Thursday, March 8, 2018


Watching a gig at McCabe's is an intimate, small stage affair that feels like what it is, getting up close and personal with a favorite artist.

Artists like Tom Waits in pared down solo performances in the back room, telling stories and singing from a single chair or at the piano. It’s the kind of intimacy that can bring a fan to tears. There are artists that repeat their albums when they perform live, perfecting a show for the road, those who sound nothing like a record without a sound engineer, and those that transcend those recordings as storytellers.

The experience is of course enhanced by the atmosphere at McCabe's. Wood paneled walls covered in every type of strummable: ukulele, banjo, mandoliine, dulcimer and more that I don't have names for, come together to create a world steeped in history. From Timothy Leary to Jeff Beck to Beck to Ginger Baker, the list of those who played at McCabe’s is endless. Why? If you don’t sound good here, you don’t sound good.

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