As far as my favourite live music venues go, after years of trying I still struggle to match the energy of The Waiting Room. The intimacy of that space when you’re watching an emotional performance is chilling. And when it’s packed to the brim, people singing along to their favourite band, the unity is euphoric.
I also think the real secret with acoustic shows is to follow the punk or ska kids, they were band nerds in school so they have really great music knowledge. They’re in pubs, coffee shops, crazy little joints where you grab a table and three beers later you’re part of the gang.
In terms of live music it’s no longer about the venue, but rather about the artist. People will go where the music pulls them, so the trick is to find the band you enjoy most and go out of your way to see them in as many places as possible.
I have been fortunate enough to be on the support line-up of a few very popular artists. What that leads to is a lot of mania — I’ve seen girls cry and hyperventilate. I’ve seen metal crowd barriers crumple like paper. I stand in awe every time a group of a thousand people shout out song lyrics at the same time.