From the tin ceiling to the Art Deco sconce lights, from the old-fashioned movie theater popcorn machine to the sound booth just in front of the window through which films are still projected, the Shepherdstown Opera House is the coolest venue we know. It was built in 1909 and started showing movies the next year—and it was the first place in West Virginia to show movies with sound in 1928.
And it sounds great to us. A live music venue for the last dozen years, the Opera House Live is our favorite home away from home. Last Saturday, the crowd was incredible: singing along to every classic song and physically enthralled with the music as we jammed, a pulsating, joyful group of music lovers and dancers. During out first set, from “Let’s Spend the Night Together” to “Mighty High,” we never let the tempo drop below a funky, steady bounce, and it was hard to suppress pure smiles. After our short break, even a slower song or two was infused with electric current, like two Bob Dylan songs: “Senor” and a reggae-juiced version of Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” Was our three-song encore planned? Did we have any idea that “Shakedown Street” would grow organically out of “Eyes of the World” jam? Nope. But in Shepherdstown inspiration strikes regularly. And we can’t wait to return on December 17th!