Like the rest of Cincinnati, I was distraught with the closing of the Southgate House. The house held so much history and was known as one of the best venues in the country. I thought I knew the pinnacle of live music, but I was wrong.

Once the Southgate House closed, I had to find a new intimate venue to spend my time. When browsing shows online I noticed the David Mayfield Parade was playing in Dayton, so naturally it was placed on my calendar. It was at a venue I had rarely heard of and never been to, the Canal Street Tavern.

When mapquesting directions, I learned there is no Canal St. This lead me to believe that I was enterring a hipster haven. The Canal Street Tavern was among unmarked bars, fueled by irony and elitism. What I found, to my happiness, was far different.

Before enterring, one will notice a sign above the door that reads “A listening room for those who appreciate good music in a comfortable, relaxed, and unpretentious atmosphere”. When you enter, this is exactly what you find. There is not a bad seat in the house, so nobody fights for their viewing space. There are tables throughout and seats in the back so you can view in any fashion you please.

There is a community built around this place. Everyone inside seems to know each other. While waiting for music to start, everyone sits behind the tables and talks. This helps it hold the bar atmosphere that you see in the venues title. Whether the house is packed or sparsley populated, it never ceases to deliver a top notch atmosphere.

Canal St. is the only music venue that I know of in Dayton, but the crowds here make me believe that they could have a thriving music scene. I have never been apart of a more respectful crowd that is there solely for the music. It is refreshing.

This month there is another David Mayfield show, hopefully I will re-experience my first time!

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