When you think of live music you most likely picture large arenas, auditoriums or bars. These are the types of shows that get the main focus and advertisement. But, there’s another type of show that happens a lot more frequently than people may think and that is the house show.
House Shows are shows organized by a person who converts their home into a venue. Most are usually free, but the host will ask you to donate to the artists; especially the ones that are touring. Events like these are the backbone of the DIY music scene. Here you will find raw music, untouched by consumerism and corporations. It’s just people putting in a lot of time and effort to make music because they want to. It’s impressive what artists are able to do here without the backing of labels. The most common genre of music you’ll find at house shows are different styles of rock such as emo, metal, punk and alternative. With rock music nowhere to be found in the mainstream, it has now found itself a new place in the underground and the best way to experience underground music are at shows like these. Other genres are present too, but rock is the most dominant.
Bailey Miller is someone who’s very involved in the DIY music scene. As a member of the band Super Tan, Miller has first hand experience with live music.
“House shows are important to me because they are very intimate and they’re so much fun. It’s really awesome playing in a crowded basement. We practice in a basement in Battle Creek, so when we play a house show, it feels very homey and comfortable,” Miller said. “I’ve learned that it’s really important to just go to as many shows as possible.”
In addition to attendance, the ever growing online component of support is just as important to Miller.
“Support local bands, buy merch, and take a couple minutes to listen to whatever song or EP a local band just dropped on bandcamp because they spent a lot of time and effort on making that recording and giving it a chance by listening to their bandcamp releases can make the artists day, and it ultimately helps the scene and the community grow.”
In some cities, it can be difficult to find out about house shows due to the fact that most people don’t want to post their address on the internet, but here in Kalamazoo there’s a website called DIT Kalamazoo dedicated to posting information on shows in the area and holding workshops about different aspects of the DIY music scene. In addition, following local bands on social media is a great way to be updated on upcoming shows. If you want to see music in its realest form, check out what your local scene has to offer.