Going to see a flamenco show is a very popular activity for tourists in Seville, and its speed, passion, and fierceness makes it well worth the watch. It’s also a uniquely Southern Spanish experience, much like how going to a two step dance at a bar in the United States is really only considered normal in Texas. And I did go to see one of the larger flamenco acts in the city, but it was my second show that was much more special.

Following a recommendation from a local who ran the bar at our hostel, another American and I stumbled upon a traditional Sevillano flamenco show held in an old house that had been converted into a bar and tapas place. Nobody spoke English and the crowd was much older, but it was incredible to get to see something more traditional than the bigger acts. Flamenco as an art form is about being consumed by passions ranging from love to rage to desperate sadness, and in that converted back room we managed to see it in a purer, almost primitive form, sung and played by older artists whose hearts had more than enough scars to infuse the music with the emotion it deserved.