Living on long island my entire life and living so close to the train station, I find it very easy not only to attend shows locally, for small bands or big, but also to travel into the city for show there. Long island itself has an entire network of train lines called the LIRR, which makes travel to the city extremely easy, as well as traveling around the island. You can hop onto the Babylon train and head east to go into the town of Babylon itself, and then just go on the train home again all for $4, basically cheaper than gas nowadays.
So when it comes to shows, I find that you can see a band in the city, and the show itself may feel different then a show when played on long island locally. City venues (assuming its not an arena) always feel like there is so much energy in general, possibly because you can have people from 3 different states coming in with no problems. It also helps that city venues are generally bigger than the local spots. Many of the local venues around here are generally smaller bars, with the exception of a few. Even the bigger ones can be relatively small in actual standing area. The thing with local shows is, if you get a big band and can get into the local venues, the show always seems to be more personable and the band connects better. Sure there’s less space but the band plays to the crowd more with a personal feel, they can not only put on a great show, but get up close and personal with a smaller amount of people. With the city shows, the band has so many more people to play to and I feel less personable in general to the individuals, but play to the crowd. With city shows, I feel like the crowd bonds with the crowd itself, and have a good time by feeding off each other’s energy. One of the bands I listen to, Burn Halo (ex-Eighteen Visions frontman James Hart’s new band), came around to the local bar Ollie’s Point (now Revolution) and the show was so personal when they came and played, they were calling out to the crowd, having people jump with them and sing and such, with James giving specific orders for specific people based on how they were acting during the set. It was a great time and the band really connected. With a show in the city, with a larger crowd and more people to play to, the band can get crowd interaction going, but not on the scale I noticed in the local venue.
So when it comes down to it, which is preferred? A larger venue with more energy, or a smaller show with a more personal feel?