Here’s what happened!
I got a text from my good friend, Sara, who asked if I wanted to go to a secret concert. We didn’t know where it would be or who we were going to hear, and we had to enter a lottery to try and get tickets. Of course I was game!
Sara entered our names for the Sofar concert, and we were selected to attend! Our tickets were $15, and we received an email 24 hours before with the location and rules.
Before the concert we grabbed dinner and went for a walk through the nearby parks. We visited this outdoor performance space with an exceptional turquoise floor.
We had no idea what to expect at this event! The location was downtown Chicago, and when we arrived they checked for our names on the list and directed us to the correct elevators. We ended up in a beautiful workspace, partway up a building overlooking the Lake Michigan, dotted with sailboats as the sun was setting. We were handed a paper with media details for following the bands that would be playing that night.
The floor was covered in cushions and pillows, and there were sofas and chairs lining the space. The whole thing felt relaxed and intimate.
They went over the rules with us again at the venue before the event started. In summary: respect the music. No talking during performances, don’t leave until all the groups have played. This organization, Sofar, started in a flat in London when musicians and their friends were tired of playing over talking at bars. They hosted a small house concert with 10 people, and this organization was born! They now plan similar house concerts for local artists in over 350 cities!
This was the venue packed full of engaged listeners.
The first artist was a singer/songwriter called The Regular. He had an incredible voice, and played this really unique bass drum + tambourine set-up along with his guitar, while singing. It was a contemporary one-man band.
The next artist was a very skilled saxophonist called Beatbox Sax. He combines professional level playing and smooth sound on the instrument with aggressive extended techniques, like slap-tongue and singing into the instrument. His set was very upbeat and engaging.
The last group was Man Wolves. They are very young, but are great players and have apparently acquired quite a following!
Check out Sofar Sounds! See if they are in your city. This was an amazing concert!