Hey CYY Freaks! I'm back at the blogging desk after a supremely busy summer, and I'm beginning a series of posts about what it's like being a part of a bustling music scene like Portland. Today, we start with 5 essential things to know before you head out to a local show!

1) Door Time vs. Show Time
One thing that I see people who are new to a music scene do often is show up right when doors open. While this helps you beat the line and pick a good spot, don't be surprised if you have to wait a while to see the music. Much like a big concert, the doors open roughly an hour before the first band comes on. That way, you can be "fashionably late" while not having to miss any tunes.

2) Be Prepared to Pay a Cover Charge
Also like bigger arena gigs, you typically have to buy a ticket to get into a show at a club. Prices for local bands are usually between $5 and $15, but if the band is fairly successful, they might hike it up to $20. If it seems like a lot of money to see your friends play, trust me - it's not. It's paying for all the time they spent practicing their music, and for keeping the lights on at your favorite local venue.

3) Bring Earplugs
As a tinnitus sufferer, this is a big one. Just because you aren't front row at the Cross Insurance Arena doesn't mean you can't get ear damage. Sound systems in all small clubs can be extremely hit or miss. Fortunately, Portland's clubs have a reputation for having good sound, but bring a pair just in case your ears start to hurt.

4) The More You Participate, The Better The Show Will Be
When a band asks you to move closer to the stage, do it. It might be a bit odd at first, but the closer the audience is to the stage, the more energy the performers get from them, and put back into the music. So cheer loudly and give the musicians a big confidence boost!

5) Network!
Lastly, and most importantly - get to know your local music scene. Everyone knows everyone somehow, and making new friends at any show is a foot in the door for the community as a whole. There's nothing better than going to a show, other than going to a show with a friend.