Small, intimate shows are so underrated. Heading to your local bar to see a not so well known band or artist play for 50 or so people is how every band starts out. That is one of the many reasons why I love attending small shows and discovering new, local music acts. That is exactly what I did last weekend at Club Cafe in the Southside.

Hear Tonight was opening for JD Eicher and I asked if they needed me to come shoot their set and they said yes! So, I was very excited, being that I hadn’t seen a show of theirs since their album release show in October of last year.

I also had never been to Club Cafe so that was a new experience. It’s 21+ considering that it’s a bar/night club on regular days. If you’re familiar with The Rex Theater and The Smiling Moose area of town, Club Cafe is just around the corner, practically, from them. Chris and I took a Lyft since Southside is ridiculously hard to find a parking spot in on the weekends. Very intimate setup. When you walk in, there’s a bar to your left, a dance floor straight ahead, the small stage to your far right, and some seating towards the back. Coming to new venues for shows is always nerve-wracking because I never know how the lighting is going to be. With my new Canon 6D, I haven’t had to worry too much about it, which is really nice.

Around 7, Hear Tonight went on stage. It was awesome to see them again because they always put on a great show. They had a short 30 minute set with a couple older originals as well as a good bit of songs from their EP “Chasing the Rain” that was released last year. They ended up having to change the setlist since Shane’s (lead vocalist) guitar speaker thing (I don’t play in a band so don’t judge me for not knowing equipment) ran out of batteries. Nobody seemed to mind the change though and enjoyed their set as it was. If you like music that makes you think of summer, even when it’s not, go listen to them. It makes you feel like you’re on the beach listening to the waves crash and feeling the beat of the sun on your skin. It’s crazy how well they capture that feeling in their music. Their Facebook is linked above and I also included the link to their new EP via Spotify above as well.

JD Eicher was the headliner of the show. JD is a singer-songwriter from Youngstown, OH. From the very beginning of his set, I was impressed. He’s very talented and real. His music has very deep meaning to it and is relatable. And… he’s hilarious. His hour and a half set included a different story or topic between each song, which brought out a lot of laughs. One really cool story that I found interesting was the one about how he went on a book tour with Nicholas Sparks. His song, ‘Two By Two‘ was written in inspiration of Nicholas Sparks’ book Two By Two. Basically, the story went that Sparks was looking for music to go along with the book and JD submitted his song and Sparks loved it. He joined Sparks on his book tour and would play the song on his guitar at certain points on each stop of the tour. So that was a really cool story. Then later he had a debate about chickpeas. Needless to say, the night’s topics varied. I was very impressed with his music and his overall performance. I even loved a couple songs enough to save them on Spotify during the show.

Overall, it was a fantastic night. Chris enjoyed some different beers, I hydrated like crazy since my throat has been a pain lately, and had a wonderful night full of great music (and photography if I do say so myself).

Featured below are a handful of my favorite shots from the show! You can check out the rest on my Flickr Portfolio! 🙂 I highly recommend checking out both Hear Tonight and JD Eicher. Links are included above!



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