It never fails. Almost every Friday afternoon, Jerry from accounting is doing his usual rounds of handing out his crudely made flyer for his band’s show this weekend, thereby putting you into that awkward situation when he asks, “so I’ll see you there right?!”
“Uhhh yeah, sure Jerry!” you respond with absolutely no intentions of going. As a matter of fact, you already have an excuse or three planned out for when you are trying to avoid making eye contact with poor Jerry on Monday morning. But don’t worry, even I have done this in the past, and I assure you, he doesn’t take it personally.
But, little did you know — Jerry from accounting is an absolute beast on those drums! His band’s take on “Tom Sawyer” is the next closest thing to the real thing, as it gets! Their original tracks are just that, original, untampered, raw and that’s the part you’re really missing out on.
There are some original local acts that will draw you in and make you a fan from the first note. For example, the first time I ever stumbled upon Shawan and The Wonton. I had no intentions of going to ZeroDay Brewing Co. because of music, I just wanted a few pints of some great beer — hell, I didn’t even realize a band was playing. I ended up staying much longer as I was completely enthralled by the music and became a fan from that first note.
We see stickers reading “support local music” all over the place. I probably get 50 Facebook notifications a week that involve music-related events. Bands flood my email and newsfeed pushing their upcoming shows. Venues push drink specials along with live, local music to get people through the door. Everyone is making an effort to get you to come “check out the band,” but still you haven’t and here is why you should:
For the love of Rock n’ Roll
Small time, local bands are doing it because they love the music and love playing for their fans. These bands also show something you’re not going to see from a national act — humility. You’re going to get an authentic performance where musicians are leaving it all on the stage whether it’s for 10 people or for 100.
Singers are up there pouring their hearts out in their lyrics, guitar players are giving you the best riffs they’ve ever come up with in their lives, and drummers are trying their hardest to not drop their sticks. All for the love of music, just for the chance to have even one person listen to them.
Small-time bands create an intimate experience
Even at larger local venues, the local bands are going to have a smaller following and create a nice intimate experience. I don’t mean candles and acoustic guitars but having a tight knit group of people gathering to support local musicians creating a greater sense of community. Typically the setting is much more relaxed than being crammed into an arena paying $10 for a domestic draft and $14 for some nachos.
Keep the music local, keep your money local
While we’re on the subject of costs, bands typically get paid from door/ticket sales and/or alcohol sales. So that $50 that guitar player just got for playing for 2 hours will barely cover his costs of new strings for the show and the fuel he is going to use lugging his equipment to and from the venue. At some point they should be paid for actually providing the entertainment too, right? So consider the money that goes to the local guys compared to the national act, the arena, the ticket fees, and those ever so inconvenient convenience fees. Shop local and rock out local!
Supporting local music supports our local economy. The money you spend at venues in return helps the community and helps the local musicians with a place to play. Every ticket, every album sale helps our local economy and helps to keep live, local music in our city alive and well.
Here are some local shows coming up that I recommend checking out:
- 1/20, Close to Consideration @ Holy Hound Taproom
- 1/21, Smooth Like Clyde @ Joe K’s Brewhouse
- 1/24, Acoustic Soul featuring Shawan @ District Bar and Lounge
- 1/27, Mountain Ride @ The Abbey Bar
- 1/27, Eskimo Wave @ River City Blues
- 1/28, Colt Wilbur Band @ Joe K’s Brewhouse
Get out there and support local musicians and local venues. It will be a nice change of pace from the usual night out and you may even see a side of Jerry from accounting you never knew existed!