While many of you may know that I try my best to push this city and the artists within it on a daily basis through actions and writing, I try to call out any problems in either whenever I see them. I've made it my goal to be as transparent as I can in covering music, comedy, and even skateboarding in this city. So when I decided to showcase that many local bands don't support one another, I wasn't shocked by the results of what transpired after the article was released. Below is what we learned from the comments via social media platforms, what we were told from those comments, and the excuses we heard as well.
From those in other cities we were told that this wasn't just a Houston problem, and that seemed to echo throughout social media users in multiple cities and states. One user commented that "it feels like a sign of the times when you have bands in your city that won't go to a show, but who will hang at a bar next door to a venue instead." It felt like most who shared the article were more than happy to echo the sentiment that such behavior occurred where they lived too. However, with the positives, there were also plenty of excuses for why bands, or at least some bands didn't watch the bands they were playing with. In fact, the excuses were what we saw the most.
The first excuse we saw was a narrative I've heard before, and heard for a good while. The excuse that since there was no more smoking allowed in venues was brought up multiple times. While I understand that there are many people in bands that partake in that disgusting habit, I don't know if that explains why a band wouldn't see a band that they aren't performing with ever. By that logic, it seems that band members who smoke are constantly smoking nonstop, without ever breathing air.
The second excuse we heard was that many bands have friends who want to see them and talk to them after they perform. While this could be somewhat plausible, missing all of the bands that play before you or after you seems a little much. In fact, the bands that live here in Houston that have such a large fan base, don't really interact with the public outside of their sets, while I still see some of them catching locals perform from time to time.
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The third excuse we heard, does hold some merit, but made me ask more questions than anything. That excuse, was the need to load and unload gear after performing. While, yes bands do have to get their gear offstage or onstage, and that takes time; this commenter made it sound like such a process took hours. This commenter said that there wasn't a safe gear hold for band instruments, so he and others had to load gear into the van and take it back home or to the practice spot.
While I think everyone is well aware that gear can get stolen in any city, from any vehicle, from any spot; this seems a little paranoid or far fetched, and here's why. I own plenty of vintage gear and I've left it in gear holds at venues without it getting stolen. I never got an explanation of where said band is performing either, as pretty much every venue that I know of in Houston has some sort of gear hold space, and often it is watched after by security or a venue employee. While this was the most plausible reason I heard for missing a set, it also felt like it was really just this one band who was using it as a reason to miss out on watching anyone else.
We also saw plenty of people take the article the wrong way. People who decided to take things personally, and make it all about themselves. Bands who felt like I was glossing over their hard work and their grind, which I wasn't. These types of articles are meant to start a discussion. No matter what you may think about what was in the article, it stands to reason that if the bands don't care, why would the general population? Until the bands start to care enough to watch the others they're performing with, we might see plenty of quarter filled shows for years to come.