Last updated: March 20. 2013 1:09AM - 6047 Views
By Ned Russin, Weekender Correspondent

Cafe Metropolis as seen from S. Main St in Wilkes Barre in 2006.
Photo by Clark Van Orden/Times Leader
Cafe Metropolis as seen from S. Main St in Wilkes Barre in 2006.
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Another two weeks away and now the homesickness starts to set in.

I am writing this week's article from Melbourne, Australia. We have hit the halfway point of our tour. It seems the more we go away, the faster time goes. However, nothing can replace the feeling of getting home after a long trip. In our time away, I've already missed one show - the Strength for a Reason show that also doubled as a video shoot at West Side Park in Nanticoke. The text message review I got of the show was positive, but words will never substitute seeing it firsthand.

Last month before we went away, I was contacted about booking a show for a band coming through our area. Now while I'm not allowed to divulge the information for the show just yet, I encountered so many roadblocks while trying to execute the simple task of securing a venue that I feel the need to discuss it. I love shows, but I have only ever booked a very small amount. In those few times, however, I literally sent out an e-mail asking to do a show on a certain date, got confirmation back, and then made a flyer. The last time I did that was when I asked Matt CTI if I could do the first Disengage show at Café Metropolis. It was that simple. But to put that in perspective, that was four years ago now. Now that we don't have a steady venue, it's a little harder.

I made a list of places that I thought could be possible venues. Over the course of two weeks, I called five places and e-mailed others. I only got one phone call back. The owner of a hall told me that it would be impossible to have this show happen. Now, at this point, I started to feel a little discouraged. Just a year ago, we could have put this show on at Redwood Art Space without a problem, but, of course, we are still without a venue.

I feel that music is made to be played live. Giving people the opportunity to see a band perform is such a great experience, but it seemed that I would have to pass on bringing a band to Wilkes-Barre because there are no places for bands to play. Now the last thing I want to come off as is someone who complains. I know that the average bar owner or the vet at the VFW who hears that some punk wants to do an all-ages show thinks that it's just simply not worth their time or energy, but that doesn't mean a show shouldn't be booked at all.

Finally, after e-mailing back and forth while on the road, I secured a venue and was able to proudly tell the band that the show was on. I will announce the show as soon as I can, and I promise that it will be worth the wait. I feel a sense of victory for overcoming the obstacles, but it seems that it shouldn't be this hard. Maybe we had it easy before. Maybe it will just be more difficult now. But no matter what it is, it won't discourage music from thriving in our area.

Although this is just one show, I still consider this a small victory, but I won't be satisfied until we are able to bring any band possible to the area without fear: fear of having to tell a band that there is nowhere for them to play. The great thing about putting this out publically is that it can reach people we can't normally.

So, to anyone who reads this – we need a new venue.

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