Okay, so I know I'm going to get ostracized for admitting this — probably by my CL editors who teased me when I "discovered" Snug Harbor last year — but last Friday was my first time going to The Evening Muse in NoDa. There, I said it. Before I end up having to adorn the scarlet letter for the rest of my career as a nightlife writer, give me a second to explain my social faux pas.
I only recently got to the point in nightlife where I actually enjoy going to "shows" with my friends. As someone who's known to consume rap, trap and all things hip-hop, I think I can safely say there's a huge difference between going to see Lil' Wayne perform at PNC Music Pavillion and the SoFar shows I've been attending over the past few months.
Maybe you disagree. However, there's a deeper level of intimacy you'll find at a "show" than you'll find at a concert, and I've grown to appreciate it completely. And that's even when I don't know anything about the artist/band performing.
Anyways, I've talked often about my SoFar Sounds Charlotte experiences in the Queen City and how the allure of "not knowing what you're going to get" has led to sold out shows twice a month. And on this past Wednesday, the boyfriend and I experienced déjà vu and nostalgia when we watched a couple familiar faces performing once again: Mo Lowda & The Humble.
The first time we saw them was on Halloween at Camp North End. It was my first show and I wasn't exactly in the right headspace to pay attention to anyone performing (it was BYOG – bring your own goodies), but I remembered one thing: he loved them. When I heard them at the show this past Wednesday (for my first time) at the Charlotte Trolley Powerhouse Studio in South End, I was taken aback.
The sound was pure and paralyzing. Next thing you know, "the band we didn't know" was announcing that they were playing at The Evening Muse two days later. I'd already alerted my sweetheart that a band that had played at the show in October was going to be returning, but it wasn't until that moment that he realized it was his favorite act of the entire show. (Side note: I almost suggested we abandon the show when I noticed that Futo Buta was only a stone's throw away and we haven't tried it.)
After hearing them perform, it was confirmed. We were going to the show at The Evening Muse. I grabbed tickets Thursday night and before you know it, we were in an Uber heading to NoDa Friday night. I'm not going to lie, I was shocked at how small the venue was. I pictured something along the lines of the Visulite Theatre or The Fillmore Charlotte. But no, this was tiny. The bar, which is on the right when you enter, was simply a wooden shelf with stacked bottles and glasses. And the stage? A three-inch platform. Other than that, there were stools scattered along the left-hand side and two single bathrooms in the back right corner. No bells and whistles for this music venue, and that's why I loved it. (Especially when I decided to make the switch to a tall boy PBR.
You enter at the corner of North Davidson and East 36th streets across from The Blind Pig. We had to pay a dollar for membership and then the boys headed straight for the bar. As a latecomer to the pregame, I needed to rely on an RBV to get me through. While I ordered, I watched the crowd slowly trickling in while bobbing their heads to Pierce Edens, another familiar face from the Camp North End SoFar show. We had no idea there would be an opener, so while we started to get antsy, we definitely enjoyed getting our money's worth.
By the time Mo Lowda & The Humble came on, I was ready for a sound that was more my style. You'll have to Google these artists if you haven't heard of them and experience their music for yourself. I'm no music writer.
Once they started playing, I looked over at my boo thang and he seemed to have the same look of confusion on his face as I had. Their sound was more rock 'n' roll than the sweet melodies I remembered from two nights prior. Don't get me wrong, I like that they can cater their music to the listening audience. However, we were looking forward to a repeat of the intimate atmosphere we experienced in the cozy space at the trolley museum.
Nevertheless, I'll definitely be returning to The Evening Muse for a show very soon. Share your favorite intimate venues with me at backtalk@clclt.