Attending a college near Boston gives us a unique opportunity—the ability to support local bands. Boston and the smaller cities and towns surrounding it boast countless music venues, stadium-sized and comfy-cozy. Almost any kind of genre can be found in one of these unique venues. Since we live in such a great proximity to talented, local musicians, we should be support them by attending local shows.

Why, you ask? The music industry depends on local bands. Almost every band or artist you listen to on the radio began their climb to fame by playing local shows. The music industry is not like the TV depiction where a manager or producer happens to be in a bar, hears a band, and decides to sign them on the spot. Bands have to work very hard to slowly make their way to the top. A band has to tour and make money to attract a label. To tour, you have to build up a fan base, and to do that you have to play a lot of local shows. Bands depend on us; they need fans in order to keep making the music that we love to listen to. Obviously we cannot support every band that plays in the Boston area, but we can find a few that we like and regularly attend their shows.

I understand that we live in a tough economy. However, local shows are usually very cheap. It costs about $5 to ride the T roundtrip to Boston, and most shows are $10. That ten dollars you spend will ensure that you will see anywhere between four to six bands during a single show. There are some who will shell out $60-$100 to see someone that they hear on the radio. That means people are paying over $60 to see one, maybe two, artists (if they have someone opening or touring with them). Local shows give three to four more artists a chance to perform for at least 1/6 of the cost.

It might be an initial challenge to find local bands. One way to find them is through your friends, people from the area, fellow students, or family members.  Personally, I am friends with a few local bands so finding new music is pretty easy for me. However, for those who want to support local bands but do not know where to start, search online. Websites such as Boston and The Boston Globe regularly post about music, both mainstream and local. In the past I have read some articles about bands, looked them up on YouTube, and went from there. It may require a little effort, but the reward is so much greater.

Going to local shows is an amazing experience. There is such a high energy at these shows. Everyone is there to support local talent, and fans are friendly and willing to converse. I have made many friends at shows, including members of the bands. It is an awesome feeling to be at a show, and have the singer or guitarist of the band you just saw come up and start talking to you. These bands are generally very loyal to their fans, and vice versa. Attending local shows gives you the chance to be a part of a community that loves and supports one another; the local music scene is like one giant family that everyone should be a part of.