Trading Places: Benefit or Hindrance?

Gungor’s Recent Switch in Venue Poses the Question: The Fremont Theater or SLO Brew Rock

Slam poetry, rap, acoustic sets, and rock music: not a combination that is frequently provided in the same show, but this past Thursday, May 2, all were present in Christian indie rock band Gungor’s concert.

The night started upbeat with the musical hip hop offerings about social issues from the rapper Propaganda, then slowed down for three acoustic sets: two by the second opener The Brilliance about empathy, and one by headliner Gungor regarding faith. The evening ended with the pop sounds typically offered by what the group calls a “liturgical post-rock musical collective.”

However, the show was originally slated to be held at the Fremont Theater in downtown San Luis Obispo but was moved to SLO Brew Rock, a venue by the airport, a few days prior.

The change in venue didn’t appear to phase the performers but did hinder the audience as some members went to the initial location first and SLO Brew Rock had to provide chairs since there wasn’t seating in the room as there is at the Fremont. This change-up further posed the question: which venue is superior?

“I like SLO Brew better. It’s a much more open venue and has an outdoor space.”

Joshua Corrigan, Aerospace First Year

This question comes with a variety of factors. The Fremont, first of all, is older and bigger. It opened its doors in 1942, has 600 fixed theater seats, and has room to accommodate 900 general admission patrons.

SLO Brew Rock is more modern and can host smaller events. While SLO Brew started in 1988, SLO Brew Rock didn’t open until 2017 and can hold 600 people standing.

On these factors alone it can’t be decided which venue is better, for the most part, they are relatively comparable. It just comes down to preference. Aerospace engineering first year Joshua Corrigan has attended events at both locations and has made his decision.

“I like SLO Brew better. It’s a much more open venue and has an outdoor space, that’s not the street. Being able to be outside and breathe and not be surrounded by all the people that are at the concert is always a nice thing. Even though concerts are dope, sometimes you need a little bit of a respite.” Corrigan said.

The type of event being held may be a strong indicator of whether or not one venue is preferable.

The Gungor show had variety. Their approach to their music and messages within their songs are what draws in their listeners. Audience member Lizzie Zweng says why listens to the group.

“I love Gungor because I think they are communicating the love of God through art versus mainstream Christian music. I feel like Gungor captures the mystery of God. It’s more artful and poetic, how he communicates the love of God.” Zweng said.

This “artful and poetic” approach may be more conducive to SLO Brew Rock over the Fremont. Zweng said she liked the venue because it “feels like more of an intimate atmosphere, a little bit more homey and down to earth, which is fun.”

While the two venues are different, there is no true answer to which venue is better. There are other external factors, ultimately, it all comes down to what the audience member values about their concert-going experience and what venue would best satisfy their needs.

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