The Happy Fits Shine in Space Ballroom

Emma Dinnan

Small venues have always held a special place in my heart. Whether it fits 3,000 or 200, seeing a show at a small venue is an entirely different experience from a stadium tour. Space Ballroom in Hamden, Connecticut is a standing-room-only venue that fits approximately 200 people so I got the opportunity to be up close and personal with the bands. 

The indie rock show took place on Nov. 9, 2022. 

The show featured two amazing openers, the first being the small up-and-coming indie rock band Phoneboy from Hoboken, New Jersey. The band consists of two guitarists, a bass player, a drummer and a keyboardist. Its set was high energy and full of fun. The young band was jumping around the stage during keyboard and guitar solos making the show enjoyable for everyone in the room. 

The second more well-known opener is Daisy The Great. The Brooklyn-based band blew up in 2018 when their song, “The Record Player Song” went viral on TikTok. Followed by this the band then made a version in 2021 with popular alternative rock band AJR helping them gain more popularity. Its unique voices and intense harmonies account for a very different listening experience. The band has 2 lead singers along with a guitarist and drummer. Its set ranged from slow ballads to upbeat rock songs. The band got extremely personal when during one of the songs the lead singers sat on the edge of the stage and sang to the audience. This is part of the benefits that come with seeing shows at small venues, the band can make actual, real, close-up connections with the crowd and it makes shows far more memorable.

The headliner The Happy Fits came out with a bang, the most unique aspect about this band is the use of a cello instead of a bass guitar. This lends to a different performance in both sound and visuals as the cello provides a more dramatic effect. The three-member group from New York mixes folk rock and indie to form a very unique sound. The band consists of three members: drummer Luke Davis, cellist and lead vocalist Calvin Langman and guitarist Ross Monteith. 

The hour-and-a-half-long show was a total blast with songs ranging from “Too Late” to “Dance Alone” the band played songs from their new album and their first-ever song off their 2016 EP “Awfully Appealing.” I loved how the show had such a wide range, there were times when the audience was jumping up and down and singing, and other times when the crowd swayed along to the slow ballad being performed. Monteith was constantly switching out electric and acoustic guitars to continue to provide a complete mix of songs throughout the set.

My favorite part of the show was the encore. The band had already put on a crazy show and with such an eager crowd they quickly came back out and proceeded to play not one but three more songs. They kept the crowd going and even after an exhausting set was able to keep giving more. 

The small stage allowed for the band to be personal with the crowd, they were extremely nice people. The band’s kindness went beyond the stage as well, I had the opportunity to see them briefly as they walked out the stage door after the show and they were extremely gratifying, they even dm’d me on Instagram afterward saying how fun the show was and thank you for coming. 

More intimate venues not only give you the opportunity to bond with the band, but with the people around you. The crowd was filled with friendly people. At smaller shows, many of the audience listen to the same music and are all huge fans of the band. I was able to talk to lots of people around me who had seen The Happy Fits before and have come back for more. On top of this, bonding with new friends at concerts is by far the best part of it all. Being in a room filled with people who enjoy the same things you do is such a comforting experience. I made lots of new friends in between sets and sang and danced with them as the show went on.

I can not stress enough how great it is to go to smaller concerts with up-and-coming bands. Showing love to small venues like Space Ballroom and supporting smaller bands is a great way to give back to the music community and embrace it all at once. It is an exceptional experience that everyone should participate in at least once in their lifetime.