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The show must go on

By Nick McCabe
Published: Last Updated on

“Thank you so much for coming out tonight. We’ve enjoyed playing for you. Drive safe and have a good night!”

I haven’t heard that in a while, whether it be in a big theater or a small club. I need that. We need that.

It’s been too long since we’ve been able to enjoy a live show of any type, be it dance, theater, or music, and it’s probably going to be a long time coming. Some things we tend to take for granted. Not for any selfish or unappreciative reasons, but simply because we assume they will always be there when we want them.

But that’s just not the case anymore.

We have CD’s, records, digital downloads, cassettes, the radio, and the internet, but we don’t have any live music to go out and enjoy. There’s just something special about a live performance that you don’t get from a recording. The whole planning process, buying tickets, getting dressed up (choosing your favorite black T-shirt), then hitting the road. Maybe even dinner on the way.

Being gathered together with likeminded people, enjoying the same thing together creates an energy that is almost tangible. The interplay between the artists and the audience only happens when everybody’s in the same room together. It’s a social event.

And what about the artists? They have invested a good portion of their lives honing their skills, not to mention the investment in rehearsal time and equipment to actually perform.

They look to the audience for validation, appreciation and some sort of acknowledgment. They are up there because they love what they do. With few exceptions our local artists have ‘day jobs’ that actually pay the bills. Gig money is just a little something extra, when it happens. Sometimes it doesn’t even pay for the expenses of showing up and playing, but performing always satisfy’s the heart and soul.

I’ve been photographing and/or writing reviews of shows since 2009. I love being in the middle of the action and sharing the experience with all of you. There’s nothing like being so close to the stars that you make eye contact with them and see their sweat.

I’ve also been playing music for over 50 years. I play in our local clubs, and have with a few bands since I moved to the Reno area about 15 years ago. I’m not as prolific as most of my friends who play constantly, but it’s still a great feeling. Once, after I had moved to Nevada I took about five years off from playing, because I chose too.

This is different.

The rooms are all dark, the bars are all empty, and there’s plenty of free parking.

Remember to support live music when it comes back.

People stay just a little bit longer
We want to play — just a little bit longer

– Jackson Browne (The Load Out)

Read more news about COVID-19 in Reno

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