Austrian dronemeister Fennesz nearly packing Columbia City Theater on a Sunday night.
Austrian dronemeister Fennesz nearly packing Columbia City Theater on a Sunday night. Danielle Quenell

If my experience over the last 10 days is any indication, people are still attending music shows in respectable numbers, despite trepidation caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

A February 28 DIY event at Kame Hou$e was about three-quarters full for L.A. electronic-music producers Pod Blotz, Bloom Offering, and Fake Trade. On Thursday, Fred Wildlife Refuge's final event ever drew decent numbers while on Friday, the U.K. and L.A. post-punk groups Shopping and Automatic nearly filled the Sunset Tavern. The innovative Austrian laptop musician/guitarist Fennesz, Britton Powell, and Mamiffer had Columbia City Theater at about 85 percent capacity for a difficult Sunday night slot.

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My colleague Mike Nipper DJed twice over the weekend. He reports that the back room was full at the last ever DUG night on Friday at Lo-Fi, and that 100 punters came to Screwdriver Bar on Saturday for Wig Out. A friend who attended Refused and METZ's March 5 gig at the Showbox said the large venue was about half full for the former concert while for the latter, Hot Snakes, packed out Chop Suey on the same night.

Sick electronic music in the time of coronavirus: Pod Blotz performing at Kame Hou$e.
Sick electronic music in the time of coronavirus: Pod Blotz performing at Kame Hou$e. Dave Segal

Judging from these observations and anecdotes, fear and paranoia haven't totally spooked clubbers. However, one could definitely detect a more subdued demeanor among many in the crowds. Some people were foolishly still proffering their hands for shaking while more conscientious folks presented elbows for proper hygienic greetings. Back pats often replaced full-blown hugs. Sacrifices were made, but we still had a good time.

Maybe the grim circumstances of COVID-19's spread lent these gatherings a greater air of camaraderie, given that we were braving possible illness and death in order to enjoy nightlife culture.