Happy Pepper Day!

Today is Pepper Day!   While Nano Poblano is only in November, Pepper Day is the 22nd day of every month, so it's extra Peppery!  Post something today.  A blog, a photo, a poem- anything at all! Tag it PepperDay!  Enjoy, and Happy Peppering!

To celebrate Pepper Day, I will tell you about the day the music returned.

When the pandemic hit, music around the world ground to a halt. The last concert I attended was a show by Transviolet at a small club in downtown Orlando on March 1st. The week after that, I was in New York for work, and some of my co-workers saw Broadway shows on the last few nights before the Great White Way went dark.

By the third week of March, everything else started to shut down. Every concert I had remaining in South Florida – and several in other states- was either canceled or postponed. Conventions were pushed off. A big family gathering on the west coast was postponed, which killed my plans to see Portland and Seattle on either side of the family stuff.

By the time the dust settled, every single concert, convention, trip, or airplane ride I had planned for the year was wiped clean from my calendar. The few shows that did get rescheduled were all pushed off to next year, no earlier than springtime. I resigned myself to nothing live, just live streams and prerecorded stuff until the pandemic was behind us.

Then I learned about the Birchmere.

The Birchmere is a music hall in Alexandria, Virginia. First opened in 1966, the Birchmere has been home to rock, blues, jazz, country, R&B, and bluegrass artists. The main hall seats 500, with a smallish stage and food service.

The food is the key here: Because the Birchmere has food, it was able to open in July under Virginia “kinda-sorta restaurant” guidelines. Smaller crowds were necessary because of the reduced capacity during Covid, but the music continues.

On October 19th, I went to the Birchmere for the first time, to see a rock guitarist named Samantha Fish. This was one of two sold-out shows- where sold out is still roughly 25 percent of the music hall’s total capacity.

The Birchmere has had a lot of amazing shows, and their entry hall walls are lined with concert posters and framed photos, many of them signed by the artists. I haven’t the foggiest clue what made me decide that the Spin Doctors was the best example of this legendary musical talent represented in this hallway, but this is the one photo I took of the walls.

Because this was my first time at the Birchmere, I arrived a little earlier than was really necessary. Once I arrived, they took my temperature at the door and guided me to a table. I was seated up front, just a few feet from the stage and spaced a table’s length from any other people. I ordered the fish and chips and a Red Stripe while I waited for the show to start. This was my view.

I’m not going to lie- it felt weird to be out at a concert while the pandemic is still ongoing. Even with everyone masked, it was the first time I’d been around that many people in more than six months.

It was all worth it, though, when the show started. When the music returned.

And Samantha Fish began very seriously to rock.

What was the last concert you saw?

43/52 (and 22 of 30!)

14 thoughts on “Happy Pepper Day!

  1. I think it might be like 20 years or more since I was at a concert. I don’t like crowds and have to fight panic attacks. I want to go, but hate it at the same time lol. I really like the pictures on this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like crowds either; this was much simpler because I never felt crowded and I was seated throughout.

      Still, I empathize- there have been plenty of shows where the crowding was very uncomfortable. For me, the music is worth the crowds, but not everyone would make the same choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Over the last several years and beyond I’ve gone to see my step-son play in LA, NY, ORL, Ybor City, etc. He’s Edsel Dope, lead singer for Dope, the Band.(mostly part time now).My other step-son Simon used to be in the same band before he quit, got married and now is a producer of video games for Activision. Outside of family my last concert was Pink Floyd in the Citrus Bowl 1988. It poured rain!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I miss live music so much! Today I walked by my neighbourhood theatre and decided I also miss plays 😦

    In late October I went to a corn maze and they had a local band playing – it was all outdoors and masked/distanced etc. The band wasn’t very good and I’m not usually a huge fan of the style of music they were playing. Regardless I was SO HAPPY just to see live music anyways!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would have stopped too. I’ve been watching all the streams I can find- the Kennedy Center has been spraying music all over the Internet, and there are symphonies and chamber ensembles and so much more. I love it all. If it’s a theater with a seat, I miss it.

      Liked by 1 person

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