A Grateful Dead concert experience was pretty amazing as well. Before the band started playing stadiums on a regular basis, Grateful Dead shows were one big party both in and outside of the venue.
Even though the shows were sold-out, you could easily walk to the front of the stage. People were kind to each other and strangers talked to you like they were your best friend. Often conversations comparing how many shows in a row a person was at occurred between fans, or they would try to guess what deep cut the band would play that evening.
The Grateful Dead built an audience by creating a community, not by attacking people selling t-shirts in the parking lot, or prohibiting “tapers” that would become some of their best and most loyal fans. They achieved it by creating a community.
Aaron took that same approach, his business became an integral part of the community where his business was located, and every time I went into that store, I was propelled back to a time I missed. And now, in addition to those times I will miss Aaron, a friend that shared many of them with me.
Thom Jennings writes a weekly column on the music scene for Sunday Lifestyle. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.