It Just Might Work: The early rock show

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One of my favorite New Orleans music clubs, d.b.a., holds down a spot on Frenchmen Street in a part of the city known as the Fauborg Marigny, which used to be strictly for locals but now has been discovered by the tourists. And it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between the two.

Anyway, d.b.a hosts some of the better New Orleans bands, with a wide variety of styles and genres, and it’s also the kind of place where you could see Stevie Wonder jump onstage and start playing with the band, which actually happened during Jazz Fest in 2011. Yes, there’s a YouTube of it and yes, you should check it out.

I think the best thing d.b.a does is run two shows a night, with two different acts and two different cover charges. The best part is that the early show starts at 6 or 7 p.m.

I love it because old farts like me simply cannot stay awake and alert to see a band that starts playing at 11 p.m. and runs on well past 1 a.m. — even if we take afternoon naps.

But the 6 p.m. show allows grown folks to come by after work, have a few drinks and a genuine cultural experience and be home in bed by 10 p.m., which works even on a school night.

A few local spots have already latched onto this trend: On Pop of the World in Greensboro and Heyday Guitars in Winston-Salem are booking occasional early gigs that have the added bonus of being family-friendly. Event spaces like bookstores and coffee shops are also getting in on the action.

It’s time for the real rock rooms to follow suit.

I’m talking to you, Blind Tiger, the Garage, Millennium Center, Cone Denim Entertainment Center and everywhere else in the Triad that we rely on to bring us the kind of quality live music that’s too big for the coffeeshops but not big enough for the coliseum or the Joel.

Just this weekend my wife and I caught a small piece of a fantastic set by Rinaldi Flying Circus at Test Pattern. We would have loved to stay for the whole thing, but it was approaching midnight and we were exhausted. Drop that same show at 7 p.m. and we’ll stay for the whole thing.