Why Live Music in Small Places Matters

Music is intimate. Seeing it should be, too.

Photo by author — Better Oblivion Community Center at Crescent Ballroom — April 2019

You know if they’ll play your favorite song because you can see the set list. They’ll give it to you after the show.

A couple years ago, I remember everyone posting on social media about the U2 show at a huge arena in town. Now, I have nothing against U2 but I have a lot against arena shows. I come away from them cold. There’s no intimacy.

In a small venue, you can stand three feet from a speaker and come away with your hearing intact and your soul freed.

It was American Aquarium at Rebel Lounge in Phoenix and I had never seen them play before. But, damn. That music.

It was like they were little boys who just got away with stealing a piece of candy and no one was ever going to catch them. Pure joy.

You feel that.

The Cole Trains photo by Charlie Stout

We all just watched, and grinned ear to ear, as he took a handkerchief out of his back pocket and wiped his face.

You feel that.

It was like it happened in my living room. Nothing else seemed to matter in the entire world, and no one else seemed to exist, in that three and a half minutes.

I get to keep that moment forever. It was a gift.

Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, I won’t stop taking pictures of my drinks. vanessaltorre@gmail.com IG: vanessaltorre

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