We Took This City For Granted

Will Oliver

Living in New York City I’ve heard from many friends who live afar that I’m spoiled. Usually this is because of the wide array of options show wise. Amd it’s hard to argue. Every single tour comes through here and often for multiple night residencies depending on the size of the band.

Not only that but we have some of the greatest venues on earth in our city, from the most famous arena to the legendary divey clubs where so many cut their teeth.

The reason I bring this is up is right now, when our showgoing future is so uncertain during this troubling time, is when I realized how I took it all for granted.

Sure, all of us are without shows right now, so this isn’t neccesarily a New York exclusive problem. But having New York as my concert playground has definitely given me a warped view about it. There are times I caught myself complaining that there are simply too many good show options on any given night, to the point where I am forced to pick which show to go to, or if I have to leave one early to catch a bit of the next. All of this while cities in the midwest may be skipped over by bands entirely.

As if that wasn’t cool enough, post show you had countless of late night food and drink options that could keep the party going hours after the show is over. Not only that but often times the bands (depending on their popularity) are just as eager to join you in the fun. The fact that we could catch a wide variety of bands at an equally wide variety of venues, nearly at any hour of the night, is not something that we should’ve taken for granted.

But as I sit home typing this, realizing we may not have concerts until late 2021, if even that, it made me think about how we took this city for granted.

The little things that irked me, like bad crowds, having to sit through 1-2 forgettable opening acts and those drink prices, they all seem like problems we all wish we could have to tolerate right now.

Is it possible that I miss the smell of beer split on the floor, the stickiness of that floor, and the roar of the crowd as the lights suddenly dim and silhouettes of your four favorite people on earth take the stage. The too aggressive bouncer outside, the person at the door who doesn’t seem to ever want to find your name on that list and the bartender who would rather be anywhere but talking to you. I miss it all.

There’s a reason bands always eagerly await their New York City dates. It’s just different. Being a part of this music scene has been a wild part of my life, getting to actively participate in it in a small way as a concert photographer has been one of my greatest joys in life. I didn’t think it would ever possibly disspear from me, but life comes at you fast sometiems.

New York City offers a different sort of experience in all aspects of life, but even more so when I step back and realize how truly unique and special the concert scene is in our city.

It may be some time before we all go back to it, but lets hope we don’t take it for granted ever again. I know I won’t.


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