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4 Reasons to Check Out Your City’s Independent Music Venues

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We all remember our first this or that, but there is something about your first concert that a true music lover just never forgets. Let’s think back to where you were, who was playing, what song was on, how the drums were as loud as the beating of your heart.

There is a good chance you weren’t at the largest venue in your city with thousands of people. You were with your best friends at a local music venue in a crowd surrounded by strangers all connecting around the swoon of your favorite lead, lost in the rhythm of the guitar. It was special, the place was special.

“To this day, I still flashback to that memory and remember exactly how I felt, listening to an entire crowd sing my favorite lyric to my favorite song in unison. There’s no exact way to be able to form into words, the feeling of euphoria that consumes me during a concert, especially for one of my favorite artists/bands.”

Selena Perez | StuffToDoInTampaBay
First Concert: The MaineThe Orpheum

What we’re describing is something that can really only be experienced in the intimacy of a locally owned venue showcasing the latest and greatest independent artists. 

As news continues to roll out about endless concerts and tours being canceled, these businesses need our support more than ever. As our cities plan to re-open and things start to feel “normal” enough to venture outside our homes, we’d love for you to consider stopping by a local show to show your support for the culture and artistry right in your back yard.

If your still not convinced that the pub down the street is THE place to be on a Saturday night, here are a few reasons why you should check it out:

The People You Meet

A small show at your cherished downtown venue provides the opportunity to cultivate a connection that just isn’t possible at a gigantic mainstream show. The great thing about small shows is that everyone in the audience is authentically passionate about the music being played.

You know the guy standing at the bar next to you?  He loves the song that just played as much as you do and if you struck up a conversation about it, it could lead hours of back and forth about your love for music.  

You've Never Been So Close to the Band

“I’ve never jumped so high up in the air. It felt like I wasn’t even in this world at this point. No one around cared about me dancing like a fool or jumping all around. Everyone was fixated on Mac and his amazing performance. We were so close to Mac, it felt like we could touch him. The music almost felt like it was speaking to me. I felt every word, every beat.”

Aubrey Zettler | StuffToDoInTampaBay
First Concert: Mac Miller at Bogart’s, Cincinnati, Ohio 

In addition to the connection in the crowd, you’ll never have an opportunity to be closer to the band. You are literally standing right in front of them! You can see every expression of emotion, every strum of a chord, and each slap of the bass.

There’s also a really great chance you can even meet the band. It’s not unusual to find members of the band hanging out in the crowd wanting to hear the next band play just as much as you do.

The Sound

There’s no crazy pyrotechnics, unbelievable technology, or anything else to help the band sound better or look better, it’s just them. Your local show is going to be a pure representation of the band’s creative and musical artistry.

The small space allows the music to fill the room and penetrate your very soul with musical euphoria. It takes feeling the beat to a whole new level.

“The weather was perfect, the lighting and graphics were insane, and the performance was amazing. They sounded exactly like they do on the radio. I knew all the songs so I sang along to every single one of them. The crowd was so hype and it felt like everyone was one big family. “

Cali Jones | StuffToDoInJacksonville
First Concert:  Twenty One PilotsSt. Augustine Amphitheater, St. Augustine, FL 

The Energy

Music venues create a vibe. It’s something you can’t really put into words. The energy of everyone in a room, bouncing off one another, the music pumping through your veins, all inhibitions gone as you sing your favorite song at the top of your lungs.

All anyone hears and feels is the music. That energy is shared amongst the crowd and fuels the band’s performance. It’s an experience that’s more shared, more connected, and more enjoyable than any average night out.

“In my experience, there’s no greater feeling than to be surrounded in a room full of people, shoulder to shoulder, stage lights flashing in my face, all being connected by one mutual reason – the music. The same songs that I listen to in my bedroom suddenly come to life right in front of me. Local venues give people the chance to have these experiences, to share with friends/loved ones, and to even create new connections with people you meet at the venues.” 

Selena Perez

What a small music venue does is simple but magical at the same time.  This, what you may think is just a hole in the wall, is the ultimate space to experience music. It gives local bands to home and the chance to be seen and loved by their communities.

It connects our communities to touring acts they already love or that could completely change their perspective of what they think they know. These venues grant our communities a place to congregate and let the music bring them together.

That venue around the corner from your favorite restaurant is home to exploration, passion, rebellion, hope, solace, bewilderment, and joy. So the next time you want to try something new or do something out of the ordinary, grab your friends, buy the tickets, and let the music take you away.