NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — For the past several months, live music has returned indoors at the Norva.
The Infamous Stringdusters, on their first full tour since the pandemic, made a stop there this week.
“This is one of my favorite venues in the country,” Stringdusters guitarist and singer Andy Falco said. “Everything about this venue, it’s got a such great vibe, it’s wonderful and just beautiful.”
When live music stopped, Falco and the Stringdusters stayed busy. They remotely recorded a Christmas record and a Bill Monroe tribute album to keep the creative juices going, but without touring, something was missing, and not just cash flow.
“At that point, it wasn’t about the money, it was about being sane,” Falco said. “A big part of our craft is touring and playing shows, being interactive with the audience and all that stuff, that was gone.”
Falco also released a solo album during the pandemic and the Stringdusters went into the studio and recorded an album of original material, then slowly live music started to make a return.
“It’s only recently that we did our first indoor show last week at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn,” said Falco. “It was the first real indoor show and it’s amazing.”
For a band that plays dozens of shows across the country, getting back in front of a live audience was something that Falco says can’t be replicated.
“There’s a tangible thing with the energy that you can really feel, that’s the tough thing with all this Covid stuff, our whole thing is based on getting people tightly packed into a room and sweating and dancing and singing and having a good time.”
Falco and his bandmates and crew have been vaccinated and the Norva, like most venues, requires a Covid vaccine or proof of a recent negative test.
“That’s kind of allowed us to start doing this again. Let’s just hope that continues.”
Despite all the setbacks, the band plays on.
“I’m so grateful to be able to do this. If there’s nothing else that was learned from the pandemic was certainly, not just for people in our industry, just be grateful for every time that you can do your thing, whatever that is, you just gotta be grateful for it.”
The Infamous Stringdusters will be back in Virginia for a three-night New Years’ Eve weekend run at the National in Richmond beginning on Dec. 30.