Anatomy of the House Show

The House Show, a fickle beast.

We all remember when house shows were happening all the time. The idea that you could hit up a random house party and there would a band in the basement. Ah, the good ol’ days were grand. I have been to more house shows than I could shake a stick at and every one is memorable. I almost prefer a house show to a bar show, especially as just a spectator. Going as a photographer on the other hand, that might be a different story. I prefer to be a fly on the wall as a photographer, not seen, not heard. At a house show if you want to get good images, you probably need a strobe. This draws attention and sometimes frustration from the band and show-goers.

Social Media’s effect on House Shows.

As communication among friends became easier, attendance of these house shows experience overcrowding.

I remember when I had a pager in the early 90s, that’s how we communicated with each other to get notified of events. Then by the late 90s early 2000s we got mobile phones! Portable instant communication devices made learning about parties so easy. It was like living in the future. SMS gave us the ability to instantly communicate about those super-secret parties, often with DJ’s or bands.

By 2007 I noticed fewer parties and house shows on my social calendar. At first I figured that the aging process was leading to a level of un-coolness where invites were in short supply. I have come to realize this instant communication and social media has led to house shows becoming out-of-hand. This in turn has led to parties being broken up by the police before they even have a chance to start.

The cachet of the House Show will never go away.

We still love a good show and I think these days people who don’t live in residential neighborhoods with grumpy neighbors are willing to oblige us.

Last night was no exception. I made my way to a “House” venue with Surfs Drugs. It’s called the Campbell Club. I had not been here before, but it’s a communal house dating back to the 60s. There is a long history of house shows and parties.

This was the kind of House Show that I’ve always loved. The crowd wasn’t overwhelming, everybody was mellow and the music was loud.

The Line Up:

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