House concerts are becoming a popular way for independent artists to get up close and personal with their fans.
WHEN I ATTENDED MY FIRST HOUSE CONCERT, it was merely a job perk. I was a music reporter, so bands in my city occasionally invited me to their homes to catch their rehearsals. A mess of musical equipment would occupy the living room (sometimes, the drum set would spill over into the ¬kitchen), and upon my arrival, someone would turn the lights down to set the mood for a private set list.
A few of those bands went on to receive national accolades; most didnt. Still, the shows meant a lot to me for reasons beyond the I saw em back then factor. Attending those shows made me feel like part of a secret, creative circle. The line between entertainer and fan was blurred.
But I soon learned that it doesnt take a snazzy gig to be able to see that kind of intimate performance. House concerts -- where everyday fans host independent musical acts in their private abodes -- have gained popularity in recent years. Ive now watched concerts in backyards, dorm rooms, and suburban living rooms, sometimes seated next to men with kids in their laps and sometimes barefoot among bottles of wine and yoga mats. None have been exclusive, really; friends and neighbors come and go, often without invites. But these events certainly feel exclusive.