We have this silly tradition with my two best friends where, after an adventure, we will come up with one word each to describe the experience. Recently we went to see Bruno Major in concert and it left us speechless.
The concert was in this intimate, quirky, little bar in Philadelphia with only about a hundred people in attendance. Everyone was there for the music. Not one person had their phone out recording the show. Everyone was dancing, singing, experiencing the music and the moment.
To be in an environment surrounded by good music, in a small venue where we made friends with the people standing next to us during intermission, talk with the bass guitarist of the opening band after their amazing set, and just get to enjoy a reprieve from the outside world was a much-needed vacation from our busy lives.
Days later, we settled on our three words for the experience: transcendental, jazzy, and refreshing.
Since that experience, I’ve been trying to compile a playlist that captures that same kind of experience, and the playlist below is as close to the real thing as I could get.
This playlist is a collection of rock, alternative, singer-songwriter, bluesy songs that give me a warm happy glow every time I listen to them. Plug in some earphones, lights some candles, and just listen to the beat, the lyrics, the guitar. I promise you will come out of the experience feeling energized and refreshed.
Or, if you want to have this kind of transcendent experience live and in person, check out Johnny Brenda’s, or any small venue near you that supports up-and-coming local artists.
Another option is to join this community called Sofar Sounds, which is this amazing organization that curates intimate shows that they hold in unique venues, like in a coffee shop, someone’s living room, or an antique shop with only about 50 people in the audience at each show. You sit on the floor, inches away from the artists, and get to interact with the music in such a cool way. The show typically features three surprise artists, playing four songs each. They have shows in almost every major city in the world, so if you live in Philly, Denver, NYC, Rome, London, etc. you should absolutely sign up (for free)! When I went to a show recently, it was in a little cafe and it was such a fun adventure going to a concert without knowing any of the artists, sitting on the floor of a coffee shop, and just vibing with the music.
I guess the point of this post is both an appreciation post for all the great music I’ve been lucky to experience recently, as well as just a PSA that while the big music stadium shows are fun, the small back room, coffee shop, living room type shows give you such a different experience. And if you love music as much as I do, then you have to try out some smaller venues.
Song of the week: