I attended a couple intimate jazz concerts last weekend. One at Dizzy's featuring Mundell Lowe, Jaime Valle, Bob Boss, Bob Magnusson, and Duncan Moore, and one at the San Diego Center for the Arts featuring Steuart Liebig, Nathan Hubbard, Jeanette Kangas, and Nate Jarrell. Both were in small venues. The latter concert was literally in a living room, with maybe 15 people in the audience, and it was packed to capacity.
There's something about the small spaces provided in these venues that promotes a weird listening technique I've been using for about a year. I cup my hands to create a sealed cavity, as large as I can make it. Certain frequencies resonate in the cavity, and I can feel it in my hands. It works best in mid-ranges, especially the warm, full tone of jazz guitars like Lowe's, Valle's, Boss's.
It might not make sense until you feel it yourself, but having the tactile sensation of the music in my hands actually helps me listen. It's like watching a concert video when they zoom in on a certain instrument, and you can suddenly hear it when you hadn't previously noticed it. When I do this, I can feel elements of the music in my hands I might otherwise miss from only listening. And it's a pretty wild sensation; it's as if I've got the whole band trapped inside my hands.