Local music scenes have a huge impact on the culture of an area. The art of music brings people closer together.
The Abilene scene is one that is heavily influenced by young adults, thanks to the many high schools, colleges and universities in the area. But it does not stop there. There are several all-ages places for students to enjoy local music, like open mic night at Monk’s or Mezamiz coffee shops, but there are also venues that are age restricted, such as Spanky P’s or the Neon Parrot.
More students should support their friends who are the starving artists. Because Abilene is not as big of a city as Dallas or Austin, there are local musicians trying to make a name for themselves, many of them right here on campus. For example, Wes Robbins, a student who plays indie music, recently performed at Mezamiz coffeehouse. Students were invited to the coffee shop for Justice week and received spiritual formation event credit for attending. Instead of students showing up for the incentive of chapel credit, more should attend to hear genuine music and have fellowship with friends.
Abilene has a very diverse music scene; there is truly something for everyone. Those into metal can find a range from metalcore to thrash. Pop-punk is also prevalent among many. Those interested in Jazz and R&B can attend the Key City Rhythm and Blues festival, or visit the Neon Parrot Lounge on Thursdays for Jazz and Blues. The Neon Parrot also hosts many alternative and Indie musicians. Those interested in country can attend the upcoming Outlaws and Legends festival held at the Back Porch of Texas. The point being, if you like it, you’re sure to find it here.
It is important for the community to support the local music scene. And not just the community of Abilene as a whole, but rather the small communities in every friend circle. There’s something about getting together for a coffee and sitting down to enjoy acoustic music that forms stronger bonds between people than being jammed into a 100,000 person concert venue with screaming fans. And yes, many people do save up for months to travel as far as Dallas or Austin to see a larger band or artist perform in sold out arenas, and that’s fine for a special treat every now and then, but just how personal is the experience? With smaller venues and house shows, concerts are more interactive, where people can dance around or actually hear the words being sung.
By going to local shows and concerts, people are able to interact with each other and the bands much more easily. Performers are much more accessible and down to earth and so fans can relate to them more easily. Local shows are also a great place to meet friends, as there is plenty of time to mingle and get to know people with similar taste in music that live in the same area.
Everyone, despite age, race or music taste, should find somewhere in Abilene to plug into music-wise. By getting involved in the local music scene, students are not only supporting smaller bands, but they are also making memories and forming community with those around them.