That advantage also exists in music, as I was reminded when checking out the Blue Note 7 in performances two weeks apart in two different cities.
The all-star group’s show in Worcester, Mass. on April 1 was quite good, but the impact was numbed a bit by a half-empty house and the very large stage at historic Mechanics Hall.
I also caught them at Birdland in New York on April 16. I doubt the band coasted in any of its performances in its 50-city U.S. tour, but what a difference it makes to play at home in familiar surroundings, in front of critics and peers.
The band was tighter physically and emotionally, and the sound was top-notch. The resulting music was stunning from start to finish. A few times, when he wasn’t soloing, Nicholas Payton stood at the wall at the rear of the stage, and added some comping riffs - off mic, yet filling the room.
I suspect the six-night Big Apple winddown of the spring tour was like that every night. Those in the house the prior night, for example, included Steve Kuhn and Mike LeDonne.