Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lonesome Vince's Grand Ole Hoot

It seems these days that every local show under $10 follows the same format: You go to the venue of choice, you watch the 3-4 band lineup, you tap your foot, drink a beer, catch up with friends, perhaps meet someone new, and then the show ends and you leave. But how do you feel when you leave? Has your mood changed? Was the show worth its price? Were you entertained? People need to ask themselves such questions in order to assess the quality of the shows they attend. People should expect talented performers and an energized atmosphere that is unique to each show. Local shows sometimes lack such characteristics, and instead feature familiar bands and audiences on weekday nights when less is happening. The “wow” factor is lost and so are expectations.

Lonesome Vince and his folk friends will bring you something more.

On September 10, the Central Square YMCA Family Theater will house a foot-stomping, hand-clapping, mouth-humming, body-rocking, and entertaining event. Lonesome Vince, a Boston University grad known for the monthly clandestine hootenannies he hosts in his Allston attic, is grouping together an eclectic mix of folk artists from Boston to host a different kind of show. It will incorporate musicians from Mama Bird Recording Company, a record label Vince recently started with some of his favorite Boston folk acts including Vikesh Kapoor, Barna Howard, and Old Hannah. Spitzer Space Telescope, a current BU student, will also be performing.

The show is an attempt to revive the notion of an event as a spectacle, and the YMCA Family Theater is the perfect place to do so, as it boasts wooden chairs, chandeliers, and an old-fashioned box office. The tickets and fliers are handmade and silk screened in classic western font, adding to the show’s aesthetics. Vince will host the show while joining some of the musicians on stage between sets. He wants the event to evoke a feeling of “old-time radio,” reminiscent of Garrison Kiellor’s live broadcasts in the 1970s. He’s even including cornbread and lemonade to accompany the folk feeling.

“It’s about making an experience. It’s more than just watching people on stage—it’s participatory.”

Vince and his friends are moving to the west coast in the fall, so the Grand Ole Hoot will be one of the last opportunities Bostonians will have to "participate" in one of Vince's spectacles. Tickets are $5 in advance and 7 at the door. The doors are at 7 P.M. and seats are first-come, first-served.

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