Sometimes it takes an unexpected event to reawaken your love for something. Lately I’d been sick of concerts. I was tired of the crowd, the getting pushed around, the being unable to see, the people more interested than drinking than the music. I hadn’t seen many shows in months, and going when I did make it out to see Vampire Weekend a few weeks ago, I skipped the opening acts so that I could minimize my time in Terminal 5 to about 1 hour (they play a short act).
But last night reinvented my love for live music. I went with a friend over to Rockwood Music Hall, a little place as small as an apartment that is really all about the communal music experience. Maybe 40 people, all there because of the music, you don’t have to pay to get in and they just pass a hat around afterwards asking you to contribute as you see fit after each set. 5 feet away from the stage, mostly acoustic, very intimate and personal. The way music is supposed to be.I ended up seeing two bands that I’d never heard of but really loved – the first was Dan Torres; I recorded this jam session from him last night, which captures how connected you could feel to the musician right in front of you. Afterward, I purchased a CD/DVD he was selling of a previous performance at Rockwood Music Hall, and you can try out the same song, “You Don’t Even Want to Know My Name” with a little less ‘jam’ here.
The second band I saw was Dandelion Wine, another great performance. I didn’t grab the CD, but you can check out some live video over at my YouTube channel. It’s worth watching all 3 videos – I’ve replayed them several times this morning already.
Most people probably never make it over to Rockwood Music Hall; most of us will probably never recognize a name on their set list. If your sick of big concert venues, though, and you have forgotten how intimate and mesmerizing a live music performance can be, you should make your way over. And you might even discover a few musicians you never knew existed that you’ll love.