Our group did our first Ethnography Fieldwork at The Engine Room on Tuesday night May 17,2011. It is a small venue located at 809 Railroad Avenue in the art district of Tallahassee. The venue was featring an underground ska band called Mustard Plug. Mustard Plug is a group of middle-aged men and from Michigan. The audience mainly consisted of college-aged Caucasian males and females, with a mix of a few African American males. The audience seemed to really enjoy the music, which was one of the goals of the performance. Mustard Plug tried to create as much energy as possible to allow both the audience and themselves to have a good time. They were able to do this because it was a small, low stage which allowed them to be closer to the audience for a better interaction with the crowd. We would say that these goals were reached.
Question 1-Timothy Blackmon Jr.
What are the demographics of the audience? of the musicians?
The majority of patrons in attendance the night of the performance included college kids from the age ranges of 20-30. Most of the audience members looked like they were heavily influenced by punk rock and ska music. The members of Mustard Plug were all middle aged men in their 30s-40s.
Question 2 - James Newman
What role does the venue play in people's [performer, audience, researcher] expectations of the musical performance and how does this particular performance meet or fail to meet those expectations?
Personally, this venue is exactly what I was hoping for. It is a small club with a bar and an open floor for a dance circle to open up in the middle of the crowd. As soon as Mustard Plug started playing the circle formed and many of the people started dancing. A venue like the Engine Room is perfect because it is small enough for the band to be very interactive with the crowd, which is how they keep the energy up.
Question 4-Rebecca Stephens
How does the purpose of the performance overlap and differ from the emotions experienced by the audience?
The musicians wanted really like their music and to really get into it so of course they wanted us to get up out of our seats and dance and jump around. If the audience was not to show no reaction and just sit there then the band would think that they were not good and no one liked them. Luckily for Mustard Plug and the rest of the bands everyone liked their music and reacted so well to the music.
Question 5- Sydney Hendricks
Who are the performers and what is their relationship to the audience?
The band we saw perform was Mustard Plug. They seemed to have a close connection to the audience. Everyone was singing alone with them, and jumping around enjoying the music.