At the first house show that Nick Chilman, the lead singer of Monadi, played, the police showed up and the power went out before the band performed their final song.
It wasn’t the most illustrious start in the Chapel Hill house show scene, but Chilman said that even though the show wasn’t perfect, the point of playing was to get better.
House shows are a simple concept: artists perform at someone’s house.
Casey Kibe, the lead singer of CSB, also views house shows as places to improve her performance, she said. She said she created CSB her senior year at UNC to fulfill a bucket list item — starting a band with her friends. Kibe said the support and connections she has made playing house shows in Chapel Hill have been invaluable.
She said house shows are a great environment because the musicians' goal is to have fun. Not many college bands are doing it to get paid or be famous, she said.
House shows are also a networking opportunity, Kibe said. She met the members of the band Carrboro Electric Company at a backyard birthday party where Monadi also performed, she said.
Max Jacobson, a UNC senior and the lead guitarist of Carrboro Electric Company, CSB and Nightshade, is a transfer from California who only started playing shows when he got to Chapel Hill, he said. Jacobson said he first explored the house show scene when he played for the Carolina Bluegrass Band at UNC, where he met his future Carrboro Electric Company bandmate.
“The scene, it’s pretty intimate, everyone kind of knows each other, so I think just having that community, where you can play house shows and stuff like that, that’s what kinda got me into it,” Jacobson said.
While there are benefits to the closeness of the community, it can be difficult to gain exposure from such a small scene, according to Daniel O’Shaughnessy, a former music director and show host for WXYC, a student-run radio station in Chapel Hill.