This past few weeks, I have been delving into the trend of “house concerts”, live musical performances in tiny venues. I’ve been able to talk with a variety of people that have had experiences with these kinds of performances, and I’ve even been able to host one myself.
At the beginning of last week, I invited a total of 24 friends to my house for a tiny concert at 6:00 on Wednesday October 3. I was pleasantly surprised by the quick response from a few of them; they sounded excited about this concept.
Something that I really appreciate about house concerts is that they are just so chill compared to large venue performances. It’s possible to invite your friends last minute, and they’ll fill up your tiny venue and be great audience members. I wasn’t even nervous for my performance because I knew all these people so well. I suppose that is something I could have challenged myself with- I could have invited people I didn’t know.
I started preparing for the concert 20 minutes before it started, where I basically just cleaned the living room and arranged the furniture a little differently to accommodate for a performance area. Again… very chill.
My wonderful musical partner Kierney arrived, and we quickly created a setlist with songs that we already partially knew. It would have been difficult to do this performance without such a dependable and adaptable artist. That’s something I really appreciate and respect about talented musicians, especially those with experience in improvising folk music. A great example of this adaptability and talent is Nickel Creek’s NPR Tiny Desk Concert, which you can check out here.
People trickled in, and the first song we played was, funnily enough, a suggestion from the audience. My friend Gracen couldn’t stay long, but she wanted to hear a Green Day song. So we pulled up the chords on my laptop and gave it our best shot, and it worked better than I expected.
I had 10 people total come through and sit down for a couple songs, some leaving early and some coming late. I played for 45 minutes and was able to finish of the set with Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” with which I expected most people would sing along to. I wasn’t disappointed. My roommate even broke out his harmonica which led to a lot of laughs.
It’s not often that one invites a bunch of people into your house to watch you play music. But after doing it last week, I would totally do it again. I would prepare more songs, and would try to gather more musicians to turn it into more of a jam session. That way, we can really bring the house down. Get it?