Raise your hand if you miss live concerts! Both of my arms are in the air (figuratively of course, otherwise how could I be typing this blog). I’ve been regularly attending concerts since I was in middle school. It helped that my brother was in the business (one of the originators of Jam Productions and went on to run the Aragon Ballroom and Rosemont Theatre) so I often had access to great seats. Decades on the radio has allowed me VIP access to many shows and the last few years I’ve also been photographing artists from the pit in front of the stage. Even though photographers are only usually in the pit for just 1-3 songs it’s the greatest rush! I’ve become close friends with many people in the concert industry – photographers, ticketers, managers, security, bartenders, etc – and it really pains me to see the financial stress the pandemic brought on to them. I also deeply empathize with fellow concert lovers. While watching socially-distanced-stay-at-home performances on the internet has been entertaining it’s just the same as hearing and feeling the music in the flesh with a large group of likeminded people.
As you know, due to COVID-19 every major tour has been forced to cancel/postpone and even as we enter stage 4 in Illinois there are strict capacity limits so venues will continue to struggle. They desperately need our help. Hence, #SaveOurStages. CIVL is a coalition of more than 20 local music venues who provide thousands of jobs and they have been instrumental in the creation of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), which has helped unite over 1,000 independent venues across the United States including those in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Please click here to show your support.
Yesterday folks on facebook were under the false impression that Metro was closing indefinitely. Metro has since clarified on their website that the previous COVID-19 indefinite closure was actually announced back in March and they look forward to bringing back live music when it’s safe. Click here to read their announcement. And please click here to support the staff from Metro, smartbar and GMan Tavern who have been facing financial challenges for many months. Personally, I cannot wait to see a show there – or anywhere!