristas and wait staff are all somebody’s kids. Many of them have kids and those kids need cleats and uniforms and guitar strings. The schools don’t provide them anymore, just like they have cut the funding for music and art programs. If our economy is what they call a “service economy,” and you want to do your part for America, go out there and get served! Let’s save the economy one gig at a time and celebrate our culture.