Why Dayton beats to the sound of its own drum
By Keith Bange
When most people speak of their hometown and the pride that they take in the things that make their town what it is, music is a very large part in some circles. A local music scene is a very important cog in the fine machinery of a city and gives certain people so much more than just music to listen to.
The bands that comprise ‘a scene’ in a town are often much more than musicians. They are the heart and soul of what makes a city what it is; they live, work and perform within the boundaries of their metropolis, and they play a very important part of giving the citizens something that they may not even know they needed.
The bars and clubs where musicians display their work are bastions of hope, honesty, heart and effort. In a city like Dayton, all of these things are magnified 10-fold due to how tight-knit the community is and the overall desire to put Dayton on the map as a Midwest musical mecca.
Dayton has a very vast and diverse array of local music to offer, with bands and musicians to satisfy any listener, several times over. Many of the musicians and bands have been playing together for well over a decade, gaining a following, and sharpening their spears with every passing year. And with each year, they are welcoming new bands and musicians into the fold, which allows for the evolution necessary to keep a music scene in a city alive and interesting.
This constant interaction and influence lends itself to just enough healthy competition, pushing the musicians involved to work harder, stand taller and be more innovative in order to make their music stand out amongst the rest.
Aside from this, promoters and club owners do an exceptional job at bringing in regional and national acts to complement local artists and to finely tune a show’s lineup, and it seems that the touring acts always remember their visit to our fair city.
Besides playing house shows and the DIY circuit, the clubs and bars that provide stages for the musicians to play on also have a very large role in making the music scene in Dayton what it is.
The promoters and club owners in town do an amazing job at matching local bands up with each other to provide the best shows possible. The clubs in Dayton tend to specialize in showcasing certain genres of music, in a manner of speaking, and take pride in the quality and caliber of the musicians that they book.
This variety, along with several clubs such as Canal Street Tavern, Blind Bob’s, South Park Tavern and J-Alans offering different music, often on the same night, provides the opportunity to expose yourself to new local and regional music, played in different atmospheres, all offering very different experiences.
In a town with such a vibrant dynamic of musicians and venues, it is hard to not imagine how much the local music scene means to our city, as it provides so much more to the people, and the city itself, than just music. It provides community, a sense of progress, and something to put faith and energy into.
It is a way of life to some; to others, it’s a good time or simply just something to do. It is not easily denied, however, that despite what it means to whomever, if you allow yourself to be exposed to what Dayton musicians and venues have to offer, you will catch a glimpse into something that means more to a city than most people realize.
Reach DCP freelance writer Keith Bange at firstname.lastname@example.org.