PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Live music is back in the Valley. A well-known local music venue, The Rebel Lounge, is welcoming back full-capacity crowds for the first time in 15 months. After a rocky year for the music industry, the return to full crowds means the world to the owner and local Valley musicians. "Seeing everyone else just as excited to see bands they love, that's the best part," said The Rebel Lounge owner Stephen Chilton.

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The sound of live music means much more than guitar strums or vocals. To Sydney Sprague, it's about sharing how she feels through lyrics. "I love singing songs," said Sprague. "It feels good to share emotions with people."

During the past year, she performed on a live stream when COVID-19 shut down music venues across the state, not the same she said as performing in front of crowds. "You can't see people's faces. You can't read their reactions," said Sprague. "I've just been patiently waiting for things to get back to normal."

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It did get back to normal on Friday night with The Rebel Lounge welcoming full capacity for the first time in 15 months. "We kind of knew concerts will be the last thing to come back and that's starting to happen," said Chilton. During the pandemic, Chilton worked with elected officials for the "Save Our Stages Act," aid that will help venues get back on their feet. He also started selling coffee to keep the lights on even though Chilton doesn't drink any. "Everyone tells me it's great. That's what I hear," said Chilton.

The Rebel Lounge

It's been a rough 15 months for The Rebel Lounge but the venue is finally getting live music back.

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And on Friday night, people will hear the sound of music, not through a computer but in person. "I'm really, really excited to see a room full of people, for the first time in a long time," said Sprague. It's the first of many concerts booked for The Rebel Lounge. For more information, click here

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