An all too generic word that could mean anything from a massive show in- front of thousands or a small show with 30 people (and one of them is the artist’s mom). I’m writing about the latter- so for the rest of this essay, when I say gig- I mean small shows. Ok? Ok. Let’s keep going.
The first image in your head when someone says “gig” is probably dingy bar, bored servers and an artist singing covers. In the space of this essay- I’d like to do two things. 1. Tell you why that matters. 2. Change that image in your mind.
So why do gigs still matter?
Talk to any artist and they’ll tell you that it’s always scarier for them to perform for 30 people right there rather than a faceless mob of 000’s. Why? Because if they can see you- you can most definitely see the sweat on their brow as they bare their souls. Because as good as large scale events are- nothing will ever compare to the true connection of a shared intimate experience. A connection formed when an artist shares a creation, a moment of vulnerability that is balanced by the validation in the listener’s eyes. Encouraging that artist to create, share and grow.
Every gig is a celebration of an artists courage. A moment that took years to build up to. Dingy bar or not, that artist doing John Mayer covers, probably has a few songs of his own that are just waiting for a break in courage. A courage that was built by singing in said dingy bar.
These gigs are part of a much bigger process too. It’s these small shows that really push the scene forward. Getting everyone together in a simpler place- a small place where they aren’t spooked by the ghastly seats and tight mosh pits. Come, sit on the floor have a beer and let the music take you. It’s a place to simply be and to listen. This conscious effort of coming to shows, paying the fee and spreading the word- pushes producers to keep finding avenues for more music/ art. Which in turn, means more attempts at creating new music, better shows and a much livelier culture. It’s the accumulation of all these attempts in art that shape sensibilities and make us better people.
So come to gigs, because when you do- you’re contributing to a much greater cause, you’re celebrating the artist and most of the time, the ticket comes with a free beer.
Author: Mia Durano