Boston's Grand Tour

     An upper class of self proclaimed masters used to travel with supplied funds for their own architectural enlightenment.  Traversing on stones many times trampled, these masters exclaimed EUREKA!  With each additional ancient temple observed and sketched, this tradition became a rite of passage, a necessitated aspect of architectural learning.  But architecture is more than seen and sketched.  It is felt, it is tasted, it is whiffed, it is heard.  In the absence of a plethora of ancient structures - most a fragment of what they once were - there is an alternative route one can take.  By attending concerts in the Greater Boston area, one embarks on a different kind of "Grand Tour".  Trekking through neighborhoods as distinct as adjacent European territories, one is able to gain similar insights - if not more.  With each show, senses are whetted.          Architecture implies movement, the crowds move.  From retrofitted venues in densely packed urban areas to repurposed basements in residential neighborhoods, attending concerts is just as architecturally enriching as any relevant architectural tour.  Each show's experience differs from the one before.  You become accustomed to different scales of venues, to sound systems that range from janky to extreme professional quality.  You learn which smells are tolerable and not, how comfortable are you in cramped spaces?  What does the crowd closing in on you feel like, is a three foot wide hallway actually wide enough when the house becomes a concert hall?  The house if a machine for experiencing, and through concerts you may do more than live.