Tonawanda News — Of course there really is nothing better than a cool moonlit night under the stars listening to great music. I’ll never forget sitting on the lawn at what is now called CMAC in Canandaigua, drinking wine and watching Eric Clapton put on a stellar show in the early 1980s. I also have had some great nights in Lockport, North Tonawanda, Buffalo and Lewiston seeing acts like Flogging Molly, Dennis DeYoung, Rik Emmett, Rusted Root and Alice Cooper. In addition, there was a time when it rained during “Love Reign O’er Me” during a Who concert at Rich Stadium.
Nonetheless, I do miss the arena rock era, with the smoke-filled venue. I loved seeing the spotlight cut through the smoke and watching people hold up their lighters. When the arena went black and the band appeared onstage, it was a magical moment, something that just doesn’t work as well at an outdoor show.
The sound quality depends on the venue. I despise the sound at The Dome Arena in Rochester, but I love the acoustics at The Seneca casinos. Outdoors, things can get tough if the wind whips the sound around or it gets too loud and bounces off the buildings.
There is only one artist I can honestly say that I had a preference whether I saw them indoors or out, that was The Grateful Dead. For some reason I enjoyed them a lot more when they played an arena and not so much when they played outdoor stadiums.
So which do I prefer? Strange enough, it doesn’t necessarily depend on the band, it depends on the weather.Thom Jennings writes a weekly column on the music scene for Sunday Lifestyle. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.