I would wager that all serious live music fans have had a disappointing experience where the performing artist seems to be the last focus of attention at a particular venue.
Perhaps it was at a crowded bar where the band was ultimately background noise to those socializing. Or maybe the crowd was lost in a sea of cellphones, more interested in capturing video to push out on social media than soaking up the experience that’s right in front of them. Either way, much of the work that an artist puts into preparing for a show is lost when those present don’t fully engage.
Hoping to remedy those sorts of experiences, Field Note Stenographers, a local organization that supports live music in Macon, is presenting a series of concerts at the Cox Capitol Theatre through the late summer and early fall. The concerts, called the Living Room Concert Series, seek to put the artist first in the live musical experience, to bring attention to the detail in the work created by a musical artist.
The goal is to help change the way that a crowd views a live musical experience, to create more of an active connection between audience and artist. To that end, the concerts will look a bit different than a normal show at the Capitol. Instead of putting bands onstage, that section of the theater will be closed off, and bands will perform in the areas normally reserved for standing-room crowds. The shows will take on the look and feel of an intimate house show in an effort to promote an engaging listening experience.
That isn’t to say that these concerts aren’t intended to be social experiences. The artists booked for the series are the type that demand attention from an audience and write songs that promote conversation and connection. The more an audience engages in the performance, the more rewarding the experience.
There’s a broad range of styles represented across the shows, from hip-hop to psychedelic country, and the artists range from locals to nationally recognized acts, so there’s likely a chance that something on one of the bills will appeal to you. Try it out, and take your listening experience to the next level.
Jared Wright is a member of Field Note Stenographers, a collective of local musicians who write about shows in Middle Georgia. He is also a musical historian, curator and archivist. Contact him at email@example.com.