Ode to the House Show


Jackson Card

I walk into a crammed living room. Most of the furniture has been removed, but there is one couch pushed up against the wall. There’s a 5-piece drum kit shoved in the corner and a couple amps stacked nearby. I shimmy my way into the kitchen to find a pbr or whatever shitty beer I can find. My friends boyfriend is playing drums. I forgot the name of the band.

I find a space against the wall next to the only other person in the room with a mullet. A couple people are jamming on the bass and drums. They play for 10-15 minutes and then get drowned out by the buzz of chatter. The main band starts playing shortly after. The play maybe 6 songs.

The Biggest Stage in the World

In 2016, I was in London with tickets to see Coldplay in Wembley Stadium. The original 3 dates had already sold out and I managed to get some GA tickets to the added 4th show. Keep in mind, Wembley Stadium holds 90,000 people. After waiting in line since 9 am, I found myself clasping the rail right below the stage. In a couple hours the lights would turn on and tens of thousands of people would fill in behind me. Objectively the show was incredible.

I’ve also been to Lollapalooza in Grant Park, Chicago. It was quite overwhelming. There were 8 stages and 250,000 people wondering around. Headlining that year was Radiohead, Lana Del Ray, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and J. Cole. I only say this to illustrate that I have seen music on the biggest stages in the world. I’ve seen all its grandeur, its majesty. I would never go to Lollapalooza again.

More Amateur

There is a negative stigma around amateurs. The idea that because someone doesn’t get paid to do something, they aren’t good enough to do it well. No second thought is given about whether they want to get paid or not. Not to mention that music, art and other things can have value without being profit-driven. And I believe that whenever money gets mixed up with art, it changes the artist. Moreover, multi-millionaire celebrity musicians and giant record companies don’t even make good music.

I love music for its imperfection! For its inherent fleeting nature. You can never grasp it or hang onto it for longer than a second. Each sound shapes and builds a sonic world that helps give context to the physical one. As soon as it’s over, theres nothing left. Silence! Then you look for the next sound in the infinite realm of possibilities to cause a chaotic rapture in the orderly void of silence.

Ode to the House Show

Music is often the most meaningful in intimate settings. When people are free to be their authentic selves and make music just because they want to, it’s truly one of the most beautiful things in the world. So heres to all amateur musicians. To those you love making sound. And to those who have the guts to get all their friends together, show off their imperfect music and throw a kick-ass house show!