The American Legion Post #135 ballroom is one of the best spots for live music in the city, but it doesn’t get used all that often. The rent isn’t cheap, and anyone putting on a show has to bring in their own sound system. Plus there’s the size. Yes, the fire capacity is 300, but back in the day the room used to hold far more than that (judging by some photos from the mid-20th century). So if the room isn’t fairly close to capacity, it can wind up feeling and sounding a little empty.
Well, no worries about any of that last Saturday night for the 3rd Annual Homegrown Holiday Hoedown, a hugely successful near-sellout party featuring four Americana bands: The Train Wrecks, The Accomplices, The New Familiars, and American Hologram. The event also brought in tons of Toys for Tots donations, assuring that the good energy from the night will ripple through the community for a long time.
I love the ballroom, but it’s always frustrating to take photos of bands on the stage. And the space was pretty dark for the Hoedown, as it should have been, but it made it hard to shoot without flash (and I pretty much never use flash). And then there were the red and green lights . . . Anyway, just kvetching. I used my low-end zoom lens and got a few decent shots of The New Familiars and The Accomplices. You can see some of Jon Waits’ excellent photos on the Facebook event page. A couple here and more after the jump: