— Tyler Killette (@tylerkillette) February 19, 2014
I took some photos at Whigfest last week. Check out my amateureness (that’s a word now.)
I’ve been in love with St. Petersburg since I first started coming to State Theater for whiny pop-punk shows when I was about 15. Nearly six years later, though my music taste has changed, my adoration for this spectacularly quirky town has only grown. It’s truly the only place I want to be.
The cultural burst we’ve seen in the last year alone is astonishing. Every weekend is packed with events, from two-day music festivals to community chili cook-offs. Areas that were once barren and seen as seedy, such as the Grand Central District, are now bustling, giving way to new businesses and new life.
The St. Pete music scene is perhaps the city’s greatest treasure. Though largely untapped and, at times, completely raw, it’s full to the brim with talent. Pick any local restaurant or bar offering live music. You can be almost certain the band won’t suck, and the chances of finding genuine musical artistry are high. It’s a scene deserving of more than it receives, yet I’m selfishly thrilled to have it all to myself.
I’ve recently been overwhelmed by my love for the scene, as I’m beginning to write for a new local music blog, and am longing to shed light on every corner of it. I’m happy to have the outlet to do so now.
I can see my idols play free shows, at super-hip yet comfortably friendly venues, any night of the week. And I can have casual conversations with these people afterward without feeling starstruck or insignificant. I’m a member of this community serving a worthy purpose, just like they are. They even read my reviews. It’s sort of circle of life-ish scenario. They use their talents to make beautiful music, I use mine to tell people how beautiful it is.
The genres and styles are vast — anything from hard fast punk to earthy instrumental might be played at the same show. I want to experience it all.
I’m so excited to keep going to shows, keep meeting new people and make new friends who share my interests and passions. It’s also an amazing feeling to know that some of the musicians I’ll be covering are already good pals, and that I’ll be at least a small force in their development.
Most of all, I’m grateful for the opportunity to give the St. Pete music and arts scene the recognition it deserves, and to keep showing people why this city is the only place I want to call home.