I went to a few events recently that made me think about the popularity of Western Swing, and how the dance crowds seem to be getting bigger for bands of this genre compared to previous years.
The first band I’m thinking of is Petunia and the Vipers. Although labeling Petunia as purely “Western Swing” would not be doing them justice, they definitely encompass some of that genre.
Take a look at this photo of their performance at El Cid one year ago, in June 2014. There are a good number of folks dancing:
But when I went last Thursday, June 25th 2015, the dance floor was even more packed and the crowd seemed significantly bigger (sorry, this is cell-phone shot not a great depiction; you’ll have to take my word for it):
At most there were four couples dancing at a time.
Compare that to last week. The floor was completely packed and people had to dance behind the band!
Check out additional photos from this event at Jennifer Stockert’s great Facebook album!
Do these crowds mean that Western Swing is getting more popular? Is this going to be the “next big thing?”
Or, are these crowds just a reflection of “pent up demand” since these bands don’t play very often?
I, for one, definitely wish they played more often. Petunia plays a couple times a year in L.A. The Lucky Stars, maybe once a month max. I haven’t seen Deke Dickerson’s band play in a while. Anyone know of any others, please comment below! I’m by no means an expert!
What do you think? Do you enjoy Swing dancing to this genre of music? Do you think it’s getting more popular, or are these anomalies due to pent-up demand? – Brian
p.s., I couldn’t resist posting one of my all-time movie quotes regarding country and western music: