Low Cut Connie – Private Lives
I have a soft spot for Philadelphia venues, even those I’ve never been to. There’s a couple of people I know, through Instagram mostly, who live in the Philadelphia area and they used to post pictures from shows there, in our pre-pandemic lives. A lot of those pictures were taken at a club called Boot & Saddle, which you can see in this video. One of these Instagram friends had said it was her favorite venue. Yesterday, they announced they were closing, for good.
What used to prevent me from going to shows as often as I’d like was the distance from where I live to the club. It’s the part of living in a city that I miss the most. Especially small clubs like Boot & Saddle, where the ticket prices are never that high and you can be up close to the band. Maybe I’ve just been lucky but the small venues tend to have fewer assholes too. It’s that intimate atmosphere that we love which is just impossible right now. If you have been following Save our Stages you’ve heard the venue owners say, we were the first to close and we’ll be the last to open. I’m really hoping that once we get the Toddler in Chief out of the White House they can get a number of stimulus bills passed to help keep the venues, and primarily the people who work in them, from going belly up.
The main concert promoter responsible for many of the shows I’ve been to over the past couple of years managed to host concerts out on a farm from late August through this past weekend. There were a few I was tempted to attend but they were out of my budget and even farther away. You would purchase a grid that was something like 10 feet square and could accommodate two people traveling together, each grid was spaced 10 feet from the next one, like a checkerboard, everyone had to fill in a health questionnaire and wear a mask the whole time. It wasn’t like being in a small club but it worked and they were able to employ something like 77 people to work 45 shows. But they were all bands that could bring in a big crowd. Small bands need small venues. Streaming shows from your apartment can keep musicians and their fans connected but it won’t pay their bills and the energy just isn’t the same.
When the lockdowns began back in March I still had a ticket to a show in June. That got postponed until next June. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be cancelled again, they just want to hold out until it gets closer. I swear, once it’s safe to go to shows I will never take them for granted again.
Low Cut Connie is probably one of the few bands thriving in this. Adam is truly gifted and not many musicians can pull off such intense performances without a live audience. I try not to go down the dark hole thinking that once we are able to gather again, the venues will be gone. Keeping hope that they will survive or be revived. I appreciate all the remote live performances but ache for that communal experience in a shared space in that moment in time that live music (especially in a small venue) gifts us.
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I tend to think that not many other businesses will have the wherewithal to start up now and renovate the clubs that have closed, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they can just be Rip Van Winkled for a while.
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