After many years away from the live music scene, I'm now living in a place where I'm able to go see great acts without having to drive for hours. But what I'm suddenly finding is that the kind of bands I want to see (eg Son Volt, Lindi Ortega) are playing in clubs where it's standing room only. That is, it looks like I'd be paying good money to spend three hours on numb feet in a tightly-packed crowd of sweaty drunks. Sure, up and coming bands have always played in beer pits, but I sort of expected established bands to have moved on from that. So, is this standing room only arrangement for established bands in smaller venues just the way things are done in 2017? Dunno if it's just an Australian thing, or what.