The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic caused a lot of businesses to close their doors, including our local music venues such as The Mesa Theater, The Avalon Theatre, and Las Colonias Amphitheater. Now, after a few painful months, concerts are finally returning to Grand Junction. However, because of restrictions related to the pandemic, the experience isn't quite the same as before.

Some friends and I attended the second show since The Mesa Theater reopened its doors, Saturday's performance from Peach Street Revival and Ricky Bobby. When we walked through the door everything seemed pretty much the same; the drinks were flowing and people were hanging out in the lobby chatting. However, once we walked into the theater it was apparent that this was going to be a rather unconventional show.

The Mesa Theater can hold 840 people at maximum capacity, but because of local restrictions, they are now only allowed to have 150 people in attendance. Normally, it would be nearly impossible to find someone in the packed, dark theater, but I was able to spot a couple of my friends right away.

The rows of seats were strictly regulated by security, only allowing six people to sit with each other. Luckily, our group was only six people. Even the space in front of the stage, which would typically have a mass of people crammed together, had seats, with only six people in each row as well.

I could not be happier that concerts are slowly returning and that our local venues and musicians are finally able to make some money that they've been missing out on over the past few months, but it's definitely a different vibe. The days of getting sweaty with a bunch of strangers are on hold for now, but it's a step in the right direction.

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