Local Life

Bringing the concert experience home

House shows are growing in popularity for fans, musicians


Sometimes, the best experience a person can have with music is when it’s performed live.

But going to concerts can be a pricey endeavor, plus there’s the cost of getting a drink or two, dealing with the crowd, and fighting for a good spot.

Those in search of a way to experience a different kind of live music should consider a growing trend — one closer to home.

“Even at small clubs, there’s still a kind of invisible force field between you and the audience, because you’re on stage and they’re not,” said Kyle Hauser, a Berklee School of Music graduate and former touring musician. “But playing a house show allows you to make a genuine connection with people in a way you can’t otherwise.”

House shows are exactly what they sound like — people open up their homes to anywhere from 10 to 30 people for a special performance in their living room, backyard, or any other large space they have.

“What a great way to see live music house shows are,” said Daniel Prewitt, a Morrison resident who has hosted several such events in recent years. “There’s no more intimate way to experience music than with just a few other people in an environment like a home.”

As these concerts are so small, there’s not a lot in the way of promotional materials — it mostly comes down to word of mouth and friends of friends.

Hauser said there’s a kind of informal list of people who host house shows shared between musicians, but Andrea McKee, founder of Lymlight, aims to make the process easier for both musicians and hosts alike.

“Lymlight is an online platform that connects performers with people who want to host shows,” McKee explained. “As a singer-songwriter myself, I had a hard time finding gigs where I could play my own material and where I wouldn’t feel like background music. But when I heard about house shows, I loved the energy they provide.”

By using Lymlight — which is free for everyone — musicians can connect with people interested in hosting a show at their place, and vice versa. Most of the musicians who are interested in playing house shows are moving into markets or areas they’ve never been before, McKee said.

“By making the house show process easier and more accessible we’re looking to change the landscape of what the live experience can be,” she added. “They’re a great option for indie artists.”

The site also has a range of resources available for those new to hosting.

Arvada resident Melissa Rozeski had never attended a house show before she met McKee but fell in love with them after a performance she hosted for her birthday.

“We had people bring food and drinks. It was almost like a potluck,” she said. “The best part was the musician would chat with the guests before and after. It gave all of us a chance to support musicians we enjoy.”

Ensuring house shows arranged through Lymlight are ethical was of vital importance to McKee — which means making it possible for musicians to make a living. Guests to events made on the platform must buy a ticket to the show through the platform for tax purposes. This ensures both musician and host are aware of how many seats are getting filled based on the number of tickets sold for each event. When tickets to a show are sold, upon completion of the show, the ticket sales will automatically be deposited into the musician’s bank account.

“I think house shows are the logical next step in the music economic system,” Hauser said. “You just know you’re going to have a good experience at these shows.”


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