Skip to main content

What to expect at a Kable House show: The mood, the people, the sound

When the Central Market House doors open at 7 p.m. for a Kable House Presents show, the sense of community among the crowd is evident.

Guests grab a beer and catch up with friends they've met through regularly attending concerts, or mingle with new faces who share the same passion for music.

On mobile? Click here to view photo gallery

But at 8 p.m. on the dot when the lights go down and the band performs that first note, the crowd goes silent.

"For people used to playing in bars, it's almost weird how closely people are listening to them," Kable House organizer JJ Sheffer said.

On a past Friday night, Nashville singer Andrew Combs performed a country set with openers The Kernal and the Bernhardt Family Band to a crowd of about 50. Even during the opening acts, there was no talking, texting or even tweeting.

The idea behind Kable House Presents, an independent concert series that held its first concert in September, was to create an atmosphere where people could gather and listen to good music away from the noisy, crowded bar scene.

Kable House is now gearing up for the start of its second season in October. So, if you're planning on coming out for a show, here's what you can expect.

Upcoming shows

Who: Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: Central Market House, 34 W. Philadelphia St., York

Cost: $15

More information: Visit .

Who: Kingsfoil

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: Central Market House, 34 W. Philadelphia St., York

Cost: $12

More information: Visit .

Who: Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: Central Market House, 34 W. Philadelphia St., York

Cost: $13

More information: Visit .

The setup

Don't expect to find much of a stage at Central Market. The band sets up on the floor in the Philadelphia Street seating area, with a quilt made of band t-shirts as a backdrop.

Three rows of metal chairs, six high-top tables and a few tables and chairs were available for guests at Friday's concert, with plenty of room to move around. But the seating arrangement changes at each concert based on the genre of the act, Sheffer said.

Generally, Kable House draws a crowd that prefers to sit down, she said. But several younger people did stand at the high-top tables Friday night.

The mood

If you like to chat with your friends while you watch a show, Kable House might not be the place for you. All conversations were to be held outside the venue while the bands performed, Sheffer announced at Friday's concert.

But, the quiet, intimate, laid back atmosphere makes for a great environment to discover a new favorite band, and the bands appreciate it too.

"What an attentive audience this is," Bernhardt Family Band singer Kate Bernhardt said during their 40-minute set. "This is really cool and special."

The people

Friday's concert drew a lighter crowd of about 50, which appeared to range in age from mid-20s to 50s. But Sheffer said a typical crowd is about 100 people. The venue can hold up to 160, which can get be a little tight, she said.

The crowd seemed to be an even mix of band supporters, regulars and first-timers. Most people don't come to a Kable House show to hear their favorite band perform. They come to find new music by bands and singers they've never listened to before.

"It's a good way to discover music," Emily Loucks, 32, of Manchester Township said.

The sound

Central Market certainly wasn't built as a music venue. But Third Leg Audio of Mechanicsburg makes the space work with some lighting and a simple PA system that's just loud enough for the small space. As for the music, Sheffer said Kable House books bands ranging from country to folk to rock. One of the biggest names they booked so far was rock band Strand of Oaks, which almost sold out.

The concessions

Those who come to the show early can grab a bite to eat from a Central Market vendor before the concert begins. The vendor changes with each concert, Sheffer said. Friday's vendor was Pepper's Grille, which offered dishes including jerk sandwiches and macaroni and cheese.

Mudhook Brewing Company also sets up a table at every Kable House concert and sells three to four different craft beers for $5 and three to four wines for $6.

"It's much nicer than a bar, but there are drinks," Whitney Ortman, 36, of York City, said.

The cost

Kable House shows typically start around $10, but don't go higher than $15, Sheffer said.