Can’t Miss Venues

AYOOO HELLLOOOO.

I’m having so much FOMO missing some of the greatest venues there are out there. And since we can’t actually go to a concert, let’s just go ahead and reminisce and experience them virtually together, okay?! I am here to tell you that these may be some of the first places you may want to check out a concert after quarantine is over….but that’s just my opinion.

I would have to say this is *hopefully* on everyone’s bucket list, but the first has got to be:


Red Rocks Amphitheater

Morrison, CO

If this venue isn’t on your bucket list, let me please be the first to tell you that IT SHOULD BE. I can’t even begin to explain to you how spectacular it is. A stage that sits at the bottom of rows and rows and rows of people there to see a fantastic show. The venue sits in between two giant red rocks (oh, SHOCKING) just 30 minutes outside of Denver, Colorado. If you go to visit during non-concert season, you can have the opportunity to stand on the stage yourself to see what the view of the crowd would look like if you were an artist playing that stage. I mean, just looking out & imaging the crowd those people get to play to, it’s pretty surreal.


The Pageant

St Louis, MO

This one makes my list because if you’ve ever waited at a venue for front row – it can be MADNESS once the doors open. There’s no order, just people crowding the doors & anyone and everyone scanning tickets. People telling you not to run to the front when that’s all you want to do so you can secure your spot. I have only been to this venue once and that was probably 5 years ago & I still think about it. This venue has a rule/policy where the first 100 people that are in line at the venue get wristbands with a number from 1-100 depending when you got the venue. Then shortly before the doors open you can leave for an hour & come back to the exact same spot you were in when you arrived earlier that day/night. Once the doors open, they only let four people go through the doors at the time so that there is not that “rush” you feel at any other venue. There’s so much order to it that I was like “YAAAAAAAS.” I’ve heard horror stories of people getting tramped at other venues (The Rave in Milwaukee, cough, cough) which is so scary & dangerous, it’s insane! Safety first, kids.


Ascend Amphitheater

Nashville, TN

I just want to say: I am a sucker for a good skyline. This venue gives you all that and more. It’s right along the river in downtown Nashville with the beautiful skyline behind the stage. You really can’t get a bad view in this venue, whether in the lawn or in an assigned seat. I would highly recommend a show here in you’re visiting or live in Nashville.




Well Rounded Artists

I’m a big fan of artists who “have it all” – they write their own songs, play their own instruments, produce their own songs & can SAAAANG. There’s something that goes to show someone who has all of these. I think it makes an artists more well rounded & can contribute more to their music than those who have to rely on others (but hey, I can’t sing so being able to contribute at all to these is still amazing). Those who can songwrite but don’t have the voice for it (although it seems most songwriters do have that talent), it would make sense they can only contribute in that way. Hell, I’d be a songwriter if I could (anything is possible, right?).

I wanted to highlight a few artists who I think possess all (or most) of the well rounded qualities I have described above.


Andy Grammer

So, I have always thought Andy was underrated when it came to his music. He keeps it real, raw, but still provides upbeat tunes that you can dance along with. Tbh, I am not sure if he writes his own songs but boy, can he do everything else. I saw him perform at a radio show years ago, & zomg I was blown away. HE was his band. He used a loop pedal (I believe, I assume), & played each and every instrument himself. It was one of THE most impressive live performances I have seen to date.


AJR

First, I just want to say I am SO happy that AJR has been so successful in recent years. They deserve it & so much more. Starting out as street performers in NYC, they provide so much pure, genuine talent that I’m glad they didn’t go unnoticed. They play a collection of their own instruments, write & produce their own songs, and can provide a collection of voices when performing their songs live. Now, I am all down for a perfect voice, but I love that Jack’s sometimes cracks during live shows (if you’ve seen them, you know what I’m talking about). It provides a sort of edge that works for them.


MisterWives

I feel like I write about them a lot on this blog, but hey, they are so talented that I can’t stop praising this band. MisterWives always provides us with their pure talent – Mandy’s voice RADIATES & could probably break glass with how amazing it is. I believe she also is the one who writes all (or most) of their songs, with the guys providing the rest of the sound with their respective instruments (shoutout to Jesse Blum for ALWAYS crushing the trumpet). This band has GOT IT, I’m telling you.


I’m sure there are so many more others I could tell you about (like Jon Bellion, Taylor Swift, & more) but the above are for sure on the top of my list. If you have any suggestions or artists you’re digging with all dem qualities, drop em in the comments below!




Is There Space for More Black Executives in the Music Industry?

The obvious answer to that question is, yes. But let’s have a conversation. I wanted to look into the diversity of the music industry higher ups. Billboard puts out a list every year acknowledging people working in the industry who have made big strides, accomplished big things that past year, or are just shining at what they do. There are only 19 of 212 people listed that are black, which is 8.9% of the list. THAT IS INSANE.

There are only 19 of 212 people listed that are black, which is 8.9% of the list.

Looking at the major record labels (Sony, Universal Music Group, & Warner Music Group), all 3 CEOs are white.

  • Sony executives, out of 12, 1 is black.
  • Universal executives, 1 of 11 is black.
  • Warner executives, none of the executives are black.

Jumping over to other facets of the industry, the biggest radio name being IHeartRadio, their CEO is white. Ryan Seacrest is also a heavy influence for that company. Carson Daly has also been a player in the industry, having hosted TRL and I believe the forefront to radio.com (a quick google search shows he left radio in 2017 to focus on family). Spotify & Apple Music are run by white men. The major music magazine(s) – mainly Rolling Stone – is headed by a white male.

But let’s not forget, there’s some big names who represent the black community who have made waves in the music industry: Beyonce & Jay-Z created a music platform called Tidal, have sold out stadiums/tours, and Jay Z has a music entertainment business (Roc Nation). We also have Drake who has his own label (but under the umbrella of Warner Music) & Lil Wayne does as well (but under the Universal umbrella).

These artists have been given some control and have been influential in bringing talented artists into the music scene, but they still have to answer to the white man & power that this country was built on. I am not saying that is how these labels are run, but if you look at who is in charge, there is not even close to enough executives who represent the black community. If we want to get anywhere in this country, we have to give opportunities to those who can speak for the community, who can stand up for what’s right, who can put out content/music from personal experience to fully represent the diversity in our country. If we continue to stay divided, and a majority of the space at the top is coming from white voices, well we aren’t going to get very far are we?

If we continue to stay divided, and a majority of the space at the top is coming from white voices, well we aren’t going to get very far are we?

Billboard has some great information about what labels, executives, artists, are doing to support the Black Lives Matter movement & helping to dismantle & fight systemic racism. Check it out here: Artists Urge Music Companies to Donate to Fight Racial Injustice: Here Are the Ones That Have

Signed,

Post Concert Depression