9.30.2015

I Wish

I wish music venues would stop charging $7 for a pint of beer in a plastic cup, especially when it is otherwise good beer.

I wish music venues would not think it is OK to charge $3 for a small plastic bottle of water and refuse to serve just plain good old fashioned tap water.

I wish music venues would not charge $20 to see a fairly unknown touring band from out of town on a Tuesday night, notwithstanding having a fairly well known good local band open the show (especially since said opener would never normally charge this much, even on a weekend).

And I wish more live music fans would come out and support local live music, especially on weeknights, but given the charlatanry described above, I cannot blame them for staying home or finding less expensive entertainment alternatives.

Other than the excessive cost, the SUNSPOT/ASH show at Majestic Theater last night was fun and moderately well attended. I saw some peeps I have not seen in a while and the bands were tight. I am a big fan of local band SUNSPOT and I could tell they put a lot of time and effort prepping for this prestigious show.

The Majestic is not a great music venue in my opinion, and not just because they fleece people on tickets and drinks. It's a renovated old movie theater and the acoustics are not easy on the ears, unless you are near the sound booth, where, presumably, the sound guy is hearing the best possible mix from his/her subjective vantage point. As the volume of the music increases, the sound quality exponentially plummets in the boomy room. SUNSPOT's volume during their opening set was moderate and they sounded pretty good. For whatever reason, the sound guy turned up the volume when the headlining band, ASH, played and their sound was muddled, the instruments basically drowning out the vocals to the point of them being unintelligible. Being a musician, I could tell through the cacophony that this was a talented band, but the venue's pro sound crew deprived most of the lay audience from appreciating this.

I might just be whining and certainly I could be wrong. This is my subjective review. As a performing musician myself, I probably hold music venues to a higher and different standard than most people. I'd rather play in a dirty dive bar that treats musicians and their fans as good people, not commodities, and as poor people at that, since most good people are poor. Cheap admission and drinks encourage attendance and I tend to go to places like this to hear live music. Only pure greed can justify a $7 beer in a 16 ounce plastic cup, since other music venues can and do charge less.

So it might just be me but I don't enjoy seeing shows at the Majestic and usually don't unless a really good band is playing, like SUNSPOT. I was there to support them and the out of town band on a school night, when it is not easy for smaller name bands to get people out to shows. My wallet hurts but it was for a good cause.

My unsolicited advice to Majestic is to charge less for tickets and drinks, especially on school nights, and keep the music volume at shows at a tolerable level that doesn't ruin the sound and deter attendance. These adaptations will encourage more patronage and net spending. I understand you are going for a classy image and oveecharging is part of this...but plastic cups? Really? That blows the classy image for me.

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